When you’re first starting a salon, you’ve got a lot on your mind. Between worrying about whether you have enough chairs, whether your hairstylists are up to snuff, or whether that last order of shampoo actually went through, your logo is likely the last thing on your mind. But once the bleach powder settles, you’ll need to take a moment to consider your hair salon’s brand—starting with your logo.
Understanding your salon's brand
Maybe your salon or spa doesn’t have a logo yet, maybe you’re looking to update the one you have. Either way, creating the right salon logo begins by considering your brand.
When we say brand, we’re not just talking about your marketing. We’re also talking about the way clients perceive you—whether that’s in-person, through marketing, or by word of mouth. So, when you’re thinking about your brand, you need to start with your clients.
- Who are your ideal clients?
- What services are they looking for?
- How are your services better than anyone else’s they might use?
- How should they feel leaving your hair salon?
If you want to be known for your balayage, braiding, or bold colors, you should incorporate those differentiators into your salon’s brand identity. The feelings your services create—maybe modern and stylish or experimental and funky—will also need to come across in your hair salon’s branding.
While your logo won’t be able to communicate all these ideas directly, it should capture their essence. Think of your logo as the heart of your brand—letting clients know who you are and what you offer at a glance.
Once you know who your clients are and how you serve them, you’ll have a better idea of who your competitors are. As you consider your logo, think about what sets you apart from these competitors. Why should clients choose you over them? And, more importantly, how can you showcase that difference in a logo?
Looking at local competitors can also tell you a lot about what not to do with your logo. Are they all dark colors with pops of pink? All clean black and white? All script fonts with scissor symbols? If every other spa and salon in your area has the same look and feel to their logos, you know what to avoid if you want to stand out.
Finding inspiration for your salon logo
While you definitely don’t want to copy your competitors, taking inspiration from trends in salon and spa logo design can give your brand a head start. Depending on the additional services your hair salon offers, looking at adjacent industries—like spas—can help you capture the full scope of your brand.
Pinks and purples are a favorite color choice for hair salons, usually paired with white, black, or grey backgrounds or fonts to balance things out. If you’re unsure whether your clientele is the pop of pink type, simple black and white logos are another popular option.
Spa logos tend to favor soothing, subdued colors all around. Think greys, blues, and greens—all of which can have a calming effect for clients. If you’re looking to create a relaxed atmosphere for clients or offer spa services, consider these colors for your hair salon’s logo.
Depending on the impression you want your hair salon to give off, some fonts will be a better fit than others. If you want your salon’s logo to look modern and minimal, simple sans serif fonts are a winning option.
But if you want your salon to have a more personal, artistic vibe, you might want to give script fonts a try.
And for a classic and classy first-impression, Serif fonts might be your best bet.
This might sound obvious, but scissors are a favorite logo symbol for hair salons for a reason. They tell potential clients exactly what the expect inside and they’re recognizable at a glance. For a slightly less obvious option, wave, swoosh, or curl motifs—which can look like hair—can also quickly communicate what you do to passers-by.
On the more abstract side, you can take some inspiration from spas, who tend to favor flowers and leaves in their logos. Giving off a tranquil, natural vibe, these symbols are more about the overall experience than any particular service.
Of course, while these options can offer some inspiration, as long as your logo suits your brand while staying simple, appropriate, versatile, distinctive, and timeless, you can get as creative as you want with colors, fonts, and symbols—to create a hair salon logo that really stands out.
Creating your salon’s logo
Now that you know everything that goes into creating the right logo for your salon, it’s time to create yours. Whether you choose to hire a designer, buy a template, or build it yourself using an online logo maker, remember to keep these guidelines in mind. By staying true to your brand and what it stands for, you’re sure to create a logo that makes the cut.
Logo design options
Fortunately, there are several options for getting your salon logo designed. 10 years ago you would have been limited to Photoshop, CorelDRAW, or hiring a logo designer (aka your nephew). Today, you can choose from a variety of methods to create the perfect salon logo designed for your business. We’ve listed them below with a few pros and cons to consider:
Buying a logo template is one of the more affordable DIY options, especially for salon owners who may have experience with manipulating layered design files and want to maintain creative control. Websites like Envato Elements and Creative Market are a great place to start.
- Pros: professional design template, cost-effective, source files included
- Cons: need design software to customize, someone could have similar logo
Online logo maker
Online logo makers have made huge waves in the logo design industry over the last 5 years. While most of them use recycled templates, there’s a new generation of smart, intuitive logo makers that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to generate truly unique designs based on your preferences and input. Products like Looka Logo Maker and Brandmark are great examples of affordable, intelligent logo makers.
- Pros: low cost from $20-$200, design a logo in hours instead of days, paid upgrades
- Cons: need an eye for design, may not be exactly as you imagined, still DIY
Logo design contest
Contests or crowdsourcing is a fairly new option for getting a salon logo designed, and many people have had great results. In a nutshell, you post your logo project details on a website, and then several designers submit designs, and you pick your favorite (the contest winner). Websites like 99designs and LogoTournament are some of the original “design contest” providers.
- Pros: many logo styles to choose from, global designers, in-built feedback process
- Cons: can be expensive, potential back and forth to get the design right
Taking the plunge and attempting to design your own salon logo from scratch is totally doable. And luckily there are plenty of graphic design platforms (online and desktop) to equip you with the right tools to get the job done. Canva and Adobe Illustrator are the two most popular graphic design platforms for designing your own logo.
- Pros: full creative control from start to finish, can be low cost if you already own software
- Cons: the most time-consuming option, frustrations with software, have to be a designer
If you have the budget and the time, hiring a reputable design agency or freelance brand designer will almost always generate the highest quality logos. Getting a referral or using agency directories like Clutch or The Manifest to review top rated design companies is a great place to start.
- Pros: professional design from experienced designer, completely original, highest quality
- Cons: the most expensive option by far, not good for tight deadlines or launch dates
Say hello to your new salon logo
Once you have your new logo, give yourself a pat on the back and get ready to share it with the world (or your city)! As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that you create a brand style guide, also known as brand guidelines, before or during your logo design project.
Brand guidelines often contain your specific colors, fonts, and the individual elements of your logo (monogram, wordmark, etc), as well as the rules with regards to their usage depending on the medium (think web, large-scale print, stationary).
Remember: great branding is all about repetition. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel with your new salon identity, take the time to define who your market is, who you are, and what makes your salon different from the rest. Authenticity and consistency always wins.
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