• Alison Price

Custom Logo Design: Types of logo for your Pet Business

There are many types of logo out there to consider for your business, so where on earth do you start? Here! I am going to talk you through the reasons why a logo is a small yet vital part of your branding, what it’s used for and how it can tell your company’s story.

What is a logo?

First of all, what actually is a logo? In simple terms it’s either text or a graphic, or a combination of the two, used to represent your business. It’s often the first thing someone will see but not usually in isolation, which is where the rest of your branding comes in (it’s very much a team effort). The job of a logo is to sum up the story of your business in one little design and serves to quickly set you apart from your competitors as well as building loyalty and familiarity.

Yes, you can create a logo in about five minutes online, but the beauty of this type of logo is only skin deep… the real magic happens when you explore your full intention for your business and its purpose. A logo is often designed at the start of your business journey, when in fact it should be executed much later down the line when you have explored all aspects of building your brand.

Types of logo

I’m going to focus on the two types of branding packages I offer at House of Henry (Bespoke Wordmark and Bespoke Pet Illustration), but first let’s take a quick look at the full list of logo types:

Lettermark: Text only, depicting the initials of the company name such as BBC, H&M, HP. This is ideal if the name is particularly long.

Wordmark: Text only, a popular choice across all kinds of businesses. Its personality may be enhanced through a unique element of the design where appropriate. Think Coca-Cola, Disney, Google, eBay.

Mascot: Depicts a character. These are a little more on the fun side, with a distinctive character placed front and centre. Think Mailchimp, Pringles, KFC.

Graphic/Pictoral: Graphic only. You usually see larger companies with a big marketing spend using this style, (think Apple, Twitter, Shell) but they can certainly be used within a small business if you are prepared to put the time in to build your brand to a point where a singular graphic is all you need to get recognised. The graphic can take the form of an object or a symbol.

Emblem: A combination of graphic and text. More traditional in style (think Porsche, Warner Brothers, NFL) they are often depicted as crests or badges.

So now we’ve covered those, on to the styles that I offer. Having worked with pet businesses for a number of years now, I have identified two styles of logo that work particularly well for the kinds of clients I attract at House of Henry. Let’s go into a little more detail about each now.

Bespoke Wordmark Branding

Bespoke Wordmark Branding is all about keeping the look and feel of your business crisp, clean and simple. This style of type-only logo is a popular choice across all kinds of businesses, but particularly higher end grooming salons, trainers and accessory boutiques. There are no symbols or mascots, but certain elements can be manipulated to create a feeling or intention, to convey the brand values succinctly.

With this style you are not relying on a graphic to explain your business, it’s not literal in that sense. Your brand is represented through the choice of typography, colour, and positioning, with a little extra flair where needed.

Here are some examples:

Bespoke Pet Illustration Branding

Bespoke Pet Illustration Branding is a specialist offering from House of Henry, and very much a team effort with digital artist, Mr HofH.

The reason that this style is so popular is that a lot of the time there is a beloved pet at the centre of our business. They are often the reason we started our businesses, or play an important part in our story. Our business names often contain the name of that special pet, so the natural feeling is to want to incorporate him/her into our branding. And boy does it work well! It is not only dear to you, but appeals to your target audience in the same manner, especially when combined with the rest of your branding.

The main benefit of an illustrated logo design is that it is of course, unique. The illustrations are expertly drawn by hand by Mr HofH. I then take over to incorporate it with the rest of your branding.

Here are some examples:

Standard logo formats

Although it's second nature to me, I wouldn't expect people to know the jargon of the design industry. But I do think it's important to know what you should expect to receive when you commission a designer to create a logo/branding for you. If you want to get the essential info, check out this blog post.

So, at the end of your branding journey, the single most important file you should be provided with is a vectored file. Vectors are made up from lines not pixels... so you can enlarge them as big as a house if you need to with no loss of quality because they have no 'resolution' (aka dots per inch).

If you don't receive this, you are going to struggle later down the line when you try to order signage, items of merchandise, vehicle graphics, and even printed documents if the logo you have is too small or low resolution.

Before you begin working with your chosen designer, check that you will be provided with your master vector file in the end. You probably won't have the software to open it but that's ok, the people that need it most will.

Here’s an example of a vectored file vs a pixel-based file:

Let’s run through the file formats you need to know about:

EPS: your master vectored file – you will probably not be able to open it but you must keep it safe, and supply it to people such as signwriters, embroiderers, printers, designers etc. It should be saved as CMYK (Cyan Yellow Magenta Black) which is the mode used by printers.

PDF: your vectored eps file can also be saved at source as a PDF which makes it more accessible to view and use without design software.

SVG: your vectored eps file can also be saved at source as an SVG which makes it more accessible to view and use without design software.

PNG: this file has a transparent background and is saved as RGB mode (Red Green Blue) for use on websites and on screens

JPG: this file is flattened to white (unless the colour of the logo bleeds out fully to the edges of the file) and is saved as RGB mode (Red Green Blue) for use on websites and on screens. It can also be saved as CMYK mode, and high resolution, but bear in mind that it will lose quality every time it is opened and resaved.

Ultimately the important thing is to get clarification from your designer as to what will be supplied to you (an a little set of instructions telling you how to use the files). This must include the original vectored file (ideally EPS, but also SVG or PDF) otherwise you are going to come unstuck later down the line when you want to do anything meaningful with your logo/branding.

Should a logo have a strapline / tagline?

In my personal and professional opinion, I don’t think that a logo needs a tagline. However that’s not to say one cannot work effectively within the design if needed.

As mentioned previously, logos aren’t often seen on their own. They are usually accompanied by other brand elements on your marketing materials (such as your website, printed leaflets etc.) which gives ample opportunity to utilise a tagline whilst not including it as part of the logo.

If you look around at logos of established businesses, there is no need to have any additional text ‘explaining’ what they do within their business. The name, initials, or symbol is enough, because their branding game is strong and the familiarity and recognition they have built up through their marketing activities means they don’t need to repeatedly tell you what they do, literally, on the logo itself.

It can also be limiting going forward… if your business is called ‘Henry’s Hounds – Dog Walking Services’, what happens when you want to add training to that, and a membership, and a product line? You either end up adding a whole list to the logo design (not pretty) or having to take it off completely. So it’s a good idea to think about whether you really need one. Yet another benefit to exploring your branding journey thoroughly rather than just designing a quick logo in five minutes.

Benefits of custom logo design

Hopefully by the time you have got to this stage of this blog post you are becoming more aware of the importance of putting your branding into the hands of a professional – one who is used to working through the brand pillars (more about that in this blog post) and can set your business on the right path. There are more tips on how to find your perfect graphic designer on this post too.

Ultimately in life you get what you pay for, and graphic design is no different. So if someone seems too good/cheap to be true, they probably are.

What value do you place on your own skills as a groomer or trainer for example? The chances are this calculation will involve the amount you have invested into becoming qualified, getting the right the equipment, the years of knowledge you have gathered working with clients, provable results, the list goes on.

Graphic design is a professional career, everyone has a history and a journey which has led them to where they are today. With that comes a vast amount of experience, technical ability, practice, and creativity.

Professional Graphic Designers have the ability to build your brand into a successful business, something the likes of Canva can't do. And don’t forget that if your business has been branded to look high-end, you can charge more for your services. It’s a win-win.

In summary – your brand is more than just your logo

Your logo is just one element of your branding. It’s important to establish your brand identity before deciding on your colour palette, logo and fonts.

Once you have your brand identity pinned down, the rest will follow seamlessly - and crucially all the elements will tie together consistently.

You can learn more about developing your brand identity here and if you fancy a chat about the branding for your business, just give me a shout: alison@houseofhenry.uk

You can get your hands on my FREE Simple Brand Checklist download by entering your details here:

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