Brand recognition is important for any size business, including a photography business. Self-employed photographers can create powerful brand identity with a photography logo. A simple photography logo can be designed by a photographer and used on social media posts, as a watermark on promotional photos, and on anything used for promoting the photographer or their business.
How to Create a Photography Logo:
- Brainstorm your own logo idea
- Finding or buying logo templates
- Finding or buying stock icons
- Customizing with editing software
- Using pantone colors
- Using vector graphics
When it comes to creating a logo for your business, you can make one yourself, or hire a graphic artist to make one for you. Websites like Fiverr, UpWork, and 99Design can put you in touch with talent for hire at reasonable prices. However, if you want to create your own logo, the following suggestions can help you get started.
Brainstorm Your Own Logo Idea
The first thing to do is come up with a few ideas and sketches. Try incorporation photography concepts such as an aperture logo, a photography signature, a photography name, a simple camera logo, or another image from camera clip art.
Freehand drawing, either with pencil and paper or some sort of program is another valid method. A tablet and stylus allow you to save your drawing directly to your hard drive. If you draw a sketch on paper, it can be scanned into your computer.
This brainstorming step will help you narrow down your search parameters for any templates or icons you may need to download or purchase.
Finding or Buying Logo Templates
An online photography logo creator will often have their own set of templates that you work into your own ideas. Alternatively, you might search for some sort of plugin or action for Photoshop or Lightroom. There are also some smaller, special purpose programs for computers or tablets that may have their own templates for a photography logo design.
You may find free logo design templates that you like, but most template websites charge money. Those that charge often have quite a bit more templates to choose from, allowing for greater customization. Free logo templates are often limited in scope, but you may find a free template that suits your needs.
Finding or Buying Stock Icons
Once you find a template, the next thing to consider is a set of stock icons. These icons may be vector graphics or png images of a shape you want to use. Some templates will let you import icons of various types, while other programs could have specific parameters for importing and using icons and images.
As with templates, free icons may be more simple compared to the pay-to-download sites, which typically have more styles, items, and themes available.
Customizing with Editing Software
Though Adobe has some of the most popular and capable programs for photographers and illustrator, there are other programs that are competitors doing similar jobs. Some do things in a slightly different manner, others may add a different set of features. Whatever you are currently using should be able to work for you. If not, an Adobe subscription is just a reasonably priced click away.
Adobe Illustrator is one of the better programs for combining photographic images, text, and vector graphics together. Corel, Oracle, Microsoft, and Quark also have some excellent desktop publishing programs with a full suite of features that a designer can use.
Using Pantone Colors
Pantone is the standard color system used by many commercial printers and manufacturers. It is a very specific proprietary color management system used for repeatable and uniquely distinct colors across a wide range of mediums. If you opt for a Pantone color in your logo, that can help with your brand identity.
For example, notice how Coca-Cola has a very specific red color that is the same on tee shirts, soda cans, and point-of-purchase displays. Pantone can help provide you with a basic color identity. To use Pantone, you do have to purchase official color guides and use software that is licensed to access Pantone colors.
Using Vector Graphics
Vector graphics are basically what computers use to draw illustrations. When creating your own photography logo, a vector graphics program can let you adjust existing items, or you can start from scratch. Learning vector graphics is one of the cornerstones of graphic design, so if you expect to be doing a lot of your own desktop publishing work, it might be helpful to watch some of the excellent tutorials available online for low cost or even free.
Where to Use Your Photography Logo
- Logo as a watermark on your artwork
- Logo on your business website
- Logo In promotional materials
- Logo on your price lists
- Logo on social media accounts
- Logo as part of your signs
Logo as a Watermark
What is a watermark? In digital photography, it’s usually a transparent image that is embedded in a photo that is fairly clearly seen but doesn’t obscure the main picture. To help understand watermarks, it may be helpful to know what watermarks were originally designed for.
Originally created to be used as an anti-counterfeiting measure in paper currency and legal documents, a watermark is an image or pattern in the paper itself that appears when viewed under certain light. It was generally made using embossing variations on the paper. They were added to the paper stock before the paper was dried. Since the paper was still wet, watermark became the term.
For photography logos, a watermark can be placed somewhere in the photograph to protect your intellectual property. So, any time that picture is downloaded, viewed onscreen, or printed, the watermark is part of the image. It’s especially useful with proofs or sample prints. A watermark should help ensure that no one uses your art without you being compensated.
Having some pre-printed photos with watermarks is a fine way to promote finished artwork for your clients. Having your photography logo as the watermark promotes your brand identity. Many post-processing programs can be used for creating a watermark, or you could look into a stand-alone watermark maker tool.
Logo on Your Business Website
You do have a business website, right? A website is very important to have, and not too difficult to make and maintain. Website management tools have come a long way towards simplifying this process.
If you haven’t purchased a domain name and web hosting yet, it is strongly recommended that you do so. You want to build brand identity for your photography business with your logo. It’s a fundamental step towards getting started in freelance photography.
Logo In Promotional Materials
Placing your photography logo on promotional materials is a great way to build your brand identity, keep your business in view, or even to reward your favorite clients.
Promotional items can include t-shirts, office supplies, phone cases, or ball caps. Some other items that could be made with your photography logo on them are candy bars and cakes. Yes, food items! Imagine hosting an event to promote your photography business and having everything edible include your own logo. This is a fabulous way to make a great impression.
A postcard mailer or an email campaign are other examples of promotional items that feature your photography business logo. These ideas all cost money, but it is for advertising purposes, so make sure you also have access to a good accountant or accounting software to help you with future tax deductions.
Logo on Your Price Lists
With many types of photography businesses, it is important to have price lists readily available. If you prefer to hide your price list from your website visitors, that’s fine. But when meeting with existing or prospective clients, it is good practice to have print colored copies of your various price lists. Adding a date that prices expire protects you from your own continually rising costs of doing business.
A price list can be on plain paper, but making them a little more special isn’t that hard to do. Printing in full color on a quality paper stock adds a touch of class. Templates for documents that include a tasteful border can also be used. Using the photography logo design that you created on the price list creates continuity with your promotional efforts.
A trifold flyer is a format that some professional photographers prefer. A trifold is a good way to separate price lists if you offer different levels or types of photography. Portrait and wedding photography services are good examples of business types that could employ different styles and pricing levels.
Logo on Social Media Accounts
If you are running a photography business, or even just considering becoming a paid photographer, you will have to make some decisions about social media. There are pros and cons concerning whether or not to add your artwork to the rapidly expanding world of tweets, snapchats, IG stories, blogs, YouTube channels, or that ubiquitous Facebook presence.
If you do decide to employ social media, featuring your creative photography logo on your account is a good idea. Again, it certainly helps create and promote brand identity. One way to have your logo front and center on social media is to use it as your avatar or profile picture. Most social media platforms have an option for adding an avatar to the account. Depending on the platform, it could show on every post, or just in the bio “About Me” section.
When using social media, there are free posts and sponsored posting. As a business person, it would be a good idea to research the differences in the various platforms, see if it makes good business sense to pay for a wider reach. You may decide to let your popularity grow organically. Pay close attention to social media accounts which are similar to your own.
Logo on Your Signs
As you drive around town, take notice of all of the businesses and their signs. Many of them have some sort of logo included. If nothing else, the business name itself is the logo, perhaps with a special font and color. Use your business logo on all of your signage.
This applies to your business cards, too. Your photography logo is a small, portable sign that can become a great promotional tool. It is not unusual for a business to receive a call or an email from a possible customer years after you handed out the card.
Other signs to consider are magnetic car signs, a banner for an event venue, a point of sale display at an arts and crafts fair, and of course, a storefront sign or window decal. Using your photography logo on all of these signs will help set your photography business apart from the competition.
Benefits of Creating and Using Your Own Photography Business Logo
One of the most difficult aspects of transitioning from being a serious photographer to becoming a paid professional is getting customers and keeping them.
As a photography professional, you need to have people either purchase your artwork or hire your services. Being noticed and remembered are the most important keys to your success.
To succeed, you must get noticed and be remembered. If you can create a great photography logo for your business, and use it in as many ways as possible, your career as a professional photographer will be off to a great start.