Logos and branding are important parts of any professional lawn care business but often overlooked or undervalued.
But a great logo can be a catalyst for your business whether you’re just starting out or you’re an industry veteran.
Let’s dive in!
I don’t want to waste your time on the philosophy of logo design. That’s not why you’re here. So we’re going to talk about the brass tacks of what a logo should do for your lawn care business. Sure, maybe it looks good on a shirt but beyond the pride of wearing your logo on your chest, logos serve several functional purposes in your business.
What should a logo do? A logo should...
A logo’s primary job is to convey everything the company is and stands for in a single image. That’s a difficult job. It often takes time and repetition to attach your company’s reputation to a name and image. But you can significantly shorten the amount of time to bind the two together by making it unique and memorable.
When a logo is memorable, it can quickly call to mind the company it represents. And in an industry that is driven by word of mouth and reputation, that instant brand recognition is a massive competitive advantage.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you're in your kitchen one morning fixing yourself a cup of coffee and you hear the soft rumble of a lawn mower being cranked up next door. When you peek out your window, you see a truck parked along the street with the logo of “Tim’s Lawn Care Co.” plastered across the side in a professional, bold type.
You’ve seen “Tim’s Lawn Care Co.” trucks around the neighborhood before. You take a mental note and you go on about your day. Later that week, you’re at a stoplight and glance out your driver’s side window only to notice a bold green sign for “Tim’s Lawn Care Co.” stuck in the median. The grass in the median looks freshly mowed with sharp, clean edges and no clippings on the road. A nice job.
A month later you get a promotion at work and unfortunately, you have to work weekends now. Guess you’ll have to find someone to mow the yard from now on. You go to Google and you type in, “lawn care near me” and “Tim’s Lawn Care Co.” pops up on the first page. Ah, good ol’ Tim. You’ve seen his work. Your neighbors obviously trust him. Do you even bother to look for other options? Probably not. Your time is short as it is, so you call Tim.
I realize that story is entirely fictitious but this sort of thing happens every single day. This is brand recognition at its finest! Tim built up clout and when it was time for a potential client to find a lawn care crew, he was their first call. Be unique. Be memorable. Be like Tim.
A logo’s second (and related) job is to stand out. How often have you been driving through the neighborhood and passed a truck and trailer parked along the side of the road and you didn’t even notice? I guess that’s hard to answer because… well, presumably you didn’t notice. But even if you do notice it, how often do you bother looking at the sign on the side of the truck? Rarely at best. Lawn care crews tend to blend into the background of everyday life which makes it even more important for you to stand out like Tim.
Finally, a logo must look professional. An unprofessional logo makes it harder to naturally build trust in an industry where trust is like a currency.
When homeowners hire someone to mow their lawn, they are giving permission to be in their backyard when they are not home and potentially sharing gate codes.
Homeowners must be able to trust the crew servicing their property. And professionalism is a proxy for trust. Basically that just means it’s easier to trust a more professional looking company because theoretically, they have a reputation to uphold. Professionalism subconsciously encourages trust.
Memorable, noticeable and professional. That’s a tall order to fill! Let’s dive into a few things to consider when creating a logo for your lawn care company.
Surprisingly, colors can convey a lot of information subconsciously. When you think of the lawn care industry, what color comes to mind first? Green, right? That shouldn’t come as any surprise.
But what might surprise you is that you can use those colors to your advantage.
In order to quickly convey “lawn care” to whoever is quickly viewing your logo as they drive by, it might be a good idea to stick with green. But there are a lot of shades of green.
You might not even go with green! Maybe you prefer a bold red or perhaps a clean black and white look is your cup of tea. Consider how the colors you use will work in the different use cases for your logo.
Pro Tip: Don’t use more than 2 colors in your logo. It makes printing cheaper, makes the logo cleaner and makes it easier to read at a glance if someone’s driving by.
While you can generally pick any color and create a great brand with it, fonts are a bit less forgiving. The reason? There are a TON of terrible fonts in the world. My background is design and I can tell you from experience that the ratio of good to bad fonts is something like 1 to 9.
Even if you’re not a designer, however, there are a couple of tips you can use to make sure you’re choosing a great font.
Use a bold weight. Fonts come in various weights like light, regular and bold. If you’re going to be optimizing for readability on the side of your truck or on a yard sign, you’ll want to use a thicker weight in order to help it stand out.
Use “vetted” fonts. This basically means use fonts that professional designers have already found and put their stamp of approval on. You can find great lists of fonts on sites like TypeWolf. You can download our Top 9 favorite Google Fonts at the bottom of this article for free!
Use free fonts. Some fonts you have to pay for. In design-heavy worlds like technology, this expense might be worth it. But for our purposes, we can find some fantastic fonts for free using tools like Google Fonts. You can even use TypeWolf to find lists of the best Google fonts to make your job even easier.
Finally, let’s talk about orientation. A logo can be stacked vertically with the icon above the type. Or horizontally with the icon to the left or right of the type. Sometimes there’s no icon at all and you simply have the type (eg. Google). Other times, there’s no type and only an icon (eg. Apple) but this is typically reserved for brands with a LOT of brand recognition.
It’s a good idea to try to have two versions of your logo - one that’s horizontal and one that’s square or vertically stacked. The reason is to give yourself maximum flexibility when applying your logo across different marketing materials.
For example, at the top of an invoice, it’s probably best to use a horizontal orientation while on a yard sign, it might be best to use a square or vertical orientation.
By the way, if you like the look of that invoice, you can grab that template for free in our How to Price Lawn Mowing Jobs article.
Since my background is design, I’m a bit opinionated about what IS good design. But I’m going to try to leave my personal preferences at the metaphorical door and give you some good advice on what to avoid based on the needs of your business.
Please, for the love of all things good and holy, do not use clip art or cartoons!
Ah sorry… I tried to hold it in. But I promise I have a good reason for being this *ahem* passionate. With the rare exception of breakfast cereals, there are few successful brands that use cartoon logos. They tend to come across as cheesy and the opposite of professional. That being said, if you’re adamant about using a cartoon logo, go for it. I would love to be proven wrong!
If your font looks like it belongs in a tattoo parlor or a comic book, generally it’s a good idea to stay away from it. These fonts are typically more difficult to read and are not very professional. To help you get a jump-start on the process, you can get access to my Top 9 Fonts at the very end of this article!
Icons are the most difficult part of creating a logo because it’s more design-y than the text or colors. This also means it’s the easiest to get wrong. A generic icon like a tuft of grass or a tree isn’t going to stand out from the rest of the lawn care crews in your city.
But don’t worry! In the next section we’re going to cover where you can get a logo and most of the options will make it easy to find or get a great looking icon. And if you’re interested in giving it a go yourself, we’ve included 9 custom, free-to-use icons that we designed ourselves down at the end of this article!
I’m sure you’re wondering, “hey this is great, but I’m not a designer.” Don’t worry! You don’t need to be. We simply want to make sure you know what to look for in a logo. Thankfully, there are several really good (and affordable) options for sourcing great looking logos.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as “creative,” we wanted to help the new lawn care startups out there that might be budget-constrained and are willing to take a DIY approach. So we put together a collection of our top 9 fonts along with 9 custom, free-to-use icons we created just for you guys! You can get access to the collection at the end of this article.
The world has come a long way in the last few years and one of the cool advancements in technology is the logo generator. These are online tools (sometimes free) that will help you create your own logo by providing you with a broad selection of unique icons and clean fonts. Sometimes, they’ll even create a logo for you using artificial intelligence!
Here are a few logo generators you can try:
With Fiverr, you can reach out to a designer and work with them specifically to create a logo. And with 99designs, you can submit your request along with what you’re willing to pay, designers in the community will create their idea for your logo and you get to select the best one out of the bunch!
Freelance designers or design agencies will often be your best bet for beautifully designed, custom logo and brand packages. If you can afford to work with a designer or agency, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option. The downside, of course, is that they will be more expensive than the previous two options I mentioned. It could be an option you save for down the road when business is booming and it’s time for a rebrand.
If this is your first time starting a lawn care business, I’d encourage you to read our [Ultimate Guide to Starting a Lawn Care Business] for a detailed look into sketching out a business model, naming your company, buying equipment, getting your first customers, best practices and more.
After you have your logo designed, there are a few different types of files that you will want to have on hand for different use cases. Let’s break them down.
AI (Adobe Illustrator) and EPS files are vector files which means that they are infinitely scalable unlike a regular image which gets grainy if it’s not a high enough resolution. You can think of vector files as the certified original - you can export any other file type from the vector file at any size. These come in handy if you want to put your logo on a large sign or an enclosed trailer.
A JPEG is your most common file type for images, like the ones you get from a camera. JPEGs are great for a wide variety of applications where a transparent background isn’t required. These are fine for business cards pending the background color.
PNG files are image files like JPEGs but with a very important difference - they can have a transparent background. That allows it to be used in various applications where the background isn’t white like on a shirt or a yard sign with a colored background.
Typically, you’ll get some combination of these files types from a logo generator. And if you’re working with a freelance designer from Fiverr, 99designs or an agency, they should give you each of these file types. But just in case, it’s always good to know which file types to request.