Don't Do It Yourself

How to Design a Professional Logo for Your Small Business

Do you need a professional logo for your small business? Here’s a simple 99designs tutorial to help you find the right graphic designer and the perfect logo design that fits your company.

Have you heard about “unlimited graphic design“?  You could get a logo plus a dozen other designs for the same price as 1 logo on 99designs. Read more…

Your logo is one of the first impressions you will make on your customers. A low quality logo might just mean a customer moves on to one of your competitors. So don’t settle for a stock image or try to cobble something together yourself in Photoshop. Make a small investment in your brand and find a professional logo designer…or find several designers as I’m about to show you how!

Step 1 – Find Professional Logo Designers

You really don’t need a huge budget for a professional logo. About $300 will get you a good result (see 99designs pricing). You could work with a single graphic designer, but I suggest these alternatives to 99designs where you can get different logo designs from many graphic designers and choose your favorite. The way it works is you create a “design contest” and designers compete to provide your business with the perfect logo. There’s no cheaper way to get so many high-quality logo design alternatives.

Many of my readers have gotten great results like this logo and this one. And don’t worry, if you run a contest and are not happy with the result, 99designs has a money back guarantee.

Step 2 – Setup Your Design Brief

To begin, go to 99designs, click “Get Started” and choose Logo Design. You’ll then be able to create a Design Brief. A Design Brief is a cool way to explain what type of logo you want made. For those of us without artistic talent, 99designs does a great job stepping you through the things you probably would never think to tell a designer.

First you’ll decide which visual styles appeal to you. You can select up to three of the logo styles (screenshot below). And if you know of existing logos that you like, you can upload those samples to help point designers in the right direction.

professional logo visual styles

You’ll also be able share thoughts on the feel of your logo as well as preferred colors.

professional logo values

professional logo colors

Lastly, you’ll be able to write up any instructions for designers that you want and specify any slogans or tag lines that should be included.

Step 3 – Decide on Contest Details

After you’ve entered your Design Brief, you’ll choose how much you want to spend. Packages start at $299, which is more than enough to get professional results for most small businesses. You can spend more if you like, but remember, there’s a money back guarantee so you can’t really go wrong.

99designs design packages

You’ll also get the option to spend a little extra to get more designers to view your project.  Up to you, but I’d probably save your money and skip this.

design contest promotion

Lastly, you will choose how long you want your contest to run.  Unless you are in a hurry, I’d suggest going with the default of one week.  Aside from being the cheapest option, this will give more time for designers to submit entries and for you to provide feedback.

99designs contest duration

Step 4 – Launch Your Logo Design Contest

Finally, you’ll enter your payment details and launch your logo contest.

Once the logos start rolling in, provide feedback for those you like. You can make your feedback public so all the designers get to hear what you are thinking and can rework their designs.

If you see a couple designs you are happy with, you can guarantee the prize for the contest. This means you will choose a winner and not use the money back guarantee. You should notice an increase in the number of new entries once artists see the guarantee so you’ll have even more to choose from.

Step 5 – Get your Friends to Vote and Choose a Winner

After you’ve gotten a variety of professional looking logos to choose from, ask your friends and colleagues to vote using the 99designs polling feature. This is a great way to collect feedback and get outside opinions.

And when you’re ready, choose a logo winner! You’ll get the source files in whatever format you need and you’ll have up to five days to request any minor revisions.  If you ever need to use that designer again, you can come back and sign-up for 1-to-1 projects and 99designs will handle the payments for you.

Next up, read my honest review of 99designs