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Crafting your Brand

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When we started this blog, like with any blog, the first thing we needed was a theme. Obviously, ours is DIY crafting and food. Once you have that picked out, the second most important thing is to prepare good content for your readers. So for us, we started to write posts about the crafts we were doing and the interesting food we created. But in order for people to take you seriously, I feel it is important to go beyond the basic shell template that a blogging site offers you and create something that makes you unique. That’s why I created a logo for Charleston Crafted.

Creating a logo isn’t nearly as simple as it may seem. You need to capture the essence of the theme of your blog while maintaining simplicity and making it catchy. It’s an interesting mix to try to create. You’re going to go through a lot of revisions, just like I did, or you aren’t doing it right. So here’s how I did it…

I’ve done a lot of work with Adobe Photoshop before and felt this was going to be the easiest way to work with different objects and text. First, as our name is “Charleston Crafted,” I knew our logo needed to be themed towards crafting and/or the city of Charleston.

My first attempt simply took a faded version of Morgan’s fabric scraps collage and added the text over it in a suitable font that seemed to be calm, smooth and sophisticated and chose Morgan’s favorite colors for style- coral and seafoam:

Logo Attempt 1 - Charleston Crafted

It was nice, but you have no idea what you’re looking at behind the text. Good start, but too simple. So I restarted by aiming at crafting alone. I added elements of crafting and the beach:

Logo Attempt 2 - Charleston Crafted

I took a table and placed the logo and some minor elements on the table’s surface. Again, it was nice, but a little too hokey to be taken seriously. So I decided to get serious. I found a photo of the Ravenel Bridge (that I had actually taken when on a helicopter for work) and decided to use that as a backdrop.

Charleston Background Image - Charleston Crafted

But I didn’t think that an actual photo would look good as part of a logo. So I used Photoshop to make it look a little more enhanced. Photoshop allows you to add a lot of different filters to photos and completely change the look. You can play around in the “Filters” tab and decide what works best for you but I went to the “Artistic” sub tab.

Adding Filter - Charleston Crafted

I flipped through and ended up with the “Poster Edges” filter. It made the photo look like a drawing. I upped the “edge thickness” to 5 and finally settle on my subtle cartoon feel. Then it was time to come up with elements I wanted. I put a bunch of different things that shouted food and crafting and played around with how they should be positioned.

Different Version of Logo - Charleston Crafted

Different Version of Logo - Charleston Crafted

Different Version of Logo - Charleston Crafted

Different Version of Logo - Charleston Crafted

Unfortunately, no matter where I put everything, it continued to look like too much was going on and neither Morgan or I could put our finger on it. After thinking about it, we decided that we just wanted to make it more simple. I got rid of most of the elements and was left with this:

Final Logo - Charleston Crafted

Looks a lot cleaner, huh? We both love the elements we decided to keep. I loved the paintbrush and roller looking like they had actually painted on the words of “charleston crafted” and the starfish gives our blog the beachside look that a lot of our DIY crafts are about. I also made a smaller version that would work for our gravatar on the blog and we could use for our Twitter and Facebook profile pictures:

Small Square Logo - Charleston Crafted

Crafting your logo is all about crafting your brand, so make sure you take your time doing it and get it right because this is what people are going to see every time they come to your site.

What do you think of our logo? How did you decide to craft your brand?

Sidenote- if you don’t have access to Photoshop, there are a number of other tools you can use. One of my favorite is Pixlr which has a lot of the same tools as Photoshop and is available as an online platform and can also let you make collages and other things.

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