[If you are reading this post and have not yet read part 1, pause here and read the first part on branding. : )]
Now that you have done some introspective thinking, let’s talk about how to apply your answers to your business name and logo.
Picking a name for your business can be one of the hardest or one of the easiest parts of building your brand. For some, it’s as simple as putting “photography” at the end of your first and last name. For others, it takes hours of brainstorming and terrible ideas before you come to “the one.” If you are a single woman, I would advise that you choose something that either does not involve your last name or your name at all. Your last name may change someday, and it will make life easier down the road if you don’t have to change your business name or explain to your clients the name change. If you plan to expand your business to include other photographers, you may want to pick a name that does not include your first or last name. Much of this is personal preference, but these are just a few good things to think about.
If you decide to create a business name such as “Expressions Photography,” be careful of the length. Keeping it short will help in the long run with logo and brand design. Try to make it something that is memorable and clear. For example, “A Precious Moment in Time That You’ll Never Get Back Photography” might not be the best choice for a name. Consult your friends, family and mentors as you are brainstorming to have multiple opinions.
Your logo is a graphical representation of your business. You want to use colors and graphics that give potential clients an idea of your personality and style.
For example, I really love grey. I love its ability to work with accent colors, I wear it often and I decorate my home with it. For me, it was an easy decision to use grey as the base in my branding. I also love mustard yellows. Yellow is bright, happy and fun, which I think plays a part in my photographic style. I like clean cut lines and bold simplicity, which my designer, Haleigh Steere, did a great job of using for my logo icon.
If you are not a particularly talented graphic designer, consider hiring a designer (like Haleigh) or giving an aspiring designer friend a chance at it. I also offer logo design through my business, if you’re interested shoot me an email! [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Don’t be afraid to be picky. This is your logo that represents you and your work. Especially if you’re paying for the design, you are entitled to have it done just as you want.
If you don’t know where to start for a logo design, look online at other logos to get an idea of the style that you like. Check out CardRabbit.com, they have great examples of unique logos and business cards. You could also Google “Photography Logos” to see a general overview of the logos that are out there. You should also look at the photos you really enjoy. What kinds of lines and shapes do you see? Symmetrical lines? Curves? Diagonal lines? Consider using the line or shape you are most attracted to in your design.
When looking for fonts, I love DaFont.com. You can type in your business name in the custom preview box while browsing. Pay close attention to the curves and lines of the letters. Find several fonts that you like and play around with them to see which one will fit best with your style. If you like sharp lines without decorative detail, try a Sans serif. If you like the look of handwriting, try Calligraphy or Handwritten. If you like a basic font that has the edge details, try a Serif. Make sure the font will be legible and easy to read.
Questions or other tips to share about designing the look of your brand? Comment below!