How Style is Applied to your Brand: Logo
Your visual style, once that is established, now, and even if you're still on the road to establishing it, it's okay to develop a brand, I think. I don't think there's any, I know I'm gonna get that question. I'm gonna get that, you know, hey, I haven't found my style yet, should I do a brand? Yes, you can but I always say keep it simple. Like ... For example, my words there were airy, clean, authentic, organic, serene, hopeful. I would make sure that my website had, even if my style wasn't fully developed in my work, you're gonna have your words. So make sure that your brand has the feeling of your words and that will help you graduate through that process of, yes, I'm still finding my style. I think I'm going this direction, hopeful, serene, authentic, airy, clean, organic, but I'm gonna keep my website and my clatter on my materials in that realm but in the safe version of that realm. So, in other words, with me, I just do a simple white background and soft logo. It's nothing major.
It's not so stylized that it takes away from the work and allows the work to speak. Does that make sense? So let's look at your logo. Your logo should encompass your words, okay? Airy, authentic, organic, clean, hope, serene. Now you could probably put a myriad of other words with that too, right? Hand-made. This font is hand-made by my logo designer and I wanted it to look like it took a long time to write out. Why? Because everything we do in our studio has a hand-made appeal to it. It takes a long time. It's custom. It's done with intention. So that's kinda the feeling that I wanted in my logo. I wanted a sense of hope yet femininity. Serene quality. My old logo was very elegant and traditional. It kinda had that formal feel to it and I'm not a formal person at all. So after a while, after seven years, eight years now, I rebranded just last year. And there is a time to rebrand. I mean I'm not saying don't ever change your brand. You've got to at some point especially as your style changes as an artist you don't want to stay stuck in la la land, right? But you don't wanna be changing every year either. So about seven to 10 years is kind of the industry standard. There's no hard and fast rule with that but think carefully. It took me a year. A full year to decide whether or not I should rebrand. So don't do it lightly I guess is what I'm saying. So how many of you are happy with your logo, where it is right now? Do you think it really suits your style? Olivia, you're totally on track. I don't need to worry about you at all. Well, I mean, Belinda's laughing. It's true though 'cause she did just rebrand, she did what you went through this process essentially and she hired a logo designer. Who was that? It was Katie Loerts wasn't it? She's amazing and totally fits you. I almost hired Katie 'cause she's very close to me too. She's a wonderful logo designer and basically built Olivia a logo that just, it screams her, which, to me, takes a serious amount of talent to do that. And that was the right fit for Olivia. There's tons of different logo designers out there. You have to find the one that works for you and that fits your personality and your feeling of brand. So look at their portfolio. Same thing, that whole artist discovery thing. Ask yourself, does their work, their graphic design work, make my heart sing? And which of their logos is my favorite? Why is it my favorite? Analyze and break down just like we did in the four step find it formula, okay? Others of you, did you create your own logo? Raise your hand if you created your own logo. And did you do it at the start of your career? Kinda half way through? Are you happy with it? No, ehhh, it's so hard to create your own logo. I mean, Belinda's doing graphic design and she's trying to create her own logo and it's killing her. She's like I should just hire somebody but I have to be able to my own. And she does it for a living. I mean it's incredibly hard to design for yourself. Okay. Yeah.
Well I won a CreativeLive worst logo business card contest and Lisa Schneider designed my business card and I love it.
Oh that's awesome.
That's awesome, oh my gosh, but how embarrassing to you.
No it wasn't embarrassing at all because I knew it was horrible.
Oh it wasn't, okay, good.
I loved it.
That's awesome that you have the worst business card design contest. (laughter) Did everyone else vote or did she vote? How did that work? She picked? That's very cool. That's awesome. Good for her. So if you're unhappy with your logo, consider changing it but don't take that lightly. Someone once said to be, when you're getting sick of your logo, your clients are just starting to recognize it. So, I know it's hard to sit there with something we can't stand but sometimes it's worth keeping there. And remember, it's your face. How much plastic surgery do you want? You know, before people will stop trusting you. So just, you know, something to consider. An analogy to think about. Yeah?
In terms of like, like beginning with branding, do you think it'd be a good idea to baby like make a small change to your logo, to refine it a little bit?
Yeah, you can, just be careful. I did that and totally messed up. Oh shoot, I wish I had a picture of it. I shoulda put it in the keynote. It's in the bootcamp keynote if you wanna go watch bootcamp when it comes up. But basically I had been given Ashley Jankowski's who works for Braids Get Braizen. Super killer design warehouse now. It literally costs like $10, for them to do your logo now. When I hired her back in 2007 it was like 500 bucks to get my logo and I thought that was the end of the world and now it's like 10,000. But, so I can't afford her now, but she made a beautiful, beautiful logo that was a simple, clean kinda traditional font with Trajan Pro J-I in the middle. I don't know if you guys remember my old logo. It's gorgeous but then I made the stupid mistake of adding that shape around it that was so popular 'cause white house custom miller at keller came out with the die cut business cards, the boutique line, and I love that shape, and I'm like, that's shape so free I can make my business cards the same shape, I might as well put that around my logo too. Ugh, big mistake. I basically chewed up Ashley's beautiful work and made it look horrible. So be really careful about adding elements like that. I would definitely consult a graphic designer before you do that. One of my other students, Brie Chavez, is trying to go through the process of redoing her logo and she was gonna do it herself and just simplify it and then she decided to hire on Belinda and they're going through the process of her logo redesign but she's tried to go through that process and realized it was not easy 'cause she was just hashing up what someone else had done and it, the reason it was complete is because it was complete to make it more simple just didn't work. If that makes sense. So just take the process very seriously and not lightly and I think that's the biggest problem that I see in the industry when it comes to branding and visual presence is that photographers are too quick to decide on a logo. They're too quick to make one themselves. They don't hire a professional and then they end up with something that they're super unhappy with a year or two down the road and they change suddenly which creates a dent, what I call a dent, in their brand. So I know it's expensive to hire a logo designer but this is something that you will have for ten years at least. Ten years. Make sure it's done right, make sure it's done professionally, and make sure you're gonna like it ten years from now. So for me that means, timeless. The best logos are the simplest ones. Nike (raspberry squirt). REI. Nordstrom. The Gap. You think, and it's just clean, simple, you can visualize these logos in your mind. Yet, for some reason, companies think they need these fancy logos and it just ends up kicking them in the booty later 'cause it doesn't suit their brand, they're business has gone in a different direction, they've added a product line that doesn't work with what they're doing. Same with company names. I mean, if you're gonna name your studio something along the lines of, you know, Sweet Pea or Twinkle Toes Photography, or something like that, and you're shooting children, great, that's awesome and it can be super charming and delicious, however, if you have any intention on shooting weddings or seniors or anything later in the future (ki ke boom), you're shooting yourself in the foot. So just be careful and think about it before you haste, indecision. Like I said, it took me a year to figure out if I wanted to do a rebrand and then from there it took another six months to actually do the logo design. It was just back and forth and not so much that it was so much back and forth it was that I had to marinate on the concept she was sending me. I would have to sit with these things for three weeks before I could really go, yes, that's me, no that's not. I had to look at it, put it away. Look at it, put it away. I mean I got sick of it. Like these three concepts, oh my gosh, you know. I'm sure you remember going through that process. It's a daunting process but if you let it take the time it takes then you end up with a logo that you're truly happy with and that you can live with forever.