startupbritainThe design community is currently having a hash tag frenzy over David Cameron’s latest mistake. The ‘Start Up Britain‘, (in their words) ‘a new campaign by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs’ has just launched a website with supposedly handy advice. The section which advises on how to start up, suggests you source a logo from sites such as US crowdsourcing site 99designs.com. Have a look at their introductory video if you want to get angry enough to punch your fist through a wall.

Examples such as this and the funding cuts are displays which are becoming all too familiar to the art and design community. According to this, all a logo is a pretty picture to stamp your business with. We understand that small business start-ups have limited budgets to invest in their brand, but with many designers in many regions having SME enterprises themselves, there seems to be a massive gap here. A strong brand identity has a huge impact on small businesses – we were reminded of this recently when one of our clients told us “Branding is not the same as logo design. The process was nothing short of a total redefinition of what the company is and what we do.”

As the number of small businesses grows steadily, we should be teaching people the need to create not just a logo, but a brand. A strong identity is one of the key ways to help people understand your offer, and to differentiate yourself in a difficult market place where unfortunately well over half of SME’s fail in their first year.