PHOTO: Suzie's Farm/Flickr
Jesse Frost
July 22, 2016

Branding is valuable on every scale. From the grocery store to the farmers market, it helps your customers quickly recognize a food source they can trust. One of the biggest mistakes farmers make is not giving enough credit to the importance of their farm logo. Creating, updating or going so far as to redesign the farm logo, as insignificant as it may sound, might just be the business move you need to prepare for the increasingly competitive world of small-scale farming.

Why A Farm Logo is Important

Any businessperson will tell you, regardless of scale, logos are important. Let’s say you put up flyers all over town about your CSA. Someone who has seen those flyers and wants to buy a share can then recognizes your farm name and logo at a market and begin ask you more about it. We’ve seen this play out on our farm time and time again. A customer says, “Oh, I’ve seen your flyers, and I’ve been meaning to call you.” They may never have gotten around to calling us, but fortunately, they recognized our logo and that started the conversation. We’ve added many loyal customers because of this.

Once customers see your logo, it has to make enough of an impression to stick, even if they forget to call or just aren’t sure about it. Having a nice, recognizable farm logo that they see everywhere will eventually lead them to you.

What Makes a Good Farm Logo?

Big brands make different types of logos for different situations: with words, without words, with slogan, all together, and so on. Because you might have to pay someone for their design services, shoot for one solid logo that you can use everywhere—at least to start.

The most important thing your logo needs is your name. If you have a clever farm name, then it may need nothing else, but having an image attached helps draw customers in. This image should be bold but not complicated. A barn, a cow—something that represents you.

Some logos contain slogans, which can be nice, but I say keep it slick and simple. If it’s too cluttered with words, it will not stick with the customer.

Where to Look for Designers

If I didn’t have a talented artist as a wife, I would have had to find someone to design my logo. It’s important enough that designing it myself would have been a mistake—and, if I’m being honest, a disaster.

Googling “farm logo designers” will overwhelm you. It did me. There are sites where you can design your own, and sites that offer quotes. It’s a lot. Some of them, I’m sure, are good. but in trying the design your own, I found them to be too simplistic and lacking in individuality. Plus, they still take having at least a partial eye for design, which I do not.

If it were me, I would search Instagram for small designers. This is a great tool for meeting people, so why not use it to connect with talented young artists to help with your design? Look at the logos of your favorite farms and ask them who did theirs. Search relevant hashtags, like #farmlogo or #logodesign. Connecting through social media may be more affordable than going through an expensive design firm.

How Much To Pay For A Good Logo

A good farm logo should run you somewhere between $100 and $300, give or take. (Make sure the designer quotes you up front.) That may sound extreme if you’re just a small-time farmer, but you should only ever have to do it once. You may also be able to trade for it—trading always being the best option in my mind. You don’t need a thousand-dollar logo unless you are planning to be in supermarkets all over the state or country. Scale it to your market and ambition.

How Often Should You Update?

You may never need to update your logo, per se, but you may want to have it redrawn, or touched up, keeping the basic design mostly in tact. The idea is to retain enough of the original idea that people will still recognize it despite the updates. Trends and perspectives change, so keeping it up-to-date is important. Maybe right now people are really gravitating towards something earthier and less glossy, but in the five years want something slightly more industrial. Never be afraid to rebrand a little—keeping things fresh will keep fresh customers coming in.


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