Logos are the most important element in a brands visual identity. It’s the image you are going to directly associate to that brand. It’s what you remember, it encapsulates everything that the particular brand stands for. The mood, the quality of its products / services, its professionalism, and how they all speak to you through your experiences with that brand. This can be in either a good or a bad way.
A logo represents everything a brand stands for regards quality and professionalism within a visual space.
In 2015, we saw some of the biggest brands in the world changing their logo. Facebook, Google, Verizon, Medium, Spotify, Microsoft Edge, and Channel 4 to name some of the major brands. Some made miniscule changes, and others overhauled some major parts of their logos. But it all means one thing. These brands are changing with the (even more rapidly changing) times, they want to align what their values are with how they are perceived visually.
There are a myriad of different designers and styles that you can use, from icon designers, creative or advertising agencies, branding and identity designers, lettering artists and more. All are valuable in their own right with the only real difference between them being the style that they use to create value for your brand. The basic essence of a logo is to be unique and immediately recognisable. What better way than to create a fully customised lettering logo.
There has been a trend in recent years to cut back the elements in a logo, become more minimalistic. An approach dubbed ‘undesign’. There are many outlets in which you can go to have a logo created professionally for you, in fact, it’s easier than ever to see designers/artists work. They are happy to be as transparent as possible and to display their best work for you to browse and decide if their style the right fit you and your brand. A professional is more than happy to work with you if you are focussed solving the right problems in your brand and providing value to your customers.
More and more we are seeing a shift towards custom-made logos, with a unique typographical element involved in the logo. This is true of some of the bigger brands, especially in the entertainment industry. We are moving away from the days of opening a piece of software, choosing a font and typing out the brand name.
As a lettering artist, here are some of the ways in which they can provide value to someone seeking a new branding or logo design;
- Focussed on Quality and excellence – This speaks more to the professionalism of a Handletterer. You will know if the person is a professional or not through not just their work and case studies, but how they handle themselves overall. What other outlets have they got on their website, do they also write about their experiences and professionalism, do they have courses, produce videos on professionalism or of their work, create tutorials and help others to become better? Is their social media curated to provide so much value, interesting articles, or other helpful media? You will know if an artist /designer is professional or worth working with based on how they project themselves.
- Peace of Mind – Check their case studies. This is a sure-fire way to see how that particular artist works in a professional environment. It’s a behind-the-scenes insight into their approach to work, how they handle clients and the challenges and problems they are presented with, and how they create the solution to that problem. Case studies are form of social proof that the designer has worked with clients before and is knowledgable about what they are doing because, lets face it, if they weren’t confident about the quality of their performance and professionalism with that particular client, it wouldn’t be on display for you to read.
- Unique Artwork for a Unique Brand – The majority of logos consist of typography, it’s a fundamental element of a logo, something that is typed out so you can read what that brand or business is (notable exceptions being Apple and Twitter etc., which only use icons). The idea of a logo is to stand out from the crowd and be unique in its own right. A custom-made lettered logo, also referred to as a ‘Logotype’ is an incredible way of creating a unique logo that was specifically designed for you. Unlike choosing a font from Microsoft Office, perhaps one which was designed decades ago for a different purpose, Handlettering creates a custom typeface that was specifically made to solve your problem.
- A Professional Mindset – Most handletterers and lettering artists fly solo. The vast majority do not work as part of an agency. This is a good thing. This means they took the risk and succeeded in doing something they love. It doesn’t happen by magic. These people took a chance, sat down after their day-jobs and worked and studied until they became so prolific at what they do that they are now being hired and paid for what once started out as a humble hobby. This takes a lot of commitment to attach yourself to something that is so incredibly niche that they are going to take their work very seriously, but not in a ‘suck all the fun out of it’ way. In a way that they know that you are serious about your brand and they are adamant on solving the problem and providing the best possible solution.
- Knowledge/expertise of industry and their craft – A professional handletterer knows that you deserve the best of their knowledge and expertise. They have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours, reading, studying, and deliberately practising lettering in a bid to do the best possible work that they can. Most, when starting out, will have a day job in which they work at something else. Possible in a different industry. But it’s something they love to do, which is why they do it. They come home to learn, work, and become even better at what they do. It’s a ‘long-game’ mindset, they know this. Its something they love, therefore it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get to where they want to be. Meaning, a professional Handletterer isn’t interested in a ‘quick-fix’ or cheap solution. This is why you pay more money for a professional. They know what they are doing and have spent years honing their craft, developing their skill and knowledge of their industry.
Handletterers are pragmatic, they want to solve your problems and help your customers. A logo isn’t designed for your business, it’s designed for your customers. Working with one artist/designer who is focussed solely on your project, is far better than working with an agency full of people in a hierarchical environment where the logo is being passed from hand to hand where everybody has an opinion, increasing the possible direction in which a logo can go.
More is not necessarily better.
Working with one Handletterer who has their own process, knows what they are doing, where the logo is objectively scrutinised by one person can be of benefit. Both in terms of time and possibilities that may be left on the table if it was viewed by many people in an agency with various views and insights. Logo design is a difficult practice. One that can be easily subjective. Some people like certain approaches/styles compared to others, but that’s not your problem. And it’s certainly not your designers/artists problem.
They were hired to solve the problem you presented to them. They are going to use the best of their knowledge and expertise to create a solution that objectively solves the problem in the best possible way in a professional manner.