We are excited to share a guest post from Katerina Kohlwes, principal designer of Mindful Design Consulting, a leading interior design firm based in San Diego, CA. Mindful Design Consulting branded over 300 small businesses, many of which are dessert shops, within the last 13 years in business.
The following article was inspired by two trends in dessert shop businesses. First, more shops are changing hands. Second, existing shops are aging, with quite a few celebrating a decade in the business. Both are good reasons to consider a slight or a full rebranding.
When creating a brand identity for your new coffee shop, coming up with a logo may look surprisingly difficult for its small scale. The reason is that your logo needs to capture in a few simple elements what your business is all about and, in addition, communicate this in a second or less.
Designing a logo that is unique, authentic and effective is part of creating a strong brand that sets you apart from other coffee stores. To help you with this process, here are a few things you should consider.
The Message Behind Your Logo
Before starting to work on your logo, you must have a clear idea of what message you want to send and how you want to be perceived by your potential customers. Is your coffee shop a nostalgic throwback to the '50s parlors meant to evoke cozy images of family and friends, and stories shared over a sweet treat? Is it a cool socializing place for young customers and Instagram enthusiasts? Is it a destination place meant to awe your clients with unique interior features, or a new way of making or displaying drinks? Answering such questions is essential for choosing the logo elements to which the right target audience is likely to respond.
DIY vs. Professional Logo
This is the inevitable question that, sooner or later, you will end up facing as a business owner: Should you design your own logo or employ the help of a professional? Sometimes “designing your own logo” means relying on an overconfident friend or relative that seems to enjoy graphic work and is willing to do it free of charge.
Our answer is simple. If you are artistically inclined and have proved yourself in other artistic endeavors, you can try your hand in creating your own logo. However, you need a set of graphic design tools and the knowledge of how to use them properly.
The downside of doing it yourself is that you may end up spending valuable time on a task that would take a professional much less. Delaying or unnecessarily lengthening the brand creation process and pushing aside other responsibilities may in fact cause you to waste money in the long run. If you want to save money, but do not trust your own designing abilities, look for online logo designers. They are usually less expensive than those who own a studio, but can provide quality work.
Choosing Your Color Scheme
Your logo color scheme expresses much more than just your personal chromatic preference. Different colors and hues create different emotional responses, so you have to consider how the human eye responds to them. Blue, for instance, is associated with calm, while red with passion and energy. Black is sophisticated, while sunny yellow appeals to kids.
Dig a little deeper into color psychology and discuss with your logo designer the emotions that you want to inspire in your customers. Your color scheme also ties in with the message you want to convey. Are you a casual place where people come to relax, one centered around children, or a high-end shop with exquisite presentation? The best thing about designing a logo for a coffee shop is that the fun colors of your drinks are a great source of inspiration and can find a way into your final product.
As much as possible, choose a color combination that is uniquely yours. Avoid using more than three colors and pick some that match, or that are different shades of the same color. This will keep your message clear and the logo visually pleasing. Remember that your logo colors can make or break the final effect. Since you should use them for all your marketing collateral and even your interior design, choosing the wrong colors can dramatically impact the very success of your business.
Graphics vs. No Graphics
While the easiest way is to choose a text-only logo, a text-and-graphic combination is more effective and memorable. The mistake, however, is to imitate what other businesses do instead on concentrating on what makes you unique.
To avoid this, consider what comes to your mind when you think about your business. What is the first image you see? This is a good place to start when trying to create a brand identity that is true to you, your business and your mission.
Choosing a Font
The font you pick for your logo should express your brand’s energy and personality, while creating an immediate positive emotion in both old customers and someone who sees it for the first time. Besides being clear and easily readable against any background, the font needs to agree with the graphics used in the logo. A large, heavy image, for instance, is best complemented by a thicker font, while smaller images or delicate icons require the use of a more graceful, dainty text.
Keep in mind that your logo will be used on all graphic materials and marketing collateral, whether digital or printed. Choose a font that looks as well on your business cards as it does on your website, mobile applications and social media accounts. Avoid intricate, complex fonts that do not perform well across different mediums.
By considering all the above, you can create an effective logo that is a strong symbol of your business identity. Enjoy the fact that, as a coffee shop owner, you are moving in an environment meant to bring joy and create warm memories. This should translate into a fun logo design that, by just using the right graphics, colors and fonts, can instantly open the appetite for your sweet treats and promise a good time.
If you are thinking to open a new business or are in the process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.