Monday, September 24, 2012

Going Pro: Think about a Logo

This post now exits my tribute (aka ripping off) of Kalliopi Monoyios amazing post on Symbiartic from last year. This and the next post are both bits of knowledge I gleamed myself. However I mention Kalliopi and her post again, as I never would have thought of this logo idea without the wake up call that post gave me.

My current claim to palaeo-art fame is my renditions of the extinct Squalodon dolphin. Two museums are now using them in their exhibits, and the images are 2 of my 3 most viewed pieces of art (losing out only to this silly one from Traumador). In fact I'm starting to get a minor reputation as the "Squalodon guy" (in fairness I've only been referred to as this by one potential client, but as I've only ever seriously dealt with 5 of those I think it is fair I might have a nickname/reputation in the making).

As I've been further focusing on branding my art, something that some people on the net, and my wife (with a degree in marketing) have all said is thinking about creating a logo.

I suggest this as something you consider for your work too. It's not something that will immediately make an impact on your success. However I think in the long term it could have a cumulative effect.

My logo to commemorate/celebrate the subject of my first successful palaeo-art.
There are two difficulties in creating a logo. The first is picking an image that you want to visual represent yourself and art for a really long time (ideally, my wife tells me, your whole "career", given you are not a company with massive exposure. Switching your logo defeats the purpose). The second is composing the logo.

Now for me the choice as to my logo was made easy. The instant I got that email referring to me as the "Squalodon guy" I figured I might as well embrace the title and run with it. So one way or another I really will be the Squalodon guy for the rest of my palaeo-art career.

When choosing your own logo there are a lot of considerations to make. I think one of the biggest is picking something distinctive and memorable. Tyrannosaur skulls, rock hammers, thigh bones, Archeopteryx, and Trilobites while very iconic are also cliched nearly to death in palaeo logos. I'd say find something a lot more unique, or have your own distinct twist on the topic (like Glendon's Flying Trilobite). Above all else make sure that it jives and emphasizes your art and artistic style. A lot easier said than done I found out.

By myself (Craig Dylke)
Here is my logo with its inspiration. I think they go well together.

When refining the final look of my logo I followed this general philosophy (though at the time my wife was reading it out of one of her uni text books). In a nutshell keep the logo simple, memorable, and versatile.

Simple is talking about the use of lines and details. Less of these is more in a logo. The rule goes the simpler the better. Admittedly mine won't be winning awards, but I'm not a major corporation or ad firm.

Memorable hopefully is explanatory. Again avoid the above list of palaeo-cliches would be my only real suggestion (Tyrannosaur skulls, rock hammers, thigh bones, Archeopteryx, and/or Trilobites)

Versatile means you've designed your logo to go anywhere anyhow. Does it look good in both small and big formats? Does it look good in different colour combinations? It is suggested in various places you design it in black and white, and worry about colour later (if at all).

Beyond that there really isn't much to say.

Good luck and have fun creating your logo should you choose to give it a shot!