How to design a logo

Things you need to consider when designing a logo for your Virtual Assistant business

Once you’ve decided what to call your Virtual Assistant business, you may want to design 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 when designing a logo for your Virtual Assistant business

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.

 

How to decide on your VA logo

Items you might want to brand

  • Website and favicon
  • Business cards
  • Headed paper (for contracts, T&Cs, invoices etc)
  • Your email signature
  • Other online and social media profiles

Design the logo yourself or hire a pro?

You may think that it will be cheaper and easier to design your own logo or to simply knock one up in Canva.

However, it’s not as simple as you may think.

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

Also, Canva is not meant for professional logos. They are not scalable and the client is entitled to the source file – which you can’t get from Canva.

Here is what Canva has to say about using their platform to design your logo:

“You can’t use Free or Pro content as part of a trademark, design mark, trade name, business name, service mark, or logo. Our logo templates are for inspiration – a starting point for your own unique design.

In creating a unique logo in Canva from scratch, you can use basic lines and shapes from our Free library. You can also use all of our fonts.

However, you can’t use stock content (e.g. photos and graphics) as we only give you a non-exclusive licence to this.

Other Canva users are free to use the same content which means that using stock content for your logos isn’t suitable for use in a trademark. Elements in a logo need to be exclusive to you.

Canva’s logo templates are customisable and can be used by anyone. This means that your rights to the logo are non-exclusive and you can’t register it as a trademark.”

Pros of using a professional

  • 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 the source file as well as 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.

I wanted a professional-looking website so I looked professional and would be hired by professional business owners…

So I hired a professional.

How to work with a designer

I can tell you that the process of working with a designer can be quite emotional so it really helps to have an initial idea of how you see your brand and what you want it to convey.

While I was happy to receive design input, as a starting point, I showed my designer some logos I liked and colour schemes that appealed to me and that I felt reflected my vision of the site. I also told them I wanted my site to be clean, minimal, modern and stylish.

Working from your initial ideas, the designer will then 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 I felt a bit sick, to be honest. I was worried they hadn’t understood what I wanted and that I had made a big mistake in hiring them.

I then discovered this was actually part of the design process and, as with a web designer, it’s normal to go back and forth a few times. Designers are not mindreaders so you need to keep giving them feedback so they can realise your vision.

The best thing about using a professional designer was that they took the stress out of the process and I knew they had the skills and experience to do a better job than I could.

What if you can’t afford a professional?

The company I used to design my logo (the amazing RamJam) are a creative digital studio that specialises in animation but also does branding.

I knew the owner Tom personally. He 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 Tom at RamJam because he was a friend. In return, I bought him drinks, put a link to his business in my website footer and gave him 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 a ‘proper’ logo.

But, if you do want a professional logo then you have to make sure it looks professional.

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.

I have seen many VA logos that look a bit cheap and ‘clip art-y’ and this is because they tried to save money by designing their own.

Because they had no design experience, didn’t know how colour palettes or image resolution work and basically, didn’t know what they were doing, they wasted hours of billable time, stressed themselves out and ended up with something well below the standard they deserved.

Additional resources


Your logo isn’t the only way to get noticed.

If you’re interested in finding out how to market yourself on any platform (always and forever!) then my Ultimate Marketing course is the one for you.

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