Basic Logo Tips for Photographers

blog-header_logo-tips

Basic Logo tips for Photographers

Ok this has been on my mind for quite some time. I often enjoy looking at the work of other photographers. So many create such beautiful images that inspire me to strive to be better with my own work.

BUT!

It is important to make sure your brand, your name, is presented as of equal quality as your images. A poor logo, or poor font choice when it comes to your watermark, can be damaging to your professional image.

Now I understand logo development and branding is a unique skill, and just because one is a great photographer does not mean they are equally as great at branding (Just as someone skilled in drawing does not mean they can easily understand photography).

So below I’ve outlined a few basic tips that could be of some help.

First!
The important one:
avoid-fonts

Why should we avoid these fonts? Because they are fantastically overused. Well, the Comic Sans font is just a globally-understood no-no, but the others have been around for so long that they have really lost their appeal. Trajan Pro (nicknamed ‘The Movie Poster Font’) used to be my all-time favorite, however there are many other fonts out there that are similar, with more of a fresh look to them.

Second!
Just say NO to Bevel / Emboss!!
When we first start tinkering around with Photoshop, playing around with these effects are typically the first thing we do. The default Bevel and Emboss options have come to be regarded as the mark of an amateur designer. The Bevel and Emboss look to your typeface does nothing to improve the look of it.

bevel1

However, if you insist on using Bevel / Emboss and like that slick, metallic look, I suggest another option. For the Gloss Contour, try the ‘Cone Inverted’ option, as illustrated below:

bevel2

Then, adjust depth, size, and soften to your preference.

bevel3

Finally, to give the type a little bit of dimension, add a SUBTLE drop shadow. Dont do the big giant haze that typical drop-shadow fans love – I mean a simple, 2 or 3 pixel value for Distance and Size. Looks better doesn’t it? I still wouldn’t suggest it as the main look to your logo, but its a nice effect if you are doing something special or creative with it.

bevel4

Third! – Be careful with a set color scheme.
Color is tricky in logo development, that is why when you are creating your logo, first start with black, white, or grey. This allows you to concentrate on the shape and style of the brand, before getting distracted by the emotion that color brings into it. For photographers, I think the best course of action is to stick to black or white. The thing you want to show off most is your images, and you dont want to use a logo that clashes too much with the colors of your photograph. However, sometimes adding a hint of color to your logo that compliments the photo can work too.

rainbow-unicorn-cute-unicorn

FOURTH! Don’t put an image of a camera in your logo.
Just dont. We already know you are a photographer. Unless it is a creative, stylized interpretation of one, it really doesn’t add any value to the look of your brand.

camera-no

Some Simple Ideas

Ok so not everyone has the skills to create an image or illustration as part of your brand or logo. But there is a lot you can do with just the typeface (that doesnt involve photoshop’s default effects).

Here is my name, simply typed out. Nothing special.

mikeroshuk_none

Now here it is again, same font, capitalized, but with the spacing adjusted.

mikeroshuk_spaced

You can already see the improvement. Simply by adjusting a few properties of the type (as well as softening the harsh black to a dark grey) I have given the name a more pleasing look.

Adjusting spacing is great to use when you are trying to line up your name with a tag line on multiple rows (just try not to go overboard though):

mikeroshuk_spaced22

 

Final Thoughts
Well, I’ve been trying to figure out the standard ‘final thoughts’ statement that blog posts usually end with, but I think everything has been pretty straight forward and self-explanatory. So I will leave you with these final comparisons, and let you be the judge:

logo-before_after

example-logo-usage