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[Assignment] [design] - Brand Yourself!

IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
I'm posting this thread a little early, to introduce the new activity threads for the new year, and so people can get a head start on this topic.
Branding, Self Promotion, And Logos


There's no set point in your art career where you need to start to consider yourself as a brand. You may not be a graphic designer, but having business cards, a clean universal web presence, and a logo to stick on stuff are nice things for self promotion. Your overall image will probably change and shift over time, but sitting down every now and then and considering your identity is fun, self-indulgent, and ultimately beneficial to you. Have a show and need business cards? Bam, you already have a stack of 300. New art social media site comes along with a customizable page? Bam, slap your logo into that shit and its already customized and professional looking.

You can choose to work on some, or all of these parts to participate in this thread:

A logo

A Facebook banner and profile picture

Business Cards and Letter Heads

A portfolio site

Promo Mailers/postcards

Demo Reels

References and Advice

various design site inspiration

Look at famous artists (not needing to be your favorites, but ones that are high in professionalism and polish) and see if they have an identity and branding that you like. Not all of them will have flashy websites, or have their business cards online, but they may have product design you can draw from:

Your self branding can be rough and primitive, or prim and proper. It can be plain white text over a Pollock inspired paint field, or intricate ink work on wood. Think about yourself as an artist, and how you want to present that to the world. I recommend posting about what you'd like to highlight about your work, and starting with a logo if you have nothing.

Templates and stuff

Printing Templates for overnight prints
business cards

letter head

Post Card

Facebook Banner template

Twitter banner template (via this website just saving you the "give us your email" download link")

Portfolio Site templates and managers

If you have any tips, links, or templates to add, please post them! Otherwise get participating.

Iruka on


  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2013
    About Monthly Enrichment:
    Enrichment activities aim to encourage you to tackle a small but useful assignment every month. They are either multifaceted, or loosely defined, giving you the option to mold it to help you reach previously held aspirations. They will mostly be assignments that you can fulfill in whatever media, and commit whatever time you feel benefits you.

    What Do I Gain From Participating?
    If I'm at all qualified, I will try to provide crits and support to the people who participate. I hope that people in the thread also engage in a little more cross talk when they are working on the same assignment. I will do my best to not let anyone's work go un-commented upon. I will also try and load the OP with resources for everyone to draw from on the topic at hand.

    May I post an old work if it fits into the topic?
    You may post work that you are currently working on, or plan to revisit during the month. Don't post old work if you have no intention of touching it. If I spend time commenting on year old work and then you never do anything to it within the activity, I will shun you.

    May I post inspiration and links even if I'm not going to really participate?
    So long as this aspect doesn't get in the way of people posting work for actual crits, this is a great place to just throw up some art that is related to the topic and you think its helpful. Link the source, and spoiler images so they don't detract from people working on assignments.

    May I suggest a topic?
    Sure! If a bunch of people have something they want to work on, I'm happy to make that the next assignment. Just try and keep it something that all artists can do (like color studies) and not something that requires materials that are inaccessible to a large percentage of members (like ceramics, or metalwork) If there is something that members would like to do and it has a fairly low material buy in, like sculpey maquettes, I'm cool with that too.

    I will pretty much rotate these out monthly without exception. Perhaps if there is a popular one I will let it run for two months.

    Previous Threads:

    FEB-Simple Shapes
    MAR-Show Your Work
    APR-Color Studies
    May-Hands and Feet
    JUN-Still Life
    JUL-Character Construction
    AUG- (off month)
    SEP- Perspective and Environments
    OCT- Thumbnails and Silhouettes
    NOV - NatCoWriMo
    DEC - Secret Santa.

    JAN- Resolution

    Iruka on
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    Sign me up please! :)

  • ChromatomicChromatomic Mr. DCRegistered User regular
    I really like this idea. Plus I haven't updated anything of mine since I got my job last year so I'm not only due for some updates but since then I think I've actually regressed seeing as I don't have my portfolio website up any longer either :(

  • MyntMynt Registered User regular
    This is something I need to do... I'm in

  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Something I'm actually qualified to give criticism for!

    I did some personal branding a little while ago, so I don't think I'll be producing a logo or any stationery, so instead I'll try to produce a motion reel.

    Flay on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I'm probably going to update my business cards, since the printing on my first batch is a little grainy, and I now have the illustrator skills to do it in vector. I'll probably use the same graphic to update my Facebook and twitter pages.

  • SeraphSwordSeraphSword Sketch Fetishist Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    I like how the tumblr tag is pretty relevant until you get a few random instances of people who are burning themselves. That made me laugh (and cringe a little).

    Mastery is the result of ceaseless error, combined with ruthless self-appraisal.
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah, I can NSFW that link, because tumblrs sort of unreliable. "self promo" gets you mostly bullshit "follow me and I'll follow you" posts, and the branding sometimes comes up as, as you saw, actual branding of flesh. this may be better, actually:

  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Here are some tips for anyone planning to design a logo:
    • You should always have a version of your logo in solid black and white. Even if your personal branding has a colour scheme that you love, you won't always have the time or the resources to produce a full-colour print, so it's best to be prepared.
    • Consider what the reverse version of your logo looks like (white on black). While you're refining your design you should test out your design several times with black on white and white on black variations at many different sizes (large to very small).
    • Small, thin details tend to get lost when your logo is reproduced at a small size. Unless they're a key part of your identity, it's better to avoid them.
    • The best logos are usually simple and memorable, but have a strong idea behind them. Don't over-complicate things unnecessarily.
    • Create mockups to see what your logo looks like in-situ. It looks great on a blank illustrator document, but does it work in the header of your website?
    • Think about your logo as part of a larger scheme. If possible, try and pick one or two fonts to pair it with, and possibly a core range of colours, and use these consistently.

    Flay on
  • PukioPukio Registered User regular
    I'd already decided to sit down and make a portfolio site for myself over the next month, so this is rolling in at the perfect time; count me in!

  • JeckalHydeJeckalHyde Lord Awesome New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Yeah count me in also, I need to do all of this and actually start doing portfolio work to be able to help me find a job

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Glad to have some folks on board. @magictoaster I feeeellll like you should be in here too.

  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    I didn't see this! This is fantastic!

    I need to update my portfolio and overall image because I've been using the same thing for 5 years now. I'll be doing this.

    There is one bit of advice that I feel is important to point out: When dealing with print, the actual design is half of the work. The other half is in choosing the right paper. Most paper companies, such as Mohawk, will give away paper sample booklets. These are fantastic resources that will make your print product that much better!

    When you get your sample booklet, don't store it for a couple of years. Paper styles, much like the latest fashion trends, come and go very quickly. You might find that the 100lb Velum paper you had your heart set on was discontinued 2 years ago.

    Also, I love this page:

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    I too should start some sort of brand identity. Alright, I'm in.

  • MolybdenumMolybdenum Registered User regular
    little did you know that I am already in

    Steam: Cilantr0
    3DS: 0447-9966-6178
  • mulinjohemulinjohe Registered User regular
    These are fantastic resources that will make your print product that much better! a129.jpgk2.jpg

  • ProspicienceProspicience The Raven King DenvemoloradoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Not sure if I'll have time this month, work has been crazy, but I may be in.
    If you all are looking for a crap load of logos to get ideas from check out

    Prospicience on
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    I definitely need to do this, or at the very least bookmark the thread so I feel hella guilty for slacking off

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Vectorized my business card.

    Now to make a back for it.

    I made a logo a little while ago:

    Which I will probably put on the back in some way.

  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Since a business card is such a small space you really need to reduce your ideas down as much as possible to give them as much punch as you can. Your artwork is really great, but there are a few elements in there that distract from the message you're trying to get across (i.e. I am an artist, here are my details). Once you have your core idea, I'd try reducing the entire layout to one or two colours at most, and removing any parts that aren't contributing to that message.

    Also Helvetica is a very stable typeface without much personality, which is kind of at odds with the energy that your branding has. Try experimenting with some other options from blambot or dafont, perhaps something blockier maybe with the edges roughened up, or a font that with more flow and dynamism (not necessarily a script font, but along those lines). If you keep the coloured bars, find a way to work them in that emphasises the image. It can be used to emphasise the type too, but preferably the type should be easy enough to read on its own.

    Here's a quick mockup I made (the details would be on the other side):


    Flay on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 2013
    I personally enjoy the cleanliness sort of mixed in. I could blend it more, but I'm not a huge fan of grunge text, in general.

    I also much prefer my card match my website (for reference)
    Which while I need to do some changes over there, I'm rather happy with the simplicity of it. I'll play with the spacing, though.

    I actually already have a card

    And my essential goal was to just vetorize it, because the printing came out all shitty since it was before I knew how to use illustrator. The text in the new version is already much bigger, and my old card has been working fine for me, but the phone number was too small.

    I do see where your coming from, though. My layered sense of myself as an artist goes down to the bone, and it doesn't always come out coherently. I hate splatters and grunge text though, so I'd have to find some other solution. I'm not sure I'm going to go for a complete re-branding, here though. I'd rather play with the constraints I've already set and see if I can make it work.

    Iruka on
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    I think Flay is in the right here, his quick mock-up design is a lot more effective than the one you went with. There's too much info to look at when minimalism should be key

    This sprang to mind for fun:

  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    Oh, I wasn't trying to say that you should go for a grungy style over what you have, the spatter I threw in just because it was a quick way to balance out the layout. :P

  • DMACDMAC Come at me, bro! Moderator mod
    I agree about finding a typeface that suits your work better. Helvetica just seems too bland and traditional.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I'm open to suggestions, I'll admit I'm not really crazy into looking at fonts. I like Helvetica, and I think a bold but simple typeface has a nice contrast to my flow. Grunge doesn't really fit my work, which is rather smooth even when dealing with blood and gore, and cursive frills aren't really my shit, font wise.

    So if any of you GD people want to treat me like one of those terrible clients that doesn't know any better and find the perfect font to fit my stupid, arbitrary criteria, go for it.

    I'll play with everything else, despite my strong, strong inclination to be lazy and okay with my card as is.

    But, You bitches best be working on shit to post in here too, though. I'm not making these monthly enrichment threads just for me.

  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Count me in. Here is what I've come up with so far.

    My initials (JH)

    A blocky, graphical representation of how I sign my initials (JRH, seen in lower left for comparison)

    nakirush on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I like those, nak. I feel like you could extract some other geometric forms from your signature for a more surprising formation, but I like the simplified, abstracted nature of it.

  • DMACDMAC Come at me, bro! Moderator mod
    My original plan with my site's banner was to make the artwork a random or rotating thing. Maybe I'll revisit that idea.


  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    Tried another geometric design. Why must logo design be so difficult?


  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    I am going to work on this today!

  • GrifterGrifter BermudaModerator mod
    Godfather wrote: »
    I think Flay is in the right here, his quick mock-up design is a lot more effective than the one you went with. There's too much info to look at when minimalism should be key

    What? How is there too much info in the card that Iruka posted? She has her points of contact and her website listed. She didn't include her blog, deviant art, facebook, linkedin or anything else. It's the basic information that a business card generally should have. I would say that Flay's design would probably work better as a masthead for a website than a business card.

  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    Regarding the business cards, Flay did suggest putting the contact info on the other side of the card. Minimalism isn't really the key to a business card, it's being able to contact the person.

  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    @NibCrom I really like that banner and the idea of it rotating/being random. It looks like you're using WordPress, right? I believe there's a way to set the header to be random for each page, but that could be theme specific now that I think of it..

    Settled on a geometric logo I like (thanks @Iruka for the feedback!). Here is a business card I put together with it. Nice and simple, I think. Thoughts?


    nakirush on
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    I think you're trying to address DMAC. :)

  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    Oops. My bad. :D

  • DMACDMAC Come at me, bro! Moderator mod
    My site was built with Microsoft Frontpage in Windows 2000. I am on the cutting edge of Web design.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    @nakirush Something weird is happening to the shape that makes me feel like its unbalanced and out of perspective.

  • ChromatomicChromatomic Mr. DCRegistered User regular
    I keep buying website domains and then never doing anything with them... Lemon.Li/me is my current unused URL. Not sure if I should brand around that or not though.

  • MyntMynt Registered User regular
    Ok... I don't have a lot to show right now, but I might as well start off with a description of my brand and what I want to convey. (Something I'd like to see more of on this page BTW)

    My brand is called Mynt Condition Comics. I will be producing multiple short stories that will be mainly viewed online with an eventual push to print. So my logo and branding will have to work for things like a website header, banners, possibly avatars for social media, spines and covers of books and business cards.

    I'd like to convey a message of quality and professionalism. I know that is VERY broad, but in essence, I'm not looking for something "cartoony" for a logo. The stories I have planned might have a touch of whimsy and comedy here and there, but since the thought of having to write funny stories week in and week out is paralyzing for me, I'll be staying away from that.

    One thing that does worry me is the name "Mynt"... I've used it as a handle forever, so it's tough for me to stray away from. But I wonder if I should just change it to "Mint"... The worry I have is having to explain to someone that it's "Mint" but with a "y" can be cumbersome. Then again, in today's world of links and copy pasting, does that even matter?

    Ok... Enough words... Here's some super preliminary brainstorming I did during Christmas:

    Trying to figure out a logo typeface I wouldn't abhor using:

    Here's another page with a couple of drawings trying to figure out the logo imagery. As well as my old business card. I like the idea of using a mint leaf as a logo and the image in the middle is something I could see on the spine of a book. I'll probably expand on that in the near future.

  • EsiotrotEsiotrot Registered User regular
    so I thought I'd get started on this and I cobbled together a website for my work, it seems to be loading really fucking slowly though, then again it could be my connection as thus far I've only tried it on my PC and my phone, both on the same wireless.

    Would love some design advice or if you can see anything that is broken, I'm a massive dunce when it comes to jazz like this.

    clicky clicky

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