When it comes to designing a brand for a small business, I don’t recommend following trends just for the sake of following them.

If you do follow a trend – whether it’s a logo design trend, font trend, or color trend – just because it’s hot right now, then you risk having a brand identity that will look dated in a few years. Remember all those swoop/swoosh technology logos back in the late ’90s? Those companies either look dated now, or they’ve had to redesign.

Making your brand last is one of the most important considerations for a small business. Why? A bunch of reasons, actually.

– Designing a brand takes a lot of thought and effort – and to design a good brand, it’s usually not exactly inexpensive, either. Better to do it once and get it done right the first time.

– Once you start using your brand, you’ll start building “brand equity” for your business. Brand equity is basically a fancy way of saying that your brand becomes valuable for your business because your customers start to remember your designs, trust what your designs and your business stand for, and your brand starts to build credibility for you. You don’t want to lose this brand equity down the road, or to switch your designs out on your customers and prospects because that can alienate them from your business.

So, how do you know what your brand should look like?

Instead of basing your brand on trends, or avoiding the trends that you see just because they’re trendy, what you need to do is to choose a design that reflects the personality of your business. If you base your designs on who you are, what you do, what makes you different from your competition, and trying to communicate those three factors to your best possible customers. If some sort of design trend, or trendy color, happens to communicate those factors for you, then go for it!

An Example

One current trend in logo design is shields, according to Logo Lounge. But, instead of being a trend-based logo, a shield makes symbolic, brand-definition-based sense for this company. This virtual assistant provides protection for small business owners against arduous administrative tasks – hence the shield.