First question: do you need a logo?
Yes and no. If by logo you mean lettering for your yoga studio name, then yes. No doubt your studio has a name. If by logo you mean a symbol, drawing, illustration, photograph or something visual in addition to lettering, then no.
Logo / lettering is a personal decision. My view is a symbol or something other than the lettering is not that important. Rather, I believe great lettering is important. Yes, I have an image at the header of this site, but for some of my other businesses, I don’t.
My view: if you have a great idea for a logo symbol/image/illustration, and you can afford getting it created (ordo it yourself), then go for it. If done well, it will enhance your brand. That said, if you use a symbol/illustration/photograph that looks bad and/or doesn’t really make any sense for the sake of having it, then I suggest not using a symbol/image/illustration. Stick with great lettering.
Second question: where to get a logo and/or great lettering for your name?
You have 3 options (4 if you count not getting any lettering at all, but then that would be odd).
1. Do it yourself: create your own yoga studio logo and lettering
There are lots of options here. I’ll outline a few.
- Use a word processing software such as Word to draw something and use a font included. Microsoft Publisher also has some limited ability in lettering and drawing. This is about as basic as it gets. It won’t be spectacular, but it will be cheap. My recommendation is don’t go this route.
- Draw it / photgraph it yourself, then put it into digital format for your letterhead, business cards, web site, etc. You’ll need more advanced software. Consider the following:
- Inkscape (drawing software that is free),
- Gimp (photo editing that is free),
- Picnik.com (online photo editing – free and premium versions),
- Adobe Photoshop (photo editing),
- Adobe Illustrator (drawing / vector),
- Adobe Fireworks (photo editing, drawing, vector), and
- Logomaker.com by HP online ($49.99 for one logo – you create it online).
I’ve used all six of these software programs. I prefer Adobe products, especially Fireworks CS4, but they aren’t free. There’s other online do-it-yourself logo creators; try them out.
2. Buy an existing logo and customize it
Search online for “logos” and you’ll discover many “logo banks” that have existing logos that you can buy. I caution that if you want to customize it, inquire before purchasing how to get it customized with your name and even change the colors. There may be an additional fee for customization. Inquire before buying.
Consider any of the online websites that licence photographs and illustrations such as istockphoto.com , jupiterimages.com , and bigstockphoto.com . That said, ensure before purchasing that you’re purchasing the rights to use it as a logo. Many photograph and illustration licenses don’t permit using them for logos.
3. Hire a graphic / logo designer
The price range for this option is huge. There are online graphic / logo designers who advertise custom logos/lettering for as low as $99. Then there are graphic designers who will charge thousands for what you hope will be a very well thought out and pleasing logo/lettering. Generally, for the low to mid-range price packages ($99 to $500), you get 2 to 4 versions, followed by 1 to 4 rounds of revisions.
Typically you pay extra for stationary, that is, having envelopes, letterhead, and business cards digitally created using your new logo/lettering. In my view, it’s worth adding the stationary package so that it’s all done and you’re ready to go and get your materials printed.
Where to find graphic / logo designers?
- Search in the online search engines.
- Check out freelance sites such as elance.com and guru.com where you can hire freelance graphic designers. This could be a particularly good route to go. Be sure to do your homework and review the portfolios.
- Ask around. If you see a logo/design you like, ask the business owner who did it for them.
Once you have a logo, use it!
Put your logo/lettering on everything in your business. You want your logo recognizable. This means your web site, stationary (letterhead, envelope, and business cards), yoga mats, yoga gear, clothing, pens, cups, mugs, and of course a sign outside your studio.
This is also why it’s a good investment in your time and money to get a logo/lettering you’re pleased with right away. Once you print your stationary and have it printed on your gear and promotional materials, you’re stuck with it.
If you simply do not have the resources to get a logo/lettering you’re happy with, then print the minimal stationary you’ll need and hold off customizing your mats, pens, etc.