In small business branding, logos are invaluable. A logo is usually the first visual symbol that a business owner develops at the start of his branding campaign because it boosts the business’s visibility and helps improve awareness and recognition. Doesn’t it make sense that you should have an author logo as well? In personal/author branding, we talk about social media, blogging and networking, but rarely do we talk about author logos because some people think it is better to use a photo of themselves than have someone create a professionally designed logo for them.
But a well designed logo can become a powerful branding tool. By placing your logo on all your marketing materials (e.g. business cards, blog header, social media cover photos, newsletters, etc.), you give people consistent exposure to your brand. The more they see your logo, the more your logo becomes synonymous with your name and your brand. As soon as your logo becomes associated with exceptional writing, it can help boost sales. You can use your logo as a standalone representation of your brand in places where your name or even your photo doesn’t seem appropriate.
Here are tips for creating your own author logo:
1. Look at the logos of other authors in your niche. Many authors will not have their own logos because they believe that a picture of themselves is enough to represent their brand. But your face, no matter how big a part it plays, is not the representation of your brand. You can take advantage of something your competitors don’t recognize by having your own logo when they don’t. You’ll be the first to have your own logo and establish visibility in a way that they can’t. However, if your competitors do have a logo, examine them and see how you can make yours different from them.
2. Let your message shine through your logo. You don’t want your readers to look at your logo and say, “Wow, that looks good!” Your logo is more than just a shiny object you place on your promotional materials. It is a symbol that captures the essence of your brand as an author. Do you have a funny or lighthearted story to tell? Are your readers here to learn, to grow or to be entertained? For a children’s book author, you can use playful fonts and colors, but it’s different if you’re an expert in taxation law. Your logo must capture the nature of who you are.
3. Your logo should be functional. This means it should look good when it is used in different places, such as the header of your website, your business card, the back of your book, in full color, black and white, faxed, photocopied or posted on the side of a truck. It should be clean and functional so you can easily scale it up or down depending on where you need it for.
4. Watch your color. As discussed in a previous article, different colors have different psychological effects on different people, so make sure the colors you use are most likely to deliver the message you want to say. Your choice of colors will also affect your expenses, as more colors will mean you will have to pay more for the cost of printing your logo. However, more colors doesn’t mean a better logo, especially since it’s much harder to scale a logo with several colors than one with only one or two shades.
5. Keep it simple. Remember the most memorable household brands? Nike’s swoosh, Apple’s apple and McDonald’s M all have one thing in common. They are extremely simple and thus very easy to recognize and remember. It’s the same thing when you’re writing. You want to KISS. Keep it simple, stupid!
6. Do not fall for cliché logos. Do you know what’s the most overused logo template in the world? It’s the circular logo with an image at the center and the name of your business around the circle. That is the most predicable logo in the world and won’t help you gain advantage over other authors who do not have their own logos because it simply isn’t enough to capture your reader’s attention.
7. Consider a type-only approach. “Letters sit squarely between information and meaning so what we choose to do with them is very important and exciting.” – Dan Cassaro in Emily Gregory’s Little Book of Lettering. Sometimes, you don’t need an icon to deliver your brand message. You can simply use your name designed in the most appropriate way possible to deliver a strong message.
To use, or not to use… the choice is yours obviously. Consider the guidelines above, and come up with something special and meaningful to you. Let us know how it goes, and please feel free to add anything you have found useful in the comments section. Your fellow readers thank you, we thank you.
Image by Rinderart from Bigstockphoto