When you start out, you first choose a brand name or trade name for your business, and then usually, it is a good idea to follow that up with getting yourself a logo.
It should be unique and represent your business name and the services or products, that you provide.
Therefore, the purpose of my post today, would be to give you a few tips, and suggestions for how to make your signature unique in the art of cake decorating.
What Is A Logo?
The word ‘Logo’ – is the singular form of the plural Greek word ‘logos’ – transliterated as “reason or word”.
The meaning of ‘logo’ today was adopted in the 1930s from a combination of two English phrases “logogram” and “logotype”, to mean a symbol or small design affiliated to an organization; to showcase its products, assets etc.
Most well-known logo examples would be:
MacDonalds – the big yellow ‘M’
KFC – a red and white picture of the colonel
Nike – The ‘swoosh’ which is also a symbol of the ‘V’ in Greek for the beginning letter of the word “Vike” = “Nike” = “Victory”
Coca Cola – Red and White uniquely formatted two “C” letters
or Art Thou Cakes up the top in, the letters “ATC”
Actually, logos surround our everyday life and you only need to walk through a mall or drive along the road to see all the branded logos on cars, clothing, foods, restaurants etc. I even see them right in front of me, on my PC, as I type – everyone knows the little ‘four squares’ window box is the Microsoft logo, just as much as we know, what the ‘apple’ shaped image, stands for in the technology world.
Okay, you may think, fine, but how do I get a logo?
Read on and I will show you.
Why Do I Need A Logo
A logo is your identity and it helps when marketing your goods and services. People may not remember the full name but an image or a few letters can be remembered and recognizable.
You may think, what use is it to marketing, when you can just use ‘word of mouth’, but I want to remind you that, should you need to create a website, letterhead, business card or any promotional stationery, your logo would be the one thing that is required.
Not only, that, but logos make your business look very professional. Especially, if you use it as an applique on your apron, hats, working clothes, or even a sticker on your vehicle.
Oh and I nearly forgot – my best reason left to last: You can use edible printing too and use it on cakes used for promotion or “thank yous” for customer loyalty/gifts.
Copyrighting a Logo
If you had created something unique, it can be patented to your brand name and made a copyright, so that people do not steal the design from you, and if you choose to make your logo copyright then you will need to register it in your country of dwelling.
In New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Ownership and Innovation, is the correct place to get it done.
Copyright protection is free and lasts up to 50 years, and their website gives all the information required. There are certain things that cannot be copyrighted such as ideas, which is explained in the site.
For those readers who live in other countries, I suggest that you research your legislative procedures in regard to logos etc.
This is a great idea for those who create unique recipes or use their own images in their marketing.
How To Create a Logo
If you do not believe yourself to be creative (despite being glaringly talented in your cake decorating), you can get ideas with the help of your family, friends or looking at other baking or decorating businesses for what they do. Your research should give you a fair amount of ideas, for how you would like your logo to appear.
What I did for my own logo, was take a nice hot cup of coffee and sit on my balcony in the fresh air, with a pen and large piece of paper and asked myself several questions:
- What is the ultimate purpose of your business? – is it for charity? is it to get you extra money? is it to be financially free?
- Who will be involved? – Myself only (sole business), a partner (or several as a partner is not necessarily a married one).
- Who am I marketing to? – the answer for this, will also determine your costs and prices.
- What am I specializing in? – just hand painted decorations, sculpture type cakes, cultural decorations only, toppers only.
After answering these questions, I took a pencil and I doodled for an hour or so (even spending a day or two when necessary).
Did you say, doodle? What is a doodle?
Let me explain.
Doodle your own logo
Okay, before I show you, I need to clarify for those who have no idea what doodling means.
I am not sure what they call it elsewhere but for the majority of New Zealanders raised and educated during between the 80s and late 90s (well for my generation anyway) – doodle or doodling happened when we were in the middle of a teaching or lecture and the interest in the subject waned into a distant sound of “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” and instead of falling asleep with eyes closed, we fell asleep into our imaginations and without our realizing what had happened, the pen is in the hand and busies itself drawing fascinating little squiggles on the corner of an important document. Those squiggles are nicknamed “doodles”.
I still do this, when I am an adult, in an important board meeting, church or just listening to someone go on, and on, and on. I am thinking that, right about now, you are starting to get the meaning, “Aw, so that’s what it is!”.
So, now that you know what a doodle is, that’s what I did – drew anything and everything that came to my mind, but incorporating my answers from my questions above.
By the time I finished all this doodling, I decide on my best ‘doodled’ design, hop on to my computer and create it, in my Microsoft Paint program until I have come up with a ‘nice’ logo that I feel represents my business.
A logo does not need to be complicated, or professional. I found that the simplest designs are the best, and most memorable, as well.
So, many people now are probably thinking, that it is all fine with you, Ilaisaane, because you obviously have a lot of computer skills. What about the not so PC competent?
Okay, I know that this may not be the best option, however, I needed to show people who could not otherwise afford a professional logo design, how to create their own and use it while they make more money first.
If you have no idea about logos – you can easily be scammed for thousands of dollars, when you, or a creative family member or friend can simply just design a temporary one to use in the meantime.
What I like, about creating my own, is that I have total control, I can change the design whenever I want and the design is unique to me and my cake artistry.
Remember, that this is for a home business that you are starting and you may need to use your start up budget, for cake decorating products and tools, instead.
However, there is a downfall, and that is someone can actually steal your logo – and use it to spam people, so be very careful.
This, brings me to my next discussion. If you would rather go straight for the professional look, hey, it is up to you and in how much you can afford.
If, this is the path you choose then as a friend I am going to give you some cheaper options later.
However, before I do so, let me first tell you a very funny story about two of my friends, who both thought they had the coolest logo designs, which each paid mega bucks for.
Getting A Professionally Made Logo Design
Both my friends, who each had a small business and used the same NZ renowned Graphic designer, showed me on separate occasions how proud they were of their unique logo designs, and that this Graphic designer was the “creme de la creme”. Seeing that they had already paid, I smiled quietly and waited for the right moment.
That moment soon came. I chose a particular cafe, for a ‘girlie’ meet up and there was a specific purpose for why, I had picked this cafe.
Both women came in and happily chatted about their businesses and how this Graphic designer told them that their logos were created with their personalities in mind, blah, blah, blah. Each of course, not knowing that the other had used the same logo designer.
I listened in silence then I asked them both, to turn around and tell me what they thought of the framed design behind them.
They both turned and the look on their faces was a FaceBook post.
Both quickly looked at their phone photo galleries and sure enough, they both had an exact logo design, matched to each other, and to the one on the wall.
Both women couldn’t wait to get out of there fast enough. I had to hold back my laughter.
I am truly an evil genius and I know that I could have just told them but I needed to add the cafe wall to the whole scenario and the reaction on their faces was just pure gold 🙂 Sadly I busy laughing to capture it.
I needed to share, that for your benefit, because unfortunately, many businesses can lie to you, through their teeth, and have you paying for something that they just googled of the internet, when you could have done that yourself. Although, I would not encourage this, because you would be facing a copyright fine.
Graphic Design Software or Programs
I cannot afford any top of the range graphic design programs, which according to Branford Hall are: Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Adobe Weaver, Adobe Illustrator and Video and Animation programs.
I only use the Microsoft programs, but I am also, quite efficient in using Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and PowerPoint.
These are great, if you are able to use them and have these programs already in your laptop or PC.
If not, then your only option is to purchase a logo design from an online store or local Graphic designer (which after my previous story, you may be inclined not to).
Online Graphic or Logo Designers
There are many graphic designers on-line and off-line, each with their own set prices ranging from $70 – $1000 NZD (remember that time and any taxes are not in this price range).
Before choosing one, make sure that you have done some research and that not only will they not cost you an arm or a leg, they will also listen to your needs. Usually what happens is you purchase a package and then you are given a few designs to view and after that you pay for using what you choose.
Now, be extra careful when a Graphic designer tells you that your logo is unique and is custom designed.
Sometimes the online stores are better, because the choices are more diverse and prices cheaper since you only pay for what you get – which could be an e-package of electronic template, or a self design kit 9very easy to install and use).
There is a design program which I believe to be among one of the best to use. It is called Designhill and probably one of the most affordable logo design packages that you can get online. They have a great range of designs – quick and easy to transform your business into a professional appearance without the added costs.
I can talk about logos until the cows come from the moon, but as long as you have some tips of your own now to go off, and either create your own, or use a professional to create your idea.
I am happy to answer any questions, and if you have your own personal experience, please do leave me a comment and share it with other readers.
Have fun designing your logo,