How to choose an effective logo for your business

Some logos are very effective, while others just aren't. It's am important part of your brand, and Jan Bierman shares some tips to help you get it right.

A logo is at the heart of your brand. Your logo can be the first impression your business makes. A logo is a great way to communicate a powerful idea about your business and can increase the recognition of your company – think of the imagery behind leading brands such as Air New Zealand, McDonalds, Nike, and Apple. These logos are memorable, authentic, differentiated, and valuable.

How can you choose a logo that both communicates and is unforgettable?  Five key tips on choosing an effective logo:

• Uniqueness. A unique logo is an essential aspect of branding; you want to standout and gain attention. Once your customers begin associating your logo with your brand, the emblem alone will be enough to create brand awareness.  Your logo must not be similar to that of competing businesses.  There is no room for consumer brand confusion.

• Simplicity. The simplest logos are usually the most effective; easy for you to utilize on various marketing tools, scalable to various promotional activities, and clarifies your brand message.

• Colour.  Colour is a powerful non-verbal form of communication conveying different associations and meanings. Some colours are not effective when they are reproduced, or have negative connotations.  Learn the language of colour.

• Contemporary. Ensure your logo will stand the test of time, and is responsive to the business you will become.  Intricate, fussy or fusty logos date quickly.

• Quality. Small business owners are often resistant to paying for a logo to be professionally designed by a graphic designer, but if you are there for the long haul a well-designed logo is an essential investment in your future. A self-made logo, or a logo from your “friend’s sister’s mate” can be a barrier to growth and affect your reputation from start-up.  Admit your limitations.

If you have a small budget, but want to create an impact, there are databases of ready-to-use designer logos available online that can be downloaded at a minimum cost.  Independent designers seeking to build their own profile and portfolio often submit these exclusive and eye-catching logo designs. Ready-to-use logos can offer new thinking in terms of your own brand concept.

A quality logo must work for you on your business cards, stationery, invoices, receipts, publications, presentations, advertisements, promotional materials, social media, website, and so on.

The first presentation of your logo is likely to be on your business card. The effort you put into your business card design will give your customers a sense of how much energy and commitment you are willing to put into your products and services. Your prospective customer is likely to have been bombarded with cards from similar or competing businesses.  As soon as you exchange business cards with a prospect you will be judged.

Your logo is integral to building brand recognition and preference in a crowded marketplace. Picking an effective logo is the first step in your business journey and is a crucial element in the business you aspire to be. Pick well.

Jan Bierman is a director of Rare Design Ltd - Rare is a branding and design company, with offices in Auckland and Shanghai.  Rare also provides ready-to-use logos at


  • Startup
  • Company formation
  • Marketing
  • Brand

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Jan Bierman is a director of Rare Design Ltd - Rare is a branding and design company, with offices in Auckland and Shanghai. Rare also provides ready-to-use logos at