Building a Personal Brand – Part One
Part One: The Logo
Building a Personal Brand – Introduction
Logo Design Process
The first step in building a personal brand was to design a logo. I started doodling and sketching variations of my signature and initials, to see what might work. There was a fair amount of variation of the exact same thing, but my first idea was to take the stylized “S” signature and play around with that, which this result.
Initially, I liked it. It had some flair and artistic flavour to it, but I soon realized that it broke some of the basic rules of logo design: namely that it wasn’t scalable (it was a vector, but would not reproduce well at a small size) and that it wasn’t too describable. It also didn’t retain itself in the memory for very long.
So, back to the metaphorical drawing board. Despite browsing numerous logo sites and various articles scattered around the web, I was having trouble coming up with some inspiration when the ‘eureka’ moment struck.
A stylized “st” ligature inside a solid colour circle – perfect! My initials spell out “ST”, so the glyph works; it was scalable; it was memorable; it could work in black and white (or indeed any colour scheme at all); it was describable and it was somewhat unique, at least among logos that I had seen.
The first thing I did at this point was to load up InDesign. My mission was to find out every typeface that had an “st” ligature, place them all next to each other and rapid-fire eliminate until I was left with a few favourites.
Quick tip: In a continuing-ed design course I took last fall, I was told that it’s good practice to design a logo in black and white first and add the colours later, among other tips. Hence, all the glyphs are simply black and white at this stage.
As I narrowed down the options, some favourites emerged, with Palatino Linotype & Arno Pro chief among them. Eventually, I settled on Arno Pro. I chose this typeface because it was the most aesthetically pleasing to my tastes, which is the same reason why I chose the dark blue as a ‘base’ colour. While I use the blue as a ‘default’, in reality the logo can be adapted to any colour scheme to fit any context without detracting from the logo form itself.
At this point, I had arrived at my basic logo design – it appealed to me, it satisfied the basic ‘rules’ of memorable logo design, it could be adapted to suit any means and it had the potential to be modified, added on to and ‘played with’ down the road by adding different visual elements.
Some (Extremely) Helpful Resources
As this was one of my first attempts at logo design, I had a bit of catching up to do. So, throughout the working process, there were numerous sources I went to for some guidance and inspiration. Here are some of those resources, as well as some more useful ones I have since come across. As always, please feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line about your own personal logo designs, suggestions – anything!
imjustcreative.com – The entire branding process & story of Graham Smith’s imjustcreative brand.
imjustcreative.com – Part 1 of a feature series of freelancer’s logos from imjustcreative.com
justcreativedesign.com – One of a number of posts by Jacob Cass which proved invaluable in the basic what-to-dos in logo design
justcreativedesign.com – Jacob’s 5 Steps to Designing a Logo
design-daily.com – Designer-Daily.com’s 10 Logo Design Tips
underconstuction.com – Underconsideration.com’s Brand Identity Opinon Blog