Sunday, January 9, 2011

Branding and Logos - Keeping It Current, Simple and Consistent

Here's how a photographer sees logo development and branding...

One of the many factors as a business person and photographer that is going to separate you from your competition is your branding, your logo, use of your logo and how you convey your message through print and web material.

Design of a Logo

Not every photographer is a designer. That doesn’t mean you cannot turn out an amazing logo that represents your company. Anytime you go into the infant stages of logo design you need to continually remind yourself it is for your company. Many photographers use their names for their photo business. Nothing is wrong with this as long as you can separate the emotional aspect of using your name when designing a logo. The design must capture the target audience you are seeking. Personally, I am in the belief of people either loving it or hating it. If your design falls in the middle of the road where most people critique it with an “it’s ok” I highly recommend going back to the drawing board.

Help! I am Not a Designer
In today’s world of technology and information at your fingertips it is now easier than ever to get a professional logo designed for your company. Initially you may want to start with local high schools, career centers and colleges who have students looking for intern work. This is a great way to get your design cheap and to help start a portfolio for an aspiring designer.

Another avenue includes online design contests such as Hatchwise where logo designers compete for your business.

Here's what they say...

7,546 creatives are ready to help! It only takes a few minutes to
start a project, and the average project gets over 95 entries to choose
from, so what are you waiting for?

Here you can set a project bid price of $100 or more and designers will submit their designs to win your bid. I assume the higher the bid the greater amount of designs may be submitted.

Key Things to Look For in a Photography Logo

Developing an Icon.
An icon will be a stand-alone design that is incorporated with the name of your business.


The nice thing about having an icon is as brand recognition grows for your logo the icon can be used on its own in places where your entire logo may not seem fitting. The icon becomes the recognized symbol associated with your name and or business.

Keeping uniform colors and fonts.

The most important part of your logo design will be the fonts and colors used. These items were selected based on information gathered about your company. The designer determined his color selection and choice of fonts based on that information. It is extremely important to keep your colors and fonts consistent throughout your advertising. Let’s talk colors. For my logo I chose to use Pantone colors.


Pantone color matching system is a standardized color matching system. This allows the different media companies you will deal with to refer to the Pantone matching system to ensure your colors are consistent. For example anytime I have shirts made or embroidery work done using our logo I give the print shop the Pantone colors of our logo to refer to.

Another major concern will be your fonts and ensuring they stay consistent throughout print and web. For web it is really not too much of a worry as you are usually using a compressed file such as a jpeg or bitmap where the font cannot be altered. For print I recommend providing a font layout of your logo.


You can also supply the design shop with the true type font from your font library on your computer. There are ways to embed the font in your design software as well so it is recognized as a curve and not as a font. What this means is when your file is opened by another computer that does not contain your font in its library it will not seek out another choice of font and replace it. It is simply recognized as an object and will remain the same. Every design software has a different way of embedding fonts. I recommend checking the help section of your software to see how to.

Distributing Your Logo
As you begin to distribute your logo for print, web and any other types of design media it is important to have your logo saved in many file types for different uses. Many ad/print agencies will want several types of files of your logo. They will want raster base file types such as jpeg., bmp., png., or even a flattened psd. Raster base files are compressed file types. They are resolution dependent. Meaning as you increase their size they will begin to lose quality, basically like a picture. Another file type that will be used most commonly is a vector base file. Most common file types include AI. (Adobe Illustrator) and CDR. (Corel Draw). A vector based file is unlocked, generally it can be enlarged to any size without losing image quality and the fonts and colors can be manipulated. When a logo is designed, it is generally designed in a vector base format and then saved as vector and raster file types.

Select a Logo that can Withstand the Test of Time

Your logo will take time to catch on and create brand recognition. It is imperative to select or design a logo that can withstand, trends, fads and received by people for decades. Most Fortune 500 companies logos have withstood years of recognition and with minor tweaks remain current. No, you may not a Fortune 500 company yet, but you should think like one.

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