LESSON 1 - Designer Name and Logo
In this first lesson, you will help each other choose a designer name and logo. Please give each other your thoughts and help each other so that all may feel confident in what they choose.
This may be an unexpected start to the class for you. I am sure most of you are ready to jump in and start creating. Unfortunately, before you begin to design and share (and many of you indicated you would love to just share your things and have others like what you are sharing in your introductions), then there are some necessary steps we must go through before we can begin our first creation.
I realize many of you are just here to learn your program more and to share the things you make, but I must teach the class to cover all of those areas that someone seriously interested in designing may need to know.
The first step, and a very important step it is, is to choose your designer name. There are many factors to consider when choosing a designer name.
Branding is what people identify you with and is an important factor in business. They will remember you by your name or by a logo.
For instance, when hear McDonald's, what do you see? --the Golden Arches in the shape of an M. You want a name that sticks in people's minds. It is what they will identify you with. It is, unfortunately, a vital step that takes some thought and time before you ever begin your business. Once you begin with a brand, it is hard to switch and have your customers follow you. A brand can make or break your business. Marketing is actually the process of building your brand. What does it mean to "build your brand?" It is all about gaining a reputation for your name. Branding is a slow process over time. It is how people feel when they hear and see your brand.
This site is a great place to visit to get the feel for what branding is and give you inspiration for your own branding:http://brandings.com/
LOGO: A logo is a small image representing your brand.
Keep it simple. Keep it readable -- try not to put too much text on it. Remember that you will be using your logo to put it on your blog header, store graphic, kit previews, twitter and facebook avatars, facebook headers, Google Plus, avatars, and anywhere else you can get people to see your logo and brand it (put it into their mind).
It is best to keep it square because often places like Twitter and Facebook will only accept square and rectangle shapes will be cut off on the edges. Forums also use square avatars. Keep it mind that a circle (not oval) can also be used as it can be kept in the boundries of a square.
Trademark is also important. You do not want to in any way violate someone else's trademark by the name you choose. Be sure to search the US Trademark website for the name or any portion of the name:http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp If you reside in another country, you should be aware of its trademark laws. In addition, trademarks and the internet is a fairly new concept and not yet fully established. It is best to just make efforts to avoid infringing on anyone else on the internet. I am not a lawyer and cannot give you legal advise, but I can encourage you to be aware and to take steps to prevent future problems.
In addition, Google the name to see what similar names a site might have. You do not want to be confused with other designers or sites. For instance, I am forever confusing Digital Scrapbook Place and Digital Scrapbook Pages. I know one of them uses the nickname of "Digitals" and the other uses the nickname of "DSP," but I have to manually type in both url's to figure out which is which.
Go to Digishoptalk and do a search for the name. With so many designers advertising at this site, it is a good suggest to visit DST.
If you utilize your real name, use your whole name. This is important for copyright purposes. In addition, should you begin selling instead or just sharing for free, you may need to register your design name with your state if you use a name other than your real name. Of course, due to internet safety issues, some are not comfortable with using their real name. This is something important to consider. If you at all feel comfortable using your real name on the internet, then this would be a good choice.
I would not suggest using something as simple as your first name followed by the word "designs." The likelihood of someone else with your name doing the same is great. This would be the same with other types of names using your first name. In addition, it does not create a memorable brand.
Remember, that your name will also be used in the event that you purchase a domain name.
Since it is your name that they will remember you by, it will be your name that they automatically try first when manually typing in a url. Be sure test the name you are considering by typing it in the url to make sure no site already has that name.
Be sure to test similar spellings. Think phonetically sounding difference and check the same. For instance, did you know that there is a Firgs and a Flergs in the designing business?
Not everyone will intend on having their own domain name, but it is my opinion that you will never know what the future holds and to plan for it now.
Test the name in an internet search. Put the possible website name in the address bar to see what comes up. Tryhttp://www.who.is/domain/ and type the name into their bar at the top to see if the domain name is already taken.
KEEP IT SHORT
There are several reasons why you should keep your designer name short.
--It is easier to remember.
--It is easier to type.
--Your url will be shorter with less chance of error in someone finding it
--It will fit better into the file name of the files you create and be more recognizable than using your initials. Remember that each time a person sees your designer name, it will brand the name into their minds, so having it on each and ever file utilized serves a great purpose.
--Shorter names seem to come with more punch and zaniness.
Consider the nature of your business being that of a designer. Is this conveyed in your name and logo?
Is it always necessary to carry the theme in the name and logo? For instance, McDonald's says nothing about a restaurant or hamburgers. Kleenex says nothing about nose wiping or tissues and yet it has become more commonly used than the word "tissue." Do not get stuck on the idea that the word "design" in any format needs to be included in your name. The same would apply to the word "digital" or "scrapbooking" Although it maybe a good thing to include these names to identify the theme of your business in your branding, it is not always necessary. Think outside the box and spark your creativity.
1. Use http://thesaurus.reference.com to help you think of other words that might be utilized for something that says "you."
2. Trying to think of a good "color" name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colors
3. Think of your hobbies or things your like, something personal; search for quotes to help you think outside the box:http://quotationsbook.com
4. Look through the kits at DST's product gallery:
Anything jump out at you? Look for logos on previews...some do it well...some not.
5. You cannot use things from kits you've purchased unless the designer specifically allows commercial use. If there is something you would like to use, e-mail the designer -- most would be honored and say yes. You can use the shapes that come with PSE as some shapes are considered "public domain".. These are the shapes that are common (like a heart...seriously....a basic heart shape cannot be claimed by anyone as their copyright -- right? However, hand drawn fancy curved heart shape would be different.)
1. Discuss in this thread my designer name or other designer names. Tell us why you think they work and stand out to you. Discuss why they do not work and are confusing.
2. Take your time. Think seriously about your choice for a designer name. Do not rush to complete this assignment. Feel free to post a few name ideas and get feedback from others in the class. Bounce the name off your family and friends. Sleep on it and see if you still like the name in the morning.
2. Post in this thread and share your designer name. If you already have a designer name, that is okay, please share it. Share your thought process in choosing this name and why you hope it works (or is working). If you have a name that you are stuck with and have discovered it may not have been a good choice, please share your reasons.
3. Create a logo and share it. Often these logos are utilized in headers on blogs or in previews of your kits or downloads. Keep the logo simple and remember the purpose of branding when creating it. What do you think of my logo?
Once you have announced your designer name and shared your logo, I will give you credit for completing this assignment. When the majority of the class has completed the assignment, we will move onto the next assignment.
Here are a few student logos.