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Brand Your Creative Business

Lesson 15 of 22

Your Visual Style Guide: Your Logo

Megan Auman

Brand Your Creative Business

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

15. Your Visual Style Guide: Your Logo

Lesson Info

Your Visual Style Guide: Your Logo

So now let's talk about your logo so I'm a firm believer it and that your logo should be the secondary element for identifying your brand. Your products need to be first, and we talked about creating that aesthetic recognition for your products it's okay, if you don't have a logo or I should say it's okay, you don't have a graphic low if right now what you have is ah version of your name that's fine it's not the end of the world because at the end of the day, if you're trying to decide between focusing your energy on creating a logo or developing stronger products, develop stronger products go for that first, but your logo can become a signifier for the emotional connection your customer feels to your brand. We see logo's for really iconic brands, and we're drawn to that so much so that I actually just read a stat it's a little bit sad so it might not make the best point, but it was something like most kids before the age of five kan identified twenty brand logos but not ten plants or ...

animals that are indigenous to the area a little scary it's a little bit scary, but that's the thing is we do have these strong connections to logos we see them and we do make that so having the logo can really help you your logo could also help people know what to expect from your brand, so the logo immediately is going to give us again a small set of visual cues, you know, my logo it's kind of got that sense of, like, energy to it, like, you know, that this is going to be, like, a little bit in your face that's not going to be, like, pretty and relaxed and then right that's, not my brand. So you're lok and help people see that you're lobo can also help people, you know, if they see and they recognize that could help them feel connected. So, you know, I think lulu lemon is an example of a brand that does this really well, so you're out there and you're on the jogging trail and you see someone else or you're in yoga class and you spot that little tiny lululemon circle and you're like, yeah, they shot their two right, especially in the early stages of that brand, when not everyone knew about it, seeing that little logo was like, hey, we're in the same club and that's what a logo! Khun dio so where will you use your logo? Where is that going to come into play, will it appear on your products? Or just on your packaging and promotional materials, so this is an important consideration. So are you guys putting your logo? You're putting your logo on the product didn't make sense, right? You have, like, a branded tag that you're using cathy, are you put it there's like a card and things that have my local attached to the canvas so that you're actually attaching it so that if they flip it over, they say in the plastic package oh, god, it's, just so yours is like a window sticker or sticker. Yeah, yours is the case. I would make sure it's on the actual back of the canvas or back of the van or whatever that you see that and I think years is also a case where you might want to develop some kind of logo signature tight mark, that goes on the front of your prince that, you know, an artist signs their work, and you're kind of in this interesting position where you're working as glimmer of gold, as opposed to your name, are you are you signing here in what I do with you? Yeah, I have, like, a little crystal, usually sometimes on the bottom, like a little swarovski or something, and then right next to it's, my signature, but it's, usually just it's a smaller it's kind of I guess it could kind of be branded that way because that's how I signed things a lot right it's like like your m a okay yeah anything yeah, the only thing that you might want to think about that is that that if you're using your name and then the brandis glimmer of gold and they're looking at that are they then trying to search for you or the brand yeah see, I was also struggling with that because yeah unsure if I should use my name or that when the glimmer of gold actually sparks an emotional run like right response as opposed to my name so I don't know theo what was the reason behind not using your name to identify your art you save like you needed the brand um yeah and then and then I because I was going all over the place in my mind it was like I want to do this don't do that and then I was thinking that would be good to have my name just because I was reading a lot on in a lot of I hear a lot of people saying that I mean if you want to branch out to other things it's kind of good to just have your name so than you I mean same with you, right? Did your jewelry right? I kind of wondering if that might actually be you know a better option for you actually just to use your name because we talk to you in a previous segment about when people hear glimmer of gold everyone thought jewelry give me aly and when they come to your site and they're expecting jewelry and they're not seeing it it's confusing so maybe by using your name then you could still use kind of this idea of like glimmer of gold is it might not be the tagline but it kind of comes into play but I think in your case because you're producing art and you're producing those types of products your name might be the better fit for you yeah, I know it has been so debating and then you know it's just something that I think given the kind of confusion that we're hearing her and glimmer of gold that might be the way to go I but I mean I have the domain name for my name yeah, I mean and I think it sounds easy to spell yeah happy mcciane come but I found anything with it yet yeah, I think that that might be the stronger and then you can work on right creating those marks where you're signing it that's it sign your name and then they come looking for you I think that makes more sense for you what do you know what you guys the other audience members think we're gonna workshop this now yeah yeah, I know but now that you're saying it out loud and yeah, it doesn't make sense it's because how would you sign it otherwise glimmer of yeah you know, sometimes I'll do glimmer called by kathy mcciane then I'll incorporate it but then that was too long it was like that's a lot to put on like that yeah, I think it makes sense to go by your name and your case so then you can start to think about what that logo mark that reflects your signature. Yeah, maybe it could be like glimmer of gold could be a collection that's true. Yeah, yeah, it could be because you're going to go away so you're that could pay for your artwork yeah, you can use it. I think you don't have to give that up completely, but I think, uh yeah, well, thank you. All right, so if you're using your logo so then the other thing is will it be a focal point or will it be a maker's mark? So if you're going to put your logo on your product, is it gonna be yeah, I think of it like the nike swoosh on your t shirt versus like the lululemon little tiny element, right? So where you going to use that if you're using in your products and then you also have to think about where your logo is going to appear online are you use it on your website? Are you going to use it on your social media? You can use it in advertising where's the need to live because that's going to dictate you scale size shape you know for a long time part of the reason I did that logo redesign is because I had that you know, the long version of my name there's not a lot of places online we're having a long version of a logo is useful to me, right? I can't use that as the fabric on my website it's it's kind of cumbersome uh and actually because of the proportions of mine I couldn't even use it in a place like an etsy shop because that g israel law it was an awkward logo part of the reason I did the redesign is it wasn't fitting in a lot of places, so where do you have to put it? Don't you don't you put it on all of them you d'oh but you have to think about like what those spaces look like is it square is a rectangle? Yes, the answer to that is yes, all of them but you have to actually imagine what those spaces look like because that's going to dictate the proportions and the scale on things like that? Yeah, good question so what makes a good logo? It works on multiple scales, so I talked about the fab akane and the billboard, so fab akane is that little little tiny logo that happens right at the top of your girl, right? Uh, it's actually really important, because if you're using pinterest and you're using rich pins, it shows up on all of your rich pins, so it's actually a really important, teeny tiny little signifier of your brand, then maybe works on your web site. I don't have any billboards, but I do have a big sign that hangs in the back of my trade show booth, so it has to work on those multiple scales that's the first consideration, it should also be readable at a distance and at a glance, so if you're looking at it from far away and you've used a lot of little text that's not going to be readable from a distance, it should also work in black and white or single color, so you shouldn't have to always print it in a lot of colors to have it work as a logo. It should also work without text, so if you don't use the text in your name, do you still have a good visual graphic logo? I also think it should translate to other materials if I wanted teo take my logo and cast in concrete or laser cut it out of metal I could do those things with it those would all work so you're not just stuck to something that you have to print on something you can you can do that and it should have a few options for variation you know I showed you guys in my logo I've got the version that's the letters silhouetted inside the circle so I've got those two different versions and I can use it again with or without text so you want to have a little bit of room to play it's always going to be consistent you're still going to see in my case that m a but there are times where that variation is really essential so then the other question that comes up when you're thinking about logo is should you d I y or should you hire a designer right? We're pretty d I y people here I think a lot of us and so that's our first kind of gut instinct and so when you're thinking about logo design I think you have to think of three kind of key elements first of all do you have the aesthetic knowledge like do you have a good design sensibility if that's not an area that's really good for you let a professional handle it right it's okay it's okay to hand that job off now again you're building all of these fantastic tools here in this class so you can take to that professional your mood board and the rest of your visual style guide and your products and you can say these are the elements of my brand now you know, put together that logo for me so do you know so you can bring all of those elements to a graphic designer and go ahead and you work with them to create that then do you have the skill set? Do you have the knowledge to actually sit down and create a logo that you can use in multiple spaces like I mentioned there's a great video that I put together is a bonus for this class, so if you've not used illustrator, you're not sure what I'm talking about when I say put it an illustrator and make a vector file, you can actually watch that video I put together that tutorial, but I know there are some people who are like I don't want to mess with illustrator I don't want to mess with that it's not it's not I'm not a computer person I want to make things that's fine hire someone and then do you have the time you might have? Theus said acknowledge you might have the skill set, but if you're sitting down to design a logo and like you're staring at that blank paper like I have no idea a new kind of time to work through a lot of design iterations to get to where you need to go, you're like I have product to make I have stuff to ship, I got things to dio hire someone, let the pro do their job so you could really go either way. I did mind myself, but it was just part of kind of who I am and what I wanted to dio just is happy to hire it out if it makes sense for that we're getting any other questions online. Besides, yes, I should falling down from maggie j and I thought it was quite interesting. She makes jewelry and she uses a lot of blue stones in her work, so she loves that whole royal and navy blue palette. But I'm wondering my logo on brand color should be different in order to contrast or can I go with blue? Is the main it to tie it all together? That's ah, really good question my gut instinct says go with contrast, but I also think you have to think about again. What are the other elements of your brand like my gut? Says contrast, because I'm a big contrast person, I like that, but you may really wantto own that color, so think about what makes the most sense for your brand, but again, my god does say contrast in color would be better even if it's not like I'm not saying contrast is and you have to use orange use blue but just a different color that would help it stand out now three year had interesting questions saying how do you know of a design element will be timeless or indeed just too trendy? Because thing is she's working the logo right now? And she she was really king on arrows but she's wondering even arrows going teo years time be out of date but companies to update their logo's regularly yes oh that's a great question so first of all, yes, companies do update so it doesn't have to be timeless it's a cz long as it can last at least like five or ten years now that said, if you're asking that question about something a particular element there's probably a good reason that you're thinking about and I think with something like arrows it's being used a lot right it's an element that you're seeing a lot and that makes it hard to differentiate your brand as well. So my gut instinct is if you think it's not gonna be timeless, maybe not use the element because do you really want to have to update your logo right? So ah lot of times if you look at like the really iconic logo's, they aren't using existing shapes their inventing new oh design elements and I think that's what keeps it timeless is you know if you look at it the swoosh even though clearly there's a time period where that really like was bigger than it might be now they didn't use something that existed they made up a shape and I think that's what keeps your logo timeless is when you're making up those elements instead of using things that already exist now obviously for your own business you if you've shortened your logo is actually just emma now ten sparrow events eyes saying so would it be okay to shorten their business named their businesses tin sparrow events but a lot of people just call it t s but he's concerned that that would then cause potential to lose that memorability yeah the logo doesn't have to be your entire name and in fact if you again look at those really iconic logo some of them don't even have the letters so you're not going to start referring to yourself as t s in on your website you're still good it's going to say somewhere of ten sparrow but yeah, your logo can just it doesn't have to be the entire word it can be you know a few letters turned into that graphic element for sure great thank you awesome all right so now I actually want to take a look at some of our visual brand elements from our studio audience kind of go on to their websites and talk about some of those things that are working and not working, and I know a lot of you are kind of going ahead in some big design shifts, but that's ok, we're gonna we're gonna talk about them and maybe talk about, you know, what makes sense to keep in that design shift and what we want to let go of. All right? So we're going to take a look, uh, kathy's first and kathy so now we're sort of talking about maybe shifting the name, but I think in your case, some of these design elements will probably stay. So you have, um, you know, you're you talked about that black and white, but you've kind of muted that pallet here a little bit wasn't her reason for that, or I mean, because I haven't really quite updated this so long, I liked the brightness, but I just I feel like my work, it is kind of transformed, I do love the bright colors, and I don't want to be to be too overpowering that it doesn't reflect that kind of muted side. So it's, I mean, I do have my style is like so varied it's kind of think, I think I know I need to means kind of narrow it down to some kind of particular look and I think what I'm seeing here when I look at your website and I look a kind of your elements is I do feel like there's a cohesiveness here I am saying that I just think it's a little shifted from what we're seeing on your mood board so the colors are a little bit a little bit brighter I think than what we're seeing before so in your case I think it's going to be just uh something about your kind of shifting that color palette a little bit about a lot and just a little bit andan actually coming in and really creating those the brand elements the logo mark that makes sense really kind of developing those so I don't think you have very far to go on your visual branding in your case I think where where the shift needs to happen and we talked about this a little bit before is in this kind of like inconsistent messaging that you had happening on part of the way that you could actually fix that I think we're looking at your site in your elements is that you've got three different areas where you had to put text and so you felt you had to say something in each of them, right? Yeah and so that's why you're trying you're trying not say the same thing and it's coming off isn't consistent to think in your case let you know if you're going to use text let it be that script text that you're already creating and don't worry so much about the blocks of text on your home page so I think that I would like in the slide show I like let it speak for itself but that speak for itself without having to worry about maybe some of all of this down here okay, I think that's the only thing that's distracting from what I think is actually a pretty good visual pop once we kind of knew apply those other elements yeah so we're going we're going to talk about that a separate peace when we called in another segment but I think in general you know once you kind of just a shift that color palette slightly and then you really get that kind of logo mark and the name I think you're pretty close to being there for sure all right? So let's take a look at uh all right so now we take a look at sarah now sarah, I know you have aa lot of shifts to make in your so is this the logo that you were talking about the graphic designer clearly entire she did the entire thing and then she also made an s b d a little one okay, so um and does that appear doesn't appear on your block either just appears I just stuck it on there I don't I don't block much okay um so I mean, obviously and after I took your selling to retailers class I got a spotify website so I'm kind of I've got it and I've got a template and okay, I've got in my head what I you know see your new colors but now I'm gonna have to change the name right everything's going to be different so you're really kind of coming in and starting from scratch so I think you know what I like about what happened and what's happening in your logos that sort of playing with that that pierced element but it could actually I think be stronger still, you know, so as you're evolving the logo to the next iteration, you know what I would actually really love to see is if the background of your site became that charcoal gray or became that kind of that warm gray gets warm grace what we're talking about and then the logo looks like it's coming from behind and that's got that kind of that red glow that we're talking about I think that's going to be stronger and then figuring out you know, what's the version of your logo that you can use without the text so is it the three flower combination? Is it a single flower combination? No is that in that we like flowers do you feel right do you keep the flowers is there a better visual representation and I think there might be you know is there something I wouldn't go so literal as just to say like do a butterfly because we're talking about evolution but is there a different flower or a different element or even you know, one of these elements that you think is a stronger representation of your brand that flower actually was the original my first saw piercing that comes from I have a whole lot of my older stuff with that flower so that's where that came from do you still feel like it's important no it's not important I feel like if I'm changing the name it all it all can go and and I already know that I want my website to be what you know it's going to be completely different than this okay, great. So yeah so you're gonna we're gonna start your own start fresh on yours kind of a little part of you that you and we're gonna talk about that strategy stuff a little later so well, I know that probably by the end of today ah lot of you both in the studio and online are going to feel like so much work to dio like american just gave me so much homework on dh we're gonna talk about strategies for that so by the end you won't feel like oh, I don't do next we're gonna pull it all together then at the end okay, so you guys also monica have a lot of it's weirdly formatting is it well that give together one is usually all orange but that's weird oh it's actually it's it's coming up a little weird here because it's actually all that color on my composure so yes so it is coming but this does kind of you know, beg something the point that you know you do need to check things on multiple things I'm not sure why it's doing that yeah um so you guys are really gonna probably start from scratch here totally um and I'm guessing probably the logo is also what do you thinking that if you're if you're renaming or you think you're something I was supposed to be like an abstract bottom right? And so now I think that way ah, s o now we'll probably go with something I don't know like an l and I s so we were gonna talk to we're probably going to go with my my daughter olivia's nickname is live so we'll probably do live in lila ok and maybe do like l plus l kind of thing as a logo something really simple yeah, I think that you can like yeah, I think again on and maybe it's a case where it's not like it's it's the two letters without even a plus behind it because I think again if we're thinking about like even though you're making a kid's product, you're trying to position yourself as this sort of more higher and fashion space right? And so there is obviously a big you know, multiple letters interacting happens in the fashion world so I'm not saying you know, copy something that already exists but you might you might want to play with the interaction of those two letters a little bit more instead of keeping them spaced separately maybe like them facing our oh, I like that that's nice like your logo now it looks like it could be two wells you could play with that that's true you could so it sort of transitions instead of being such a big leap but I think to you know, kind of what we're looking at your brand elements you everything is I think a little more cute see then you're gonna end up right? Yeah, and can you toggle the homemade this yeah, so if you were going to hit it one time does it? It doesn't wantto toggle for some reason so interesting it might just be in s o I was it was at various of how we have like this are the images of product if it made sense to you but uh but yeah, I think that you're you know you're probably gonna have to end up redoing a lot of this tonight and I think that you know you talk about your probably still gonna use the quadra coil is an element right that looks yeah and obviously it's not looking right here but I think that can still work as an as an element for you but I actually kind of one or two for you if the this like san sara font is the right way to go if you actually might want a serif fund that's got the that feels a little more like up brand like the funds that have the little things on them that's the sheriff I don't know what that is ah it's like times new roman is a serif font it's got the little like luke not loop little line offend you didn't recognize it if you stay but so I'm wondering if again like picking the more sort of upscale fonts as well I think that's probably where you're going with everything is like yeah taking the brand and the design and just bring everything up a notch so that again it feels a little more expensive and also I think feels a little more chic um because I think it's right now you're sort of fighting that like you were trying to stay cute see but chic and I think if you're going to say like I want the mom to feel stylish and put together we needed to teach the cute see, ditch the qc and just commit to it. So because I think ultimately, at the end of the day, it's is a product for the mom that's really, who its foreign not making her life easier and so really focusing on that kind of ditching the qc and up leveling everything I think will really help always been very supportive of all of our students. So thank you for your comment and they're saying they've been googling sweet cheeks while we wait. You don't come up, they're saying there's a lot of really inferior products that come up way before you do, right? Yeah. So it's go sweet cheeks, dot com find us, which is another thing that makes it so confusing because go is not at all and right, right? Yeah. And that is, I think, that's, you know, that goes back to that very initial kind of naming conversation is if the domain's not available that's a big problem nowadays, if you have to do these weird variations of your domain, it's very confusing to people. So I think that the whole new branding piece is going to be really great for you guys, yeah, thank you, awesome.

Class Description

Every small business owner shares two common goals: increasing sales and marketing more effectively. One of the most powerful ways to achieve these goals is to define and tell the story of who you are as a creator. That story is your brand, and a strong understanding of how to tell that story to your customers will take your business to new heights.

In Brand Your Creative Business, you’ll explore what makes your business a unique brand and find ways to share it. You’ll learn about implementing a brand strategy and growing and protecting it. Megan Auman will teach:

  • Why branding matters
  • How to define your brand
  • Storytelling to promote your business
  • How to develop a strategy to implement your plans

You’ll leave this course equipped and energized to create a strong, consistent presence in every aspect of your company – from packaging to customer interaction and beyond. You’ll also develop the confidence use colors, logos, and fonts to reflect your style - even if you’re not a designer

Whether you’re an Etsy seller looking to grow or an occasional crafter trying to build a full-time business, this course will give you the tools you need to connect with customers and sell more products.


a Creativelive Student

I was drawn in immediately. Megan's ability to tender precise, goal-oriented, and REAL life experience-infused information is what captivated me the most...AND...I logged in 30 minutes late on the first day of her class. I am excited to know that her course is STILL available, and on sale a couple of days after it aired live. TY CreativeLive for this opportunity; it is truly a gift to myself which will keep on giving...I have often used storytelling to build my brand, but Megan's guidance has given me a structured approach, which I really needed. Paying it forward, and sharing her amazing course with others will be a joy, as I feel an obligation to others I know, and those I have yet to know, all who will benefit from her plethora of carefully cultivated information. Her use of emotional connections to build a brand, and to reach a solid audience based on one's authentic voice is clear, clean, and easy to follow. Thank You Megan Aumen!


This is such a great class! Great content, great advice, great examples...great, great, great!! I'm so happy that I have a clear path to create a great brand for my business. Very empowering! I especially love the bonus information, especially the video on how to make your own logo in Illustrator. Exactly the information I've been looking for. Great job, Megan!

Laura Captain Photography

I'm in the process of launching a creative business and this class was what I was looking for. With procrastination and indecision cast aside, I will now confidently plan and carry out a productive and well organized branding strategy of my own. Before this class I felt somewhat confused and overwhelmed by all the miscellaneous branding information I had been trying to piece together. Even though I already knew some of the information she covered in the class, she put her own spin on it, gave some great examples and put it in an easy to follow plan. I particularly liked the segments related to naming your business and social media branding because I had a lot of questions on those topics. I'm very excited to get started with branding my business and I'm so glad I took the time to go through Megan's class, it will be so worth it in the long run. A big shout out to Megan, I love your business branding, your jewelry and your teaching style, great work!