Chances are if you’re reading this, you need a logo. Congrats! You’re about to join the really awesome branded-business-babes-brigade! At the end of this post, we’ll take a proper moment to celebrate your radness.
But first, let’s do real talk.
I’ve been designing logos for babes like you for quite a long minute now, and usually at the start of a project, I get an email with a link to a Pinterest board entitled “branding / logo ideas”. And pretty consistently, these boards all are filled with nearly nothing besides logo after logo after logo. Some are logos from brands, some are pre-made template logos that inspire them— you get the idea.
And I can already hear you saying, “Well duh, Zie. What else would even be in a logo or branding board?”
Literally anything else, please.
When you’re redoing your bedroom, chances are you’re looking at bedroom decor boards on Pinterest. Same for when you’re wanting a new hair style— you’re probably pinning looks that are really similar to the style you’re going for. So you should totally pull up other photography logos when you’re trying to create your own photography logo, right? Nah.
Let’s take a look at what a logo is for a sec. Logos are the visual mark that represents your personal brand. They’re often the first thing anyone sees and help to identify your brand anywhere. And just like your personal brand, your logo should be as unique as possible and represent you. So when you’re bringing a list of logos for other brands to me as your designer, what I’m seeing is a shopping list of frozen dinners, rather then an original recipe. Make sense?
Instead, let’s look to your mood board. What elements would lend themselves to a style or theme for your logo? What’s the thread that’s going to stitch your entire brand’s visuals together into a cohesive, but unique blanket? (Don’t have a moodboard? Now is a great time to make one!!)
SIX REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT A LOGO
1. Keep It Simple Silly- One thing that was drilled into our heads in my college design classes that I 100% agree with: Less is always more. Especially when dealing with logos. The more frills & frippery you add to a logo, the more cluttered and confused it is.
“But I don’t like just text logos” — This is a conversation I recently had with my mother (and one I’ve had with quite a few clients). If you’re the kind of person that wants some kind of icon or graphic element to go alongside the text, that’s totally ok! I know so many people who honestly don’t think a logo is a logo if it’s “just text”.
This all boils down to personal preference. Just remember that your logo is not your advertising!You’ll have a million other opportunities to make sure everyone knows who you are and what you do. Keep it simple.
2. Am I Going to Remember You?- While you want to keep it simple, there is a balance that needs to be maintained. You want to be remembered, and remembered for good reasons too– like having a great logo! So don’t make it bland either. 🙂
This can be achieved in numerous different ways. Your icon or graphic element being interesting and unique, the font you choose, the colors you choose to use (or not use! black and white are totally ok!), or even how you use the logo.
3. Does This Feel too Hipster? – You want a logo that’s going to last a long time. If you’re having to change your logo every year or even every couple of years to keep up with trends (or undo last year’s trends), you’re setting yourself up for failure. Because if we’re being honest, these very trendy logos are all white-washed and completely forgettable.
You’re not setting yourself apart and you’re not instilling any long-term brand recognition with your audience. The logos that are green with leaves on them are usually meant to feel very “fresh” or “healthy” or “green”. And while I’m not saying green logos with leaves are horrible and should be erased from the archives, they’re not really fresh anymore. My advice on this is still to simply avoid looking at other logos for inspiration.
4. What If I Expand My Brand? – So what if you’re currently a wedding photographer but next year you decide you also want to start doing pet photography? That’s totally cool! Unless of course your logo is a camera with wedding bells or wedding rings around it. Then you’re kind of in a pickle.
If instead of starting out with wedding bells, wedding rings and a camera, try something that’s a little more versatile. This will save you time, money and a whole lot of grief down the road.
5. Know Your Audience – Again, if you’re wedding photographer, you’re probably not going to want to have a skull and cross-bones for your logo. Unless you specialize in pirate themed weddings.Then def. do a skull and cross-bones. m/
6. What Does This Say? – The worst thing you can do for your personal brand is to have a logo that is illegible. I’ve seen quite a few logos over the years that use really crazy fonts with zero space in-between the letters (kerning) in a bright color, displayed over bright images. This kind of thing kills me.
If you make it hard for your audience to read, they won’t read it. It’s as simple as that and it goes for everything from the logo to the blog posts, etc. So if you’re worried if your logo is legible, show it to your grandma (or anyone over a certain age). See if they can read it easily and quickly.
These are just a few things to consider when creating your own logo or hiring your designer. (Which, if you need to hire one, get at me, bebes.> ziedarling.com) But as long as you are staying true to your own brand image and avoiding looking at other folks, I think you’ll do just fine.
And now, let’s celebrate! You’ve just joined the really awesome branded-business-babes-brigade! Throw some glitter in the air, listen to some Nicki Minaj and pop open some champagne! Now, let’s go take over the world with some fab logos, babes.