Creating a brand for a small business presents its own unique set of challenges and rewards. The limitations (often budgetary) means the designer often has to think laterally to produce work that is both functional and that has the necessary impact. You are being asked to create work that instantly creates rapport and establishes identity, often from a standing start. Design is frequently the first impression a potential customer has of a business and it is vital, even more so for a small business, that it works.
It was with these thoughts in mind that I picked up a copy of Introducing: Visual Identities for Small Businesses. Itself a beautiful book, it also has plenty of examples of stunning design that are highly effective. Taken as a whole, it really shows how creativity does not depend on a large budget, but one particular example of design stood out for me.
Copenhagen Parts are a small company making bike parts in the (bicycle nuts) Danish capital. Their branding is instantly recognisable, simple and, thanks to the clever way it relates to the core business, far more likely to stick in the memory. Missing elements from the (still readable) text indicate missing bike parts. So simple yet so effective, it is a great example of design that transcends the limitations placed on it. The branding is simple enough to be easily rolled out across wider platforms (packaging and a funny and functional on-brand Christmas card stand out).

I love the design because it shows how a little work and outlay in the first instance are so important to not only help foster identity but also can go on to generate real value.
Small businesses might not be able to afford to pay an agency to create and name a new logo, but if they are serious about generating a positive image as they try to grow they should demand creativity from their design partners.