How to Design Your Small Business Logo on a Budget

You want a great logo for your business — but you don’t want to pay a hefty price. I get it.

After all, as small business owners, we run lean. But that doesn’t mean we’re ready to open up Microsoft Word and play with clip art. We need a professional-level logo at a reasonable price. An eye-catching small business logo opens the door for customers to truly see what your business can offer them.

When I started my freelance writing business 10 years ago, I knew I needed a logo fast. I envisioned one that would help my business stand out from hundreds of other writers in Boston. I wanted to promote it on my website, business card, and future promotional products.

What I didn’t know was how bad I was at graphic design. I would share my first logo with you, but to be frank, it’s embarrassing. Fast-forward 8 years and multiple logo redesigns, and finally, I have a logo that makes me proud.

It’s professional, memorable, and differentiates my services from other writers. Hopefully, with these quick tips, I can spare you the hours of time I spent, a chunk of money, and a whole lot of agony.

First things first, ditch expensive software, like Adobe Creative Suite. And, forget about paying a design agency top dollar. Just be strategic and unleash your inner creative side. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to create a great small business logo at a great price.

1. First, learn the basics.

A logo is much more than a beautiful graphic. It represents your company’s name, product, mission, and values. It differentiates your business from competitors, is memorable to buyers, and purposeful.

Potential customers see your logo, remember it, and easily associate your company — whether they’re typing your name into Google or looking for a storefront.

The best logos are simple, versatile, and resonate with customers. They look good on websites, mobile phones, social media channels, and on promotional products, like pens or mugs.

And, they follow best practices in visual design, such as composition. Before starting, do a bit of research. Look up your most successful competitors’ logos online and take note:

What fonts do they use? Are there colors that resonate in your industry? What do you think works well? What doesn’t?

Then write down the feelings and emotions you want to convey. What represents your business? What are your customers looking for? For example, is your product:

  • Modern or vintage?
  • Energetic or calming?
  • Trendy or classic?

A font can make or break your logo, so spend time thinking about the images you want to associate with your company. This might seem time-consuming (and overwhelming), but it’s critical for success.

Once you’ve planned out your logo, finalizing it is simple. There are multiple logo makers and templates online that make it easy to create professional-looking designs. If you don’t want to DIY your logo, it’s also easier than ever to access affordable freelance designers.

2. Use a logo maker.

Logo makers can get you started until you’re ready to invest more in your company’s brand identity. In fact, I designed my own business’s logo with a logo maker — and I’m thrilled with the end result. Here are 3 sites I can vouch for.

Looka — Best for ease of use; $20 and up

Looka is built for non-designers. This AI-driven logo creator walks you through a very friendly and intuitive process in just minutes. There’s a well-rounded selection of ready-made color palettes, fonts, layouts and icons. You also can see your final logo and instantly view different layouts. This all comes at a price, or a range of prices. But that means you can get as much branding support as you need. There are several membership options with the basic options covering only a standard image file with a limited number of edits.

Hatchful — Best for supporting the creative process; free

Here’s a logo maker that ensures your design is strategic, and not just attractive. First, choose your industry and visual style. Then type your business name. The website populates logo ideas for you. It’s like having a personal (and free) designer at your fingertips. The only drawback is you risk having a logo that looks strikingly similar to that of another business.

Canva — Best for creating a full suite of marketing materials; $12.95/month

With Canva, you’ll choose from a variety of templates that are already designed for you by professional designers. Then simply type in your business name.

It’s free if you want your logo on a white background, but remember, you’ll really need a transparent background to ensure you can place your logo on multiple products and screens.

To unlock transparent backgrounds and more fonts, pay just $12.95 a month or $119.40 for a year’s worth of use.

3. Draw it out.

If you’re a “paper and pen” type of person, you can draw your own small business logo by hand. Keep brainstorming and drawing until you feel confident about your design. Then, ask a friend with design chops to create a digital version by scanning it and using Adobe Illustrator.

You can also use Calligraphr to turn your own handwriting into a one-of-a-kind font. This process ensures your logo is completely “your own.”

4. Seek out help from a designer.

If you prefer to hire help, seek out a talented design student or freelancer who’s just started their business. They’ll charge a lower price, but put a great deal of time and effort into the design. Place an ad on Bark or Fiverr with your price and see what happens.

Remember, when you work with a designer, it’s important to send a creative brief first. This document explains your business and what you want to communicate. It also describes the look and feel you envision.

Add the Brand Power of Business Insurance

Your logo is one of the first impressions customers get of your business. A well-designed logo can tell them you’re professional, customer-focused, and committed to getting the job done right. The right business insurance can help prove it to them.

Having business insurance, such as general liability coverage, lets your customers know you’re serious about taking as much risk as possible out of the equation. It covers many of the hazards you could run into, including:

  • Bodily injury to another person
  • Third-party property damage
  • Personal and advertising injury
  • Medical expenses

Consider this example of an electrician who runs a small business. While wiring a new light post at a client’s home they realize they forgot something in their truck, so they step away, but leave their ladder.

While they’re in their truck, a gust of wind comes through and topples the ladder — right on to the homeowner’s car. The customer could sue for the cost to repair their damaged car, and potentially more if the damage prevents them from working or leads to other issues.

General liability insurance could cover any legal fees or damages, up to the policy limit. Otherwise, you would have to cover them yourself.

Risk can extend beyond injury and property damage. Sometimes, just an honest mistake can open you up to claims of negligence. That’s why you should consider professional liability coverage as well.

Professional liability insurance can cover:

  • Negligence or alleged negligence
  • Legal defense costs
  • Claims involving libel and/or slander
  • Copyright infringement

For instance, think about a real estate agent. A very busy real estate agent who tells a client they will submit their offer to the seller, but gets distracted with a barrage of calls and text messages.

The offer doesn’t get to the seller on time and the buyer loses out on their dream home. The buyer could sue the real estate agent for this mistake.

Luckily, if the real estate agent has professional liability insurance, they’d be saved from having to pay legal fees or other associated costs relating to the lawsuit (up to their policy limits).

The right coverage. Fast, easy and affordable.

Much like creating a small business logo, getting the right coverage for your small business doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive. With just a few clicks online, we can get you quotes from top insurers as low as $21.258/mo.* for general liability coverage.

If you have questions about what coverage you might need, we also have friendly, knowledgeable insurance pros just a phone call away. They know insurance and understand small businesses like yours. Call (855) 869-5183 to get jargon-free advice and help Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm (ET).

Get Insured in Under 10 Minutes

Get an affordable and customized policy in just minutes. So you can get back to what matters: Your business.

A Small Business Logo Can Have a Big Business Impact

Think about when you’re scrolling on your phone, scanning through a website, or breezing past stores in a mall. Information comes at you fast, and you make decisions about what you see just as quickly.

In fact, our brains process images thousands of times faster than words, so a good logo can do a lot of heavy lifting toward helping your business stand out.

Best of all, It’s never been easier to create a small business logo on your own or access talented, affordable designers online. These techniques will get you started until you’re ready to allocate more of your budget toward a full brand identity. Ready to start now? You could have your own logo by the end of the day.

*Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on July-September 2023 data of 10% of our total policies sold.

Emily Thompson

I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.

Emily writes on a number of topics such as entrepreneurship, small business networking, and budgeting.