Being a graphic designer is both a blessing and a curse. Ok, hear me out. I frekkin love the fact that I can look at a blank screen and imagine what fonts will work well together and what fun designs I can doodle to create some bad ass art.
The down side? When your a graphic designer its way easier to LOVE someone else's branding that you designed for them rather than your own.
I make a logo for myself, let out a little squeal of delight, order 1,000 business cards with new branding, then just as my cards arrive in the mail I change my entire branding all over again.
Yes, I know, Bad leonora (I give you full permission to mentally slap me across the face) I tell everyone and their mom "if you change your branding keep at least ONE element from your old branding the same, whether its the same colors or the same font so people can still recognize you"
Do you think I practice what I preach?
Wanna go down memory lane with me?
Yellow Heart Art was born January 2011, and I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't realize how important branding was and just quickly threw together a shop banner.
Hi, I'm Leonora, I went to school for graphic designer, and I created the above hot mess of an etsy banner that was displayed in my shop for about 5 days.
I am not proud of this guys.
(old blog header)
(back of old business cards)
(Front of old business cards)
(old etsy shop banner)
I wanted to show more of me in my brand. My personality, my quirkiness, my awesome stache. So the font and the heart from "Round 1" stayed the same but just added a bit of shazam to it.
(front of old business card)
(back of old business card)
(old blog header)
I wanted something "ironic" for yellow heart art, so thats why for round 3 I decided to not have a stitch of yellow anywhere. I wanted to get away from the bright colors from Round 2. I absolutely LOVED the vintage feel of my business cards, but felt as though the old paper look for my blog header and etsy shop would be too much, so I kept the backgrounds white. After a while I was starting to grow tired of my "cutesy" look.
TAH-DAH! Let's see how long this look lasts with me. I wanted to ditch cutesy all together and make it more modern. I wanted something more timeless and "professional" looking. I went back to my original art that I had in Round 1, so I feel as though I am bringing my old school heart back with my new school layout. (is new school even a word? Cause I'm making it one)
Oh and the kicker? Remember that huge craft show Renegade I was telling you about? Yeeeeeeah everything in my booth has "Round 3" branding to it.
Speaking of modern sleek looks I'm sure you all know Heather of Just Lovely Things. She created this subscription service called "Love Club" where once a month you get a box full of goodies delivered to your house from Heather! She puts in there her signature headbands/hair accessories as well as fun samples from her other handmade friends. She wanted an "indie inspired" logo for her Love Club, and this is what I came up with.
Seriously, in love. See? I have NO PROBLEM designing stuff for other people, I know for a fact I will STILL love this logo I designed from her 2 years down the road.
And in all seriousness, with some advice regarding logo branding:
• if your not happy with what you have then just change it up. Pick colors you know you'll love forever.
• Pick something that can work in ALL medias (a logo needs to work both horizontally and vertically. It also needs to look good on a white background as well as potentially a colored one) It's also good to make sure your logo looks great both in color AND black and white AND as one solid color. It you're getting stamp made of your logo odds are it will only be able to be one color.
• Don't use photographs as part of your logo. They're distracting and not clean looking. Also when you make the logo super small to fit on a business card the photo will look blurry and messy.
• Keep a logo simple. It can have some kind of "symbol" in there that is special to your brand. A symbol is usually a simple illustration NOT something elaborate. It doesn't even need to be an actual symbol, it could be something simple like placing words inside of a shape or adding line rules between words. Whenever a client wants me to create some cah-razy logo I try to steer them away from that and create something that has some UPHM but not over powering. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to add all the "bells and whistles" and "bling bling" in other places like your business card design or blog headers. You do NOT want a busy logo.
• Try to stay away from severely scripty fonts. Save those for your wedding invitations. Think about it: Your logo has to work both big AND small. There is a reason why your local paper does not use a script font--at 12pt it gets hard to read. This doesn't mean that your stuck using a "plain" font, there are still script fonts out there that can be read at a smaller size. Worse case scenario if you are really concerned about the font being able to be read on a business card then get a double sided business card and use one side of the card for JUST your logo so it can be at least 4" wide, the other side of the card can have your contact information. boom problem solved.
• Think of your favorite brands. Do you know what the GAP logo looks like? How about adidas? What about coach? Notice a common thread between them? They stand out in your mind because they are simple with bold colors and an easy font. Keep this in mind when wanting your own logo made.
• DO NOT COPY ANOTHER PERSON'S LOGO. A logo is like your finger print. It's an important way of identifying YOU with YOUR company. If starbucks decided that they wanted the nike swoosh as the symbol on their coffee cups you would never know if the swoosh was for nike or starbucks. Sure, you can be INSPIRED but dont flat out COPY. You are only hurting yourself.