To help you make sense of everything I wrote in Part One, I've found a great example of branding to illustrate. I've also included my own branding (which is semi-existant but needs developing). Read on for clarification!
Ok, so first up was choosing a suitable name for your business. Most likely you've already got something in mind or something you've been using unofficially. To be on the safe side, check out this Etsy article to make sure you're on the right track.
My chosen case study for this article is a branding solution designer by Nikita Jermolajevs from Latvia, for the online pet store Mur.lv
The name for this business illustrates what I was explaining about a play on words. Instead of "More Love" they've gone for a shorthand version that also plays on the idea of purring. We are so accustomed to shortened English thanks to text messaging, that the name 'Mur.lv' resonates as modern, relevant and fun.
As for me, I'm continuing to trade under my name. My reason for this is that I've already built up and established my name and reputation online. Launching a new name would perhaps not work so well for me right now (but definitely something I'm thinking of later). It's also easier from a paperwork point of view - I don't need to worry about registering a business name because it is my individual name and I am a sole trader. Check what the legalities are in your country for business names.
So I didn't give you any advice on creating your own logo. Perhaps that's the biased graphic designer in me. But looking at this example by Nikita perhaps you'll understand why. A lot of thought has gone into every detail of this logo. There are considerations for where it is used; a smaller pared back version for smaller sizes to keep the logo legible (all those cute object in the middle would disappear if you shrunk it).
There are also colour variations to suit black and white printing, or when the logo is against a detailed background. And of course, there are specifications for colour names and numbers that are needed if you get good quality printing done.
Usually a designer will select a specific colour for you (heard of the Pantone system?). This is a high quality, pure colour used in off-set printing and letterpress amongst others. If you're going for cheap run printing it will usually be digital, which is done in CMYK. This is a mixture of four standard inks to create any colour you need. It is not a bright and pure as Pantone, but a designer will work out with CMYK combination is the closest match to the selected Pantone.
It's good to have both these in order to cover all your printing needs. You should also be provided with the RGB numbers for your logo colour/s - which is for web and digital and a web designer will need to know this.
My logo is based on tattoo scripting, since it's something I am fascinated by and tend to use in my artwork. It also creates a nice monogram style logo. I have this logo in various sizes and formats to suit all my design needs. Originally, I created this heraldry style logo - which I still use occasionally.
It very much reflects my artistic style, but can be difficult to use because it is so detailed. At the moment it is on the front page of my website in a short animation, and also in my blog banner. I am planning to emphasize the simple version and use the detailed version for specific purposes every now and then.
Nikita has designed two colours for the Mur.lv logo - the yellow/orange and grey. He has also created a gradient and pattern to complement this palette and provide versatility to the system. There are also guidelines for using different colours (such as differentiating product ranges), which keep the look streamlined.
My basic colour palette is black, white and grey. I'd like to be able to throw in an accent colour whenever I want. I tend to pick out a colour from a featured artwork to work back to. For example, on my blog, all the links are in a mauve-pink that I pulled from the tights worn by one of the trapeze artists in my banner artwork.
This is a complicated way of doing things and isn't something I would recommend. I'm just a stickler for change and this is the easiest way to achieve that without throwing my whole identity. I'm also a big fan of textures, so I can achieve the same effect as a colour palette by using consistent textures in my branding (something I'll pick up on later when we look at packaging etc).
You'll see on the car decal for Mur.lv that Nikita has created a matching typeface based on the logo font that can be used elsewhere in the branding system. Most of the copy (bulk text, such as paragraphs online or the text on business cards) is in a simple, sans serif font. This reinforced the streamlined, modern feel of the brand.
I've always used two typefaces in my identity, although I sometimes throw in a random one for fun. I used a combination of the Baskerville suite and Century Gothic, in either small caps or lower case. Most copy is done in a sans serif font. The serif Baskerville font has an old world, traditional, classic and knowledgeable feel to it. Whereas Century Gothic is contemporary and sleek.
The small caps/lower case interplay further amplifies this distinction. I do like a contrast. Other fonts I love to play with when it's suitable include: Rosewood Fill, Bebas, Tattoo Ink and Phonetica.
I hope this helps you a bit more. I always feel like there is so much more I should explain - I never do this justice. But hopefully now you can see just how much consideration goes into a brand identity and why designers ask the prices they do. Which just goes to show how amazingly generous the graphic designers on Etsy are! Make sure you use them!
Online Store How to... Series:
~ How to...Choose An Online Store
~ How to...Create Your Brand (Part 1)