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What’s in a small business logo? This image is not just a pretty picture to put on your sign; it is also a visual representation of your company’s brand. This means that your logo must be versatile enough to stand strong on everything from company letterhead to newspaper advertisements and not fall prey to the usual logo design myths. Here are five signs that your logo is versatile enough to go the distance.

It is simple? Simple logos are more likely to make transitions between different media well, which is important because one effective branding move is to put your logo everywhere. They are also more likely to be remembered by your target audience. When you think of the most well-known logos in the world—like Nike and Pepsi—they have one commonality: a simple design without a lot of extraneous details and usually text-based logos. Clutter will only look messy and pull the eye away from the salient details.

It is resizeable? This means that the logo works equally well when scaled very tiny, very large, and every size in between. A logo that looks great on letterhead but can’t pull its weight on a business card or a billboard will be as useless as having no logo at all. Make sure your logo is attractive and meaningful at every size.

It is versatile in color? While it’s important for you to have signature colors that are part of your logo and your brand, your logo should be able to stand alone without them. Some advertising media limit colors or even use black and white alone, so make sure your logo is meaningful even without colors. When you do use colors in the logo, use no more than three to reap the maximum impact of each.

It is unique? Your company is special, right? Your logo and your brand should be just as special, different from every other logo your target audience might encounter. There are a few steps to achieving this. First, make sure your logo doesn’t resemble the logos of any large, well-known companies. Not only will this diminish your brand, but it will also set you up for legal trouble. Second, check out the logos of other companies in your field and avoid being similar to those as well. This will create confusion when customers can’t tell the two apart. Last, avoid using a template. Hire a professional logo designer who can express your brand without resorting to clichés or copycat moves.

It is recognizable? Customers and potential customers should be able to identify your logo at a glance, remembering what company and what values it stands for. Your logo is not just a pretty picture, but a tool to help the public recognize your company.

Using the above four techniques should result in a highly recognizable logo that is uniquely representative of your company. Can your logo go the distance? If not, it’s time to have a new one designed. Finding success in a small business is difficult enough; without a good logo, it can be next to impossible.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.