You are never suppose to judge a book by its cover, but we do it all the time. As humans, with what we choose to cover our bodies can say a lot about us. If you are seen frequently wearing a certain brand, it is assumed you are loyal to that brand of clothing. Wearing apparel with your alma mater’s logo shows your pride in the school you graduated from. Fans of sports teams frequently are seen rocking team hats, shirts, jerseys, etc. You are a living, walking, breathing billboard for whatever brand you choose to showcase with your clothing choices. So, this must be taken into consideration when designing the insignia of your brand as well as the overall identity.
Apparel is a required part of many visual brand identities. Clothing is another way people will connect themselves to your brand. Visibility and awareness are necessary, if you want to gain attention and translate that into positive action. Branded apparel, regardless of your market, gives your brand ambassadors another tool to spread the word about you. Along with your in-house efforts, people wearing your distinguishing mark increases your reach. Once you have the attention then you can capitalize. Branded apparel and products are agents of attention that can also be agents of influence.
Branded apparel can be positioned as a reward for supporting your brand. If you are running a non profit organization, consider sending something to your donors they can display or wear. They will consider it a badge of honor and be proud to represent you. It also shows that you appreciate and value them.
Invest in the quality of the physical manifestations of your brand. How much you care is directly proportional to how much you want others to care. Carefully craft your apparel so that people want to wear and show off to others. Fashion designers know the comfort and quality will keep people buying their clothes. Your staff will appreciate the quality of their staff shirts, when out in the world being your representatives. Fans of yours will be more eager to celebrate you and your team when wearing visually appealing apparel.
With all this in mind, your logo needs to be able to work on clothing and various products. Your visual brand identity may need to include the design of apparel and products. Whether you’re selling them or providing them for certain representatives, the design and the quality matters.
Invest in your style as well as your substance for maximum impact.
Last week, I talked about my love of logos that utilize negative space. This week, I want to take you through my process of creating one. Creating such a logo requires planning ahead of time. As always, you’ll want to start in your sketchbook.
Make the most of your time by doing the following:
- Sketch out all the different ideas you have.
- Narrow it down to the top idea(s) you want to digitize.
- Sketch out the architecture & construction. (This is where you begin thinking about exactly how you can most efficiently create that shape in Illustrator. You could call this the pre-Illustrator phase.)
I created two logos that used negative space for this particular post – a microphone and a pencil. In these cases, my first step is to analyze the general characteristics of their real-life counterparts. As a designer, you need to determine what are the most identifying characteristics that must be there. Also, look at the objects and see where contrasts exist. Analyze each essential element and accent, choosing what will be in your foreground and what will be in your background. With the microphone, the accents are where I decided to use negative space. With the pencil, the tip, the shaft, and the eraser are the elements I’ve decided to mark. I can position those elements in a way where the overall idea of a pencil is seen without illustrating every single element.
With both the microphone and the pencil, I utilized the great Illustrator tool known as “Divide Objects Below”. Instead of always using the pen tool to draw each individual shape in proper position, create the overall shape and draw where you want to cut. In Illustrator, you can draw a shape then draw a second shape overlapping it. Select the overlapping shape and go to Object>Path>Divide Objects Below. This will create slices of the object below corresponding to the area where the overlap occurred. Simply select the slice you want to remove and delete it. “Divide Objects Below” is one of my favorite tools in Illustrator.
Divide Objects Below command
Acts as a cookie cutter or stencil, using a selected object to cut through other objects, discarding the original selection. To use this command, choose Object > Path > Divide Objects Below.
Designing logos that utilize negative space allows you to hone your minimalism skills. It also allows you to create a brand mark that can be one-color and easily transferred onto many different products and surfaces.
I’ve talked about simple looking logos making lasting impressions. A way to make a great impression visually is to understand and utilize the power of negative space.
Continue reading “2 Reasons Why I Love Outstanding Negative Space Logos”
Before any contract is signed, any design program is opened, any dollar sign is seen, a conversation must take place between a designer/design firm and the potential client. You must have a love of these deep conversations because they are where relationships are established and much is learned.
Continue reading “4 Ways To Get The Most Out of Creative Conversations”
Currently showcased in my portfolio is a visual brand identity project known as HOTEL REIGN. The project taught me, as each one does, just how involved and all-inclusive the term “brand” really is.
When I am approached to create a visual identity for a brand, I must first research the market it resides in. Each market, each type of business, comes with its own challenges, goals, and requirements. The hotel and hospitality market is particularly interesting to me because of the service and experience it provides for people. Hotels across the country invest a lot in their visual brand. The reasoning behind their investment speaks to the essence of “branding” itself. You can apply these general concepts/goals to your creative work, regardless of area of focus.
Continue reading “3 Reasons For Hotel Branding You Need To Know”
Adobe Photoshop is one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal known as the Adobe Creative Cloud. It was the first Adobe program I ever used and I still use it a lot for various projects. The more I used it, the more I learn how to maximize my efficiency in the program. If you want to do your best job in Photoshop (or any design program) with minimal frustrations, do as much prep as possible.
Continue reading “Why Designers Should Also Be Architects Or: Guide Twice, Design Once”
Fundraising is a necessary practice for band programs across the country, especially those that see their budgets dwindling. Programs that see success in fundraising translate the interest they have gained from performances into donations. Investing in brand building and communication is the best way to reach potential donors. If you want to fundraise with any success in 2016 and beyond, you need to invest in your logo(s), visual brand identity, social media, and overall communication strategy. Capitalizing on the power of your brand and communicating with clarity maximizes the effect of your effort.
Continue reading “How To Fundraise For Your Band Program With The Right Visual Branding”
For second year in a row, I participated in #The100DayProject with Elle Luna & The Great Discontent. The project simply involves choosing an action you will perform for 100 days and sharing it each day on your Instagram. Last year, I made 100 logos for fictional places in TV, movies, literature, etc. This year, I embarked on the ambitious plan to produce daily Instagram videos (1 minute – once I got the update on my phone) giving insights about my craft and my process. Some videos were logo case studies. Some were tips on social media, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Others focused on my thoughts on the importance of branding, design, and creativity.
Continue reading “How I Produced 100 Videos on Design and What I Learned”
From July 14-18, I was in Las Vegas to participate in the Evolution Championship Series (“EVO”), the largest and longest-running fighting video game tournaments in the world. For years, I dreamed of being at this event live and in person. It was an outstanding and, at times, surreal experience. The visual presentation and the atmosphere created added to my overall experience. And that is what an event (and branding, in general) is all about.
Continue reading “How To Make Outstanding Event Experiences Through Visual Design & Branding”
I am a lover of the visual medium. As a graphic designer, I enjoy seeing great visuals and designing work that others will enjoy. When you are trying to tell your story, you want to create content that attracts the right eyes and inspires the owners of those eyes to share your content. Video content is the best way to accomplish your goals.
Continue reading “2 Crucial Reasons Why Video Is The King of Content”