From the moment I decided to take the plunge and set up my own furniture and gift shop my first conundrum was what was I going to call the shop? What is the ethos? It’s a good idea to think about this early so that you have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve and focus your mind on what it is you are offering. In this blog post I’m just going to focus on getting the logo and design right but the ethos and who you are targeting will all influence what your brand will look like. It’s also great to start this early because while you are setting up the shop/business you can still do a fair amount of marketing, getting your name out there and build anticipation for your new shop/business venture when it goes live. That way you have already built up a following, something I wish I had done at the beginning.
Here is the process I went through to find my brand/logo:
1. Make a list of what you want your business to look and feel like for example, I wanted my shop to be different, quirky, cute, and memorable. All of this will come from finding out what your ethos is and who you are targeting.
2. Make a list of what you might like your business to be called keeping in mind the list from the above point. I would come up with at least 20 names (my mum and I came up with about 35) and choose names you’re not going to be embarrassed saying in the next 10 years, isn’t too child like if you are pitching to adults or doesn’t sound cheap if you are trying to be an upmarket shop/business. Also if it can reflect what you do in the name even better!
3. Next, narrowing down the list. I did this by looking at a domain name website, I wanted to see what had already been taken. My list went from 35 to about 5 after doing this. I think this is really important to check out before making your final decision. Now a days it is vital to have a website even if it has just the basic information of your contact details and a bit about what you do. It’s a lot easier for people to remember what your shop and website address is when they are the same, memorising something different to what your shop is called only causes confusion and when something isn’t easy to find people just give up. If that really isn’t possible make the domain name similar. My shop is called The Perching Post, it wasn’t exactly my first choice but after thinking on it for a week or two I really grew to love it. It’s sounds cute, it’s pretty easy to remember, not offensive, a little quirky and I’m selling furniture- a fair amount on chairs and armchairs which I have an obsession with- so for me it sounded perfect.
4. Logo design. Now I haven’t had any experience with making a logo but I didn’t want to have to pay a professional to do so mainly because I was on a tight budget. Instead I approached a friend from University, Zoe Klinck, who was looking for small projects to add to her portfolio. I had an idea/brief which contained the list of things that I would like it to convey and we were able to communicate different ideas. It was the best decision, having someone from the outside bringing the idea to life is so much better that doing it yourself. Things like this will take time and you can get bogged down and blurry eyed so having some else take over and edit to bring out the best ideas is fantastic.
If you plan to do your own logo, get other peoples opinions and don’t take the critism to heart, all critism is good . If you need someone else like me, there are plenty of people out there. It can be costly if you use a professionsal anything from £200-£1000+ usually plus VAT but there are definite benefits to having a professional involved and if I had the money I would have gone down that root. However it might be an idea to approach a local college or university, and get a student to do it for you. Universities that have graphic design, illustration and web design courses are a good starting point. It’s a great way to let them build up their porfolio which is essential for them to get a job, and it’s a cheap way of getting your logo. It also means that making these small contacts now and building a good relationship may help you in the future for website design, advertising, photography etc.
Here are a few ideas that Zoe and I went through:
5. Since then I have made a small change to the logo, instead of having three colours in the logo I now only stick to one colour. Recently I have also developed ‘brand characters’ and try to keep to a specific typography which I will be introducing in the next month or so to my website. This will help to make it look professional and focused. What helped me do this was a fantastic find on Pinterest (a great source for inspiration) that led me to a company called Braizen. They are brilliant! Braizen have a fantastic blog which also gives you tips on branding and all of their latest stuff they have been producing. Very helpful read. In the first first image called The Perching Post branding info, I have used a layout similar to Braizen as it gives you a clear idea of what your brand looks like and if it’s consistent.
I hope this has helped you, if it has please spread the word. Also if you any tips let us know on the comments below. Thank you!