Make your mark. Creating a company logo.

Branding Kellys Journal_.jpg

So you have a name. Now - what does that name look like? If you’re asking yourself that question, you’re beginning to think about the foundational elements of building a visual identity.

If your work is your bond, your mark is your tattoo.  

If your word is your bond, your mark is your tattoo. This is the visual cookie that all of your customers will associate with the company name you’ve selected… forever.

A company logo is typically made up of a few elements:

  1. a wordmark

  2. a mark

Ideally they will be able to stand apart and together. And if the mark can eventually stand on its own, then you win the big brand name game that most brands aspire to - think Apple’s apple, Nike’s swoosh, etc.

The process for creating the petaled fox mark we now use began with a piece of paper & a pencil.  I graduated to the iPad & Apple pencil to explore what this mark would look like in pixels.

Branding Kellys Journal_-6.jpg

And then I did a very un-chic thing.  

I gave 15 pages of my rapid designs to the design contest @ 99designs.  There is a negative stigma around crowdsourcing a brand graphic design from a marketplace like 99designs. However, using this contest platform was a was a critical part of my exploration and discovery about which elements I liked and didn’t like. Over 30 designers competed to refine my sketches and then applied them to letterhead, packaging and website templates. If I had to do it again, I would definitely repeat this process. Collecting additional interpretations of the logo helped me to solidify the brand’s personality.

 It was important to me that the logo be repeatable - imagining it as a print inside a leather purse or luxury handbag. After I chose the “winning” design, I gave that file to a brand mark expert - a designer who has worked 35+ years in the fashion industry for some of the world’s most beautiful and covetable institutions. Frank added the much needed finesse to our little flower fox by adjusting the curvature of each line and playing with shape proportions.

Here’s what we finished with!

Petalfox_Square_Logo_Lockup_1_DarkonWhite 2.png

The Petalfox mark playfully illustrates the combining of a tulip and a fox face. Many people have complimented it’s clever design.  This tiny project was a labor of love, but I am confident that this little mark will evolve along with us as the company grows.

Because this is such a broad topic, I’ve collected a few articles that I think are worth reading while thinking about this:

1. 99Designs

99Designs has been around for a looooooong time.  In fact, we used this company to iterate on the designs for Sphero when I worked there 8 years ago.  For serious “branders” this website has a reputation for providing amateur designs. But if you think about using these tools as part of your iterative process, I think you’ll win every time!

Check out their article called How to design a logo: the ultimate guide

2. Canva

How does your mark fit into the overall brand identity?  Canva has a freemium model and we love and use this platform every day.  It’s the design tool for non-designers and I think they have the potential to disrupt the Adobe-lead industry.  Adobe is used by professionals in the graphic arts world, but Canva makes you look like you could be one!

Check out their article called 12 simple strategies all memorable brands use to leave a lasting impression

3. Brandfolder

Need a resource to put all of your brand assets? I’ve been a Brandfolder client since Day 1! I describe this tool as a “visual dropbox” for your creative bits. This tool is fairly flexible and can be used for both corporate brands or personal profiles.

Check out a company brandfolder here:

And my personal brandfolder here.

4. Stuck on Step 1: Name your brand?

If you’re hung up on naming your brand after reading our previous post, you can also reference a article from the brilliant CEO of SEOMoz, Rand Fishkin.

See his thoughts on: How to Choose a Startup Name that Reduces Marketing Friction

Branding Kellys Journal_-5.jpg

You’ve got this! I know you’ll find the perfect look for your brand. Trust your gut and do your research.



P.S. ✨I can not get enough of this song this month 🎶

Dear Petalfoxes, which article helped you the most?
— Kelly