The short answer is yes.

The long answer is perhaps surprising and goes something like this;

I am by trade a graphic designer and illustrator.  I have designed many logos, and lots of websites and promo material.  Not wanting to shoot myself in the foot or have other designers knocking at my door in protest, I will begin by saying – Yes.  You do need a logo.  But wait, you probably don’t need it right now.  Let me tell you why you might not need it now, and how it can be a real benefit to wait before you spend time and money developing a logo.

Firstly, if you are just beginning to sell, or even, only just starting to think about selling something – developing a logo, and ultimately dictating how your brand will look, should not be the first thing you do.

“But to look professional I need a logo, all businesses have logos Kelly” – That’s what you’re thinking right?  Let’s not try to run before we walk.  Are you a business, or a start-up, or a potential start-up?  I wager that if you are reading this then you are most likely not an actual, physical, trading business right now.  I imagine that that is where you would like to be.  And since Handmade in Norway is all about handmade, I’m going to assume that you would like to sell your handmade items, and on a small scale to begin with.

So here is my take on your situation, and the question of ‘Do I need a logo?’  (Remember I have made a living from designing logos and promo material).  Right now, focus on your products.  Use an image of your best, most marketable product.  Let that, for now, act as a logo.  After all, what better way to tell people what you are about.  Create a Facebook page, design it tastefully, and where you should have a logo, put a picture of what it is that you make.

Now you’re going to think I’m a bit crazy here… But indulge me for a little longer please.  There is also something to be said for using a picture of yourself.  Not everyone’s cup of tea, granted.  Some of you might be a little camera-shy.  Fair enough.  But, your aim is to sell to people.  People like to buy from ‘real’ people.  Handmade items are made by ‘real’ people.  So why not show them who you are?  If not as your profile image then at least as a post on your FB page, website, or shop.  Show how you work, show that you are ‘real’!

Now, it costs money to create a logo.  But you also need something else.  You need a crystal clear idea of what your business is and who your customers are.  Right now, these details might be a little fuzzy.  Especially if you haven’t started selling yet.  You might think that you know who your customers are, but trust me, right now, you probably don’t know exactly who they are or what they want.  So how could you know what logo would speak to them and draw them to you?

Later on, when you are hopefully selling more, and you are locked to a logo that you have outgrown or that is no longer appropriate for your target market, you will regret having spent time and money developing it.  You might have already built a website around your logo.  Branded your business in the colours or style of your logo.  To find that all of that needs to be redesigned, will really be very annoying.

So save yourself the hassle now.  Don’t contact someone like me yet.  Wait, until you are selling and feel that the time is right.  Don’t let a designer like me, tell you who your target market is, find that out yourself, and then you will have a better understanding of what your customers want, what attracts them, what they buy and what are your best selling products.  Then, and only then are you and your business ready to develop a logo and ultimately a brand.

I hope this helps you to take your first steps towards selling.  That is the goal right?  You want to sell your items, but are worried you will not be taken seriously if you do not have a logo.  You can’t compete with big brands without a logo, right?  But you are not a big brand, neither do you and your two hands have the capacity to create enough stock to compete with the big brands.  So don’t even go there.  That is what handmade is, you do not need to compete, you create!  And people who appreciate handmade, buy handmade.  That is your selling point, the product and it’s story are what will sell.  A logo will only convey so much.  It is a tool to brand your business.  But let’s keep our focus on building the business first.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this or of course you can comment below.

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Kelly x

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