I recently hired Laurie Smithwick of Leap Design (aka @upsideup, and one of the founders of Kirtsy) to design a logo for ABDPBT . Laurie is the person who designed the logos for Cool Mom Picks and Kirtsy, among many others. I was excited to get a chance to discuss the possibilities for an ABDPBT logo with a designer who knows this industry and already has a good idea of what works in this particular space while we were at Mom 2.0 last month.
Here’s why I decided to pay a professional graphic designer to design a logo for me: in case you have not noticed, the aesthetics of my site are always changing. I have four different sections of my blog, and I design a new masthead every month. I have been known to switch up my web design whenever it suits my fancy. I chose a difficult site name that nobody can remember, much less pronounce or type into their browsers correctly, and even if I’ve devised a means of working around that complication with creative URL redirects (e.g. see what happens if you type in “abdtpbt.com” into your address bar), I lack a visual design element that is able to remain constant throughout all this changing content and cross-platform appearances. I like to experiment with design, but frankly, coming up with an iconic image to represent myself and my work non-verbally or quasi-verbally is beyond my talents at present.
What I told Laurie was: I want something that functions like the Playboy Bunny, or Alfred Hitchcock’s profile, for lack of better examples. I want something that can appear on my Twitter page, my business cards, and in every masthead — so that there’s always something that tells you exactly what you’re looking at. Right now, Laurie’s working on figuring out just what the hell that thing might be, but I thought in the meantime I’d list some reasons for why you might want to consider a professional logo design as well.
- Really great logos can be incorporated into the fabric of your work. (in some cases, literally).
Take the Lululemon logo. Not only is the lululemon logo flexible enough to appear in all of the different incarnations of a constantly changing clothing brand, the “stylized ‘a’ logo” (that’s what they call it, I always think of it as looking like a flip hairdo) is something that Lululemon has taken to stitching directly into their clothing. My running shirts all have seams that are in the shape of the logo, and just today I saw somebody carrying a workout bag that was quilted by using a pattern of interlaced lululemon “A”s all across its bottom. The shape itself comes to stand for the brand, and that offers a lot more flexibility and subtlety with branding across different mediums. A blogger can really benefit from that kind of thing, as he or she moves from blogging, to Twitter, to Facebook, to speaking, to book deals, and beyond, because the logo can grow with you.
- Good logos paired with good brands can inspire people, create new opportunities.
The Apple logo is not only immediately recognizable, it is also something that is so well-incorporated into the identity of the brand that it can actually inspire the production of new products that showcase it. The Snow White apple laptop skin/decal above is an example of this — people love Apple so much they want to call attention to their branded products, and create new business opportunities and products around that desire. These decals are sold on Etsy for die-hard Apple fanboys, and have spawned a whole host of other ideas about how to use the apple on the outside of the computer. I’m not quite at the point where I’m going to be buying a decal for my computer, but that does not change the fact that I wouldn’t mind having a logo people liked so much that they wanted to help me do the work of branding for free.
- Product placement is so much easier with a good logo.
Now clearly this issue is not going to come up right off the bat for the average blog owner, but whenever you have a good logo that’s easily recognizable, you can then incorporate it into product placement opportunities with ease. Sometimes, people will actually have to take steps to keep your product placement from appearing, in fact. For example, The Awl recently claimed that Apple should get an Oscar for how many product placement appearances it has made in movies this year. In some cases, as in the picture above (from the movie, The Killers) the producers actually had to take steps to conceal the fact that people are using an Apple computer. As a big business, what you want are situations in which people see a movie or a TV show and have to actually wonder whether or not the placement was paid or accidental. And when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs started Apple, I doubt they could have had any idea that their Apple logo would one day reach that kind of ubiquity. Who is to say yours won’t either?