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Why do you need a logo?

As your photography business grows you might want to think about getting your own logo. A logo creates a visual identity for you business and can help you stand out from the crowd.

In addition, here are a few more reasons why having a logo can be useful:

  • You can use it on your website, social media profiles, marketing materials and products to make your brand more noticeable and recognisable.
  • A logo helps with the perception that you are a professional business.
  • A subtle logo can be used as an attractive watermark on your images.

Tips for designing your logo

Your logo needs to represent your business, so it is important to work out what you want it to convey. You have a great logo if someone can glance at it and get an instant sense of the nature of your business and your values. My logo incorporates a stylised lion face and camera aperture blades to represent “wildlife photographer”.

A good logo should be memorable. You want people to recognize it and associate it with your brand whenever they see it. Therefore it needs to be visually striking and distinctive.

A good logo should be simple and versatile. You should be able to print it in one colour, print it small, print it big, place it on a light background or on a dark background. I sometimes simplify mine by removing the ring of text around the edge. This allowed me to embroider the logo on my hat.

Finally, your logo needs to be timeless. You don’t want to have to update it in 2 years time! Therefore, don’t make its meaning or purpose too specific. Where do you hope your business may go in the future? Will your logo still be appropriate then?

A baby meerkat checking out my hat!

The logo on my hat has attracted some admirers!

How do you get a logo?

There are two options: design it yourself or commission a designer to create one for you.

If you are just starting out, have a limited budget, or you are particularly good at graphic design then you might want to do it yourself. We have put together a short resource guide that gives you some tools and pointers to help you create your own logo.

If you have a modest budget and you would like a more professional end result, then I recommend using a service called 99designs. I have used 99designs to create a couple of logos in the past (for example the Ethiopian Wolf Project logo) and I have also used it for bespoke web-design projects.

What is 99designs?

99designs is a platform for running your own design contest. You offer a monetary prize and designers from around the world submit concepts. You can then work with the most promising designers to refine their concepts until you have your perfect logo. Once you have picked the winner, they get paid and the design copyright transfers to you.

This model has a number of advantages:

  • You get a wide variety of submissions so even if you don’t have a strong idea of what you are looking for, you are likely to find a concept you like
  • You get to see the design before you pay for it (unlike when you hire a designer and commit to pay them before seeing what they will produce)
  • It’s easy: designers find your contest rather than you having to go out and look for them
  • It’s quick: from launching your contest to picking your winner takes just one week
  • It is often much more affordable than working with an established design agency

There are a few disadvantages to the 99designs approach. There is certainly a large variation in the quality of the designs you will receive and it may be a challenge to communicate effectively with some of the foreign designers. In addition, some of the lower-quality candidates may copy other logos, graphics or clipart in their concepts, so make sure you state you are looking for an original design in your brief and do a bit of due-diligence before picking your winner.

I have always been very pleased with the results I have obtained through 99designs. You can increase your chances of getting a good design by writing a clear and concise design brief and giving plenty of feedback throughout the process. The more specific you can be about what you are looking for, the more likely it is that the designers will be able to produce suitable concepts.

One last tip: I recommend making your design contest “blind”. This means the designers can’t see the other submissions. This results in more variety in your entries as the designers are less likely to copy each other!

If you would like to find out more about how 99designs works, then I recommend going to the website and looking through their getting started options.

If you aren’t ready to pay for a logo design quite yet, and you would like to have a go at creating one yourself, click here to download our free resource guide that gives you some useful tools and pointers.

Once you have your logo, you will want to start using it. In a future blog post I’ll give you some tips on creating business cards and other personalised apparel using services like MOO and Zazzle.

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