Your artist brand deserves a logo. A logo is a sign or symbol that identifies a company or a brand. As an artist entrepreneur, your logo is the graphic design that will visually represent your artistic brand wherever you offer products or services. From your business cards and brochures to your website, social media and product packaging, your logo will be placed on everything that visually represents you. Therefore, it has a duty to embody the core of your brand.
How do you create a logo that represents the core of your brand? My approach is simple. By aligning your purpose and mission with your customer you can select a symbol that represents the essence of what you do. When I design a logo, I always start with a carefully selected symbol. I then add shape and color through a series of steps designed to connect the design to the purpose, vision and mission of the brand that the logo represents. From organizations doing social good to personal brands, I have designed logos and consulted with many artists on their logo design (some examples below). In this article, I will focus on the logo symbol selection process.
Brand Impact: Purpose, Mission & Customer
Your logo symbol reflects the meeting of your core offering and the pain you are relieving for your client. It represents what you offer in response to what the people you serve need most.
A symbol can be an object, shape, sign, or character used to represent something else. There are three things to consider when you select a symbol for your logo: purpose, mission and impact. Ultimately, your brand symbol will reflect what I call the brand impact that your products and services will have on your customer. Brand impact is the relationship between your mission and your customer or rather your core offering and the pain you are relieving for your audience.
Consider the logo for Elevate the Artist. I began the process of selecting the symbol for the logo by reflecting on the brand’s purpose. Elevate the Artist’s purpose statement:
Our purpose is to reposition artists as artist-producers.
As I meditated on the word reposition, I considered what the brand offers that would allow Elevate to fulfill that purpose. To do this with your brand, consider the current state of your customer before interacting with your brand. At Elevate, we serve artist’s who are ready to produce their own work. These artists have artistic ability and are familiar with their practice. Elevate offers them business and personal development tools that put artists in the driving seat of their careers. Considering where they are and what we offer results in the impact that we have. In the early stages of symbol selection, my designer and I came up with: pencil, lightbulb and key as potential symbols.
Next, I considered the brand’s mission.
Our mission is to provide artists with the knowledge and tools needed to create systems – systems that promote the habits which lead to a sustainable artist livelihood and profitable business.
With Elevate, artists access knowledge that enables them to access spaces that are traditionally occupied by producers. We reposition through knowledge; this is our core offering. That knowledge repositions the artist so that they can access people, places, customers and the world in new ways.
As an artist entrepreneur, your logo is a symbol that communicates the essence of what you offer through your artistic work. Consider your purpose, mission and core offering. Then, consider the current state of your future customer. How will they be impacted by your products and services? This is your brand impact. Can you state this in one word or phrase?
Elevate does more than offer knowledge, we offer inner transformation and an entirely knew approach to artistic creation. We are not a school or a library, we’re offering a movement that we want artists to take part in. Once I considered this, I described the brand impact as access. With that the image of the key came into my mind almost immediately.
Keys are powerful; they symbolize access, authority, possession and ownership. Artists are at the center of major and highly profitable industries yet we often do not access the wealth that our work creates. Elevate the Artist’s products and services are designed to change that. The key reflects how we reposition artists: the knowledge and tools needed to create systems and habits that lead to sustainable artist livelihoods.