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Graphic Design for Small Businesses

Any business has some level of need for graphic design services. Some business needs for graphic design are simple, while others are more complex. Some examples of graphic design needs include:

  1. Logo design
  2. Business cards
  3. Website design
  4. Printed ads
  5. Truck wraps
  6. Billboards
  7. Apparel


Branding refers to the overall presentation guidelines for all things graphical for your business. Having a well designed logo and branding that takes different presentations into consideration is important.

  1. How will your branding look when it’s scaled down small for business cards or on a letterhead?
  2. How will your branding look from far away? Are your logo, company name and phone number all visible and legible from a distance?
  3. How will your branding look on your truck, van or sprinter?
  4. How will your branding present to people with different eye sight abilities such as the many different types of color blindness, or the ability to read small print easily?
  5. Does your branding have the appropriate level of contract between colors? Colors that do not have enough contrast can bleed together and not be distinguishable in some presentations.
  6. How will your branding look printed on t-shirts, polos, button up shirts or hoodies?
  7. How will your branding look when printed in black and white? Many ads are cheaper if you run them in black and white, or many ad mediums are only available in black and white. So this can be an important consideration.

Print versus screen resolutions

Graphic design also needs to take into account whether it’s being used on a computer or printed on a business card or ad. Both these mediums have very different needs. Screen resolution (needed when your logo and branding are displayed on a laptop or mobile device) uses a lower resolution than print requires. So you typically need both low-resolution and high-resolution versions of your graphics.

print vs screen

Screen resolution tends to be around 75 DPI, while most printed mediums should use a minimum of 300 DPI. DPI stands for “dots per inch”. The higher the DPI, the higher the resolution and the better the image quality.

Hire versus DIY

print vs screen

If your business has the budget, hiring a graphic designer can definitely produce the highest quality results. Just like you, they are experts at what they do and know the ins-and-outs of what works (and what doesn’t work).

Be sure to stay away from low cost options such as websites like The results from using websites like that can often be of very low quality - you really do get what you pay for.

If you’re a small business, or just starting out then DIY might be your best (and possibly only) option. DIY is certainly easier on your wallet, but you risk not presenting your business image as professionally as you could. It can be a good approach to hire a graphic designer for your business logo, and handle the rest of your graphic design needs yourself. A good logo will cost somewhere between $500 and a few thousand dollars.

Canva to the rescue

For DIY needs there are great resources out there like At $14.99 a month Canva is a fantastic option for doing your own graphic design on the cheap.

Canva provides easy to use web based tools for designing all manner of things. You can start your designs from scratch, or start with one of the many (many) templates available for everything from website design, to business cards, to posters, flyers, postcards… you name it, they have it covered. These templates can easily be modified to suit your needs; adjusting colors, fonts, adding your logo, etc.


Canva also offers a treasure trove of shapes, graphics and stock photos that you can use in your designs. Having stock photos included with Canva’s services can be a HUGE benefit, as signing up with another stock photo site is not only an additional cost, but doesn’t offer the seamless integration into Canva that using Canva’s stock photos does.

Canva also offers printing services so you can design and print all in one place. Their printing does tend to be a little bit more than other printing services. But the convenience of designing and printing from the same website can easily outweigh the additional costs.

Whether you have the budget to hire a more experienced (and expensive) graphic designer or use the much more budget friendly approach of going DIY with tools like, be sure to give your branding the attention it deserves, so your business presents itself professionally.