By Guest Blogger Belinda Pyle – www.problemsbythedozen.com
My wonderfully gifted writer friend is at it again. She’s graciously prepared another blog post for me about her adventures in logo design. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! – Kelly
As per my last blog post, How My Technological Dream Turned into a Nightmare, you now know that Kelly saved my virtual butt. Whew. So, we got the template chosen but then, it was time to look at a logo.
Choosing a logo for a small to medium-sized business like mine is challenging. Often, the founder is closely tied to the company and its product or service so this leads to all sorts of interesting questions. In my case, I was the primary product and writing was my service. Here are a few of the questions that you may also struggle with:
#1 – What is the lifespan of the logo?
Do you expect this to be a long-term company? Will you hand it over to your grandkids as you head for beaches in a warmer climate? Or, is this your starter company that you know will either be short-term or will eventually evolve into another entity?
If it is long-term, you need help. The logo is the beginning and end of your branding and if you get this right, everything else flows much smoother. A long-term logo means that you absolutely must be completely in love with the logo. So much so that: it has its own room in your home; you tuck it into bed with a kiss each night; and you pull it out of your wallet to show pictures of it to people you have just met. Yep. You just love it that much.
If it is short-term, there are many, many sites that have stock photos. One of my favourites is 123rf and Kelly’s is iStockphoto. Neither is the cheapest out there, but I always find what I’m looking for on 123rf and Kelly swears by iStockphoto.
#2 – Which is more important the person or the product?
As a writer, I figured that this was an easy one. My writing was the product. Therefore, I needed to focus on it. Accordingly, I began brainstorming logo ideas and spending hours doing research. I was ready for the next step!
#3 – What is memorable about your product/service?
This was where the fun and the not-so-much-fun began. Kelly and I were brainstorming and we came up with the idea of a chameleon to represent my ability to change my writing depending upon the audience (I know, brilliant wasn’t it!) I got really excited and the only one who does “excited” better than me is a five-year old on Halloween night–after he has tasted all of his candy.
This idea quickly got out of control and here’s how:
- Found amazing picture on Internet. Fell in love with it.
- Showed picture to Kelly who suggested I search for a stock photo to save money on having it hand drawn.
- I wanted an “original” so I turned up my nose and asked a friend’s amazingly gifted son to turn it into a cartoon (Kelly has a designer on her team, but I decided to give the business to my young friend since Kelly and I are working on other things together).
- Went to pet stores looking to buy a chameleon as my mascot. Really. I did.
- After a few back and forth bounces with my young friend, I realized that I was not communicating my vision well. Started flipping through stock photos to give him an idea and found a perfect, already completed chameleon logo image.
- Paid $100 for stock photo including all electronic and print rights.Yes Kelly, this is where you say, “I told you so.” (Note from Kelly: I would never say I told you so…to your face ;))
- Realized that my excitement had led me down the wrong road. I am the company, not a chameleon.
Conclusion? I wasted $100 and a lot of time because I did not do my homework on question #2. (Kelly: Although I did get a really great image for this blog post – he’s really a lovely little chameleon!)
Back to Question #2
So, here I am, back at this question and finally have the real answer. I am more important than my product. Why? Because this is for the long-term: the type of writing I do may change but I will always be here.
So, bye, bye $100.
Bye, bye, chameleon.
Kelly, better warm up your computer because I am finally ready to listen to your logo advice.