Self branding is a curious thing

(*Disclaimer*) I’m not going to be writing about tattoos unfortunately.

Self branding has always been a tricky one for me – especially as my company/trading name is the same as my actual name. I’ve often thought and come super close to changing the ‘work name’ I’m known under for something more anonymous but that would feel a bit like taking a gun to both feet as it would probably undo a lot of the effort I’ve put in over the years to get to this point.

I think what makes it trickier to design a logo when its your own name is that (normally) you want a logo to guide you as to what the business actually is or their particular style/way of doing things. Thats what makes each individual business different, right? And in turn, their logos usually reflect that. There are some exceptions of course but we’re not going down that road today. When you get a brief from a client to design a logo for them, you have set parameters as to what it is they do and what they like and you then interpret that in a way that hopefully showcases their business in a look/style they like and can be comfortable with showing the rest of the world. When it comes to doing a logo for myself, I struggle to think that way as I like to do multiple things in multiple styles/mediums.

I don’t know to be honest – maybe everything I do looks the same and I’m blindly thinking that I can work in different styles and have good results. I think the thing is, is that I don’t actually know what I want my logo to show. I used to work a lot in ink, so when I designed my current logo, it made total sense to me as thats what I did – I worked in black ink so my logo was made out of… black ink. Box checked. Sorted.

In the past few years though, I’ve been working a lot more digitally so is my logo relevant anymore, or does it need to reflect a different way of working? When I designed the Rorschach one (my current AB logo) I remember sketching different variations of it that could be used on different projects and at different times of the year (Hop-Tu-Naa, Christmas etc). The ‘WTF, who do you think you are? You’re a one man design company, not a huge graphic design agency’ thought popped into my head though and I scrapped them for the exact reasons I just typed. I don’t need multiple variations of a logo, I just need one that works for me.

It also feels quite odd to draw/write your name over and over and over again trying to get a different style or vibe to it because at the end of the day, it’s still your name and it comes with all your memories and baggage that you need to seperate to see it objectively as a brand. I’ve had ideas for logos and packaging and merchandise and general branding over the years but I always scrap them because it’s kinda weird to think that anyone would want my name on something – that they then keep. I mean, why would anyone want that, that’s just odd. Obviously that’s why a lot of creatives come up with a name for their business because then you can do whatever branding ideas you want without it looking like you’ve got a head the size of Saturn.

Thinking about it while I’ve been typing, I like my current logo and maybe it just needs some attention to update it a bit but I feel the idea still works for me and what I do. I often think it’d be fun to get some other artists and designers involved and each try to design a new logo for them/their business. It’d be cool to have fresh eyes on your personal branding as there are always aspects you don’t necessarily see yourself…

Or you ignore them because its YOUR logo and you can do what you want.