Every author needs a logo.
Yup, I said it. If you are an author, you need a logo. It doesn’t have to be a fancy logo or expensive design. But a logo is a key element of branding as an author. A logo anchors a an author’s brand and becomes the single most visible manifestation of the author.
Honestly, that becomes a bigger deal as you grow your reader base. When you’re just getting started, a logo helps you present a professional face to the world. One which, hopefully, readers will recognize down the line.
If you are considering a logo, here are some tips to consider:
Your Name is Your Logo
Your name (or pen name) should be the most recognizable thing about your author brand. Therefore…make sure your name is the key element of your logo. You’re not going to be like a car company or like Prince with just a symbol. In many cases, you don’t need any additional symbols with your name.
I’ve seen many author logos with pens, quills, or typewriters incorporated into the design. If you like that, great! Just remember, that if you see it a lot, it won’t be recognizable. If you want to incorporate some kind of icon or image into your logo, try to make it more unique. Also, don’t make it the most important element of your logo design. (See point above.)
What Else to Include?
Logos often incorporate other information. For authors, consider including a tag line. This is often a different way to capture your target audience or communicate the genre. Also think about including an important status of some sort (NY Times Bestselling Author, Award-Winning Author, Romance Author, etc.).
With both of these options, make sure you have a version of the logo with and without the extra lines.
Genre or Generic?
Logo advice all over the internet says to make your logo communicate what you write. For authors, this means having your logo communicate your genre.
However, for authors who write in multiple genres (or intend to), think about how your logo works for each/all of your genres. A contemporary romance logo in pink with roses might not work so well if you also write thrillers. If you are using the same pen name for all genres, you’ll need a logo with works across genre.
Readable & Versatile
You would think this one would be obvious, but it’s not to many authors. Don’t pick a font that is not readable. Make sure to view the logo with a white background, with a black background, and with a patterned or picture background. View it large, but also view it tiny. Make sure you can read it in any format.
Custom or Pre-Made
There are tons of websites out there offering premade logos that you just fit your name right into. These are a great way to get a relatively cheap logo which is generic enough to work for many people. Here’s an example of a place to check: http://www.brandcrowd.com/logos/tags/writer/
Another route is to have one custom-made. I recommend this if you already have a specific idea or look/feel in mind. When searching for a logo designer, make sure you like the other logos they’ve designed. Do your research ahead of time and present them with logos that are similar to what you are looking for.