How to design a logo

Things to consider when designing your logo

Once you’ve decided what to call your Virtual Assistant business, you may want a logo. On one hand, your logo is just a formality so you can launch your business, and on the other, it represents who you are, what you stand for and will also be on all your marketing materials. Plus, if you get it wrong it could be a complete headache to redesign later!

Things to think about

Your values –  think about what you want to communicate about your business. Do you want to be seen as creative, corporate, modern, traditional, youthful etc? Make sure your image reflects who you are, what kind of service you’re offering and the level you’re pitching yourself at.

People will make assumptions about you based on your website and branding so you need to be clear about who you are, what you want to get across and what you want people to think about you.

Your clients – if your target client is an organised professional consultant they’re going to avoid you like the plague if your logo is a whimsy, floral pink thing. However, a chaotic, cluttered creative client might think it’s marvellous. So know your market and make sure they can relate to your brand.

The visual impact – the shape, spacing, colours and font will all combine to give a subliminal image of what your company is about. Remember that the stronger and clearer your image is, the better it’ll look when reduced in size for your website favicon (the image on the open tab in a browser) or on social media.

Text or image or both – there are three different types of logos:

  1. Just an image like Apple or Twitter
  2. Just typeface like ebay or easyJet
  3. A combination of both like Red Bull or Domino’s Pizza.

Font-based logos are easier to design and, if you incorporate an image into the text (like I have on this site and with the image on my own VA site), you can use just the image as your favicon and on other marketing materials as the logo if you need to.

Tagline – I have a tagline for my VA business (“There just isn’t an app for what I do”) but I haven’t on this site. You don’t necessarily need one but at least have a think whether you want one and what it might be!

 

How to decide on your VA logo

Things you might need to brand

  • Website and favicon
  • Business cards
  • Headed paper (for contracts, T&C’s, invoices etc)
  • Guides and downloads
  • Your email signature
  • Other online and social media profiles

Design the logo yourself or hire a pro?

Pros of designing your own logo:

  • It’s cheaper
  • You can make one on Canva

(Although tbh, you will spend loads of time on it, agonise over every aspect, overthink the entire thing and STILL need to get a Graphic Designer or someone with Photoshop to change the resolution so it doesn’t look blurry when printed or viewed on a phone.) 

Pros of using a professional to design your own logo:

  • You get a logo that looks professional. A quality logo means you’re taken more seriously, you look more credible and the knock-on effect is that people will be willing to pay you more money.
  • Designers know about spacing, what fonts and hues go together and what effect these combinations have on readers.
  • They will make sure your design doesn’t look like 2009 called and wants its logo back.
  • They have expensive software that can make sure your logo looks great at any size and on any device.
  • They will give you multiple copies and sizes to use for print or online. (clear background, favicon size etc)
  • They have studied graphic design. They may have even attended university or gone on courses… they know their stuff. You expect people to hire you for your skills and area of expertise… this is theirs.

When creating this website I looked around at various free online design software but frankly, the logos looked cheap and I’ve seen enough shonky self-designed logos to know the impression that gives.

No, I wanted a professional-looking website so I hired a professional.

How to work with a professional designer

I can tell you that the process of working with a designer can be quite emotional. First, you need to know what you want and what you want to convey (I was happy for their design input but showed them some logos I liked, the colours I wanted and told them I wanted my site to be clean, minimal, modern and stylish) so the designer can create a first draft.

Then they will probably send over designs you won’t like!

When I received the first design drafts I didn’t like them at all and my heart actually sank. I then discovered this was actually part of the design process and that you have to go back and forth a few times. They are not mindreaders so you need to give the designer feedback so they can keep tweaking to get it right.

The main thing about using a professional designer was that they took the headache out of the process and I trusted them. They even said that the teal I use on my site (it came with the theme) didn’t quite go with the fuschia pink in the logo. Even though I decided to keep the teal, I loved that, as professional designers, they saw it should be tweaked slightly to match the other shades.

What if you can’t afford a professional?

The people I used to design my logo (the amazing RamJam) are actually a creative digital studio specialising in animation who also do branding. I know that the owner Tom is a complete pro with an incredible eye for design so asked if I could buy him a couple of drinks and pick his brains as I was going round in circles and my head was about to explode.

This turned out to be the best decision I ever made because I actually ended up getting a free design out of it!

You don’t always have to pay full price to get a professional service:

  • The logo on my Munro PA website was a random design created by a friend’s brother who had just graduated in design for £120.
  • The logo on this website was designed by RamJam in return for a link in my website footer and a mention in this post.

Conclusion

Personally, I think that you should hire a professional, learn how to do it properly yourself or just not bother with one.

If you do want a “proper” logo then ask around for favours, offer to skills swap your VA services in return for a logo or a discount, ask to pay in instalments or find someone who’s just starting out.

Just make sure you research your options, have a think about what image you want to convey to your clients, Just please don’t be yet another Virtual Assistant who has a shonky logo because they tried to do it themselves and didn’t really know what they were doing.

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