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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Tutorial: How to create yourself a brand

There was a discussion on the Folksy forums recently about the importance of a brand. If you think about it, all well known shops have a particular logo or way of writing their shop name that is instantly recognisable. The shape and colours combined remind you of that shop or of a particular product. You don't need to see the full name to know who is behind the brand. And in the same way, even if you're selling things on a very small scale, it's good to create a brand so that people can recognise you. When they see one of your products, visit your website or see a facebook post by you, they know that it's you because of the consistent brand.

You can of course pay a designer to create a brand for you. But you can also have a go yourself. It's not too difficult to create your own unique brand that people will associate with you. All you need is a computer and a little bit of imagination.

1. Choose a font.
Or maybe two. If the one you pick for your logo/shop name is quite fancy and not so readable, you could also pick a clearer font for text that you write, e.g. on your packaging - you want to make sure that people can read your website address clearly so that they can find you online.

I use freestyle script whenever I write my shop name. But it's not the most readable font, so I knew I needed something clearer for my other text. I've used a variety of fonts, but realise now that it would help my brand if everything was in the same font - so I'm now working towards using 'chewy' everywhere (that's the font that this is written in). Here are the two fonts together on some of my packaging:

Laura at Ginger Beer Designs has used a great font to create her brand:

And she uses this font not only when writing her shop name, but also on her website for buttons and headings:

Laura uses a distinctive font - you probably don't want to choose something too everyday like Arial, you want something a bit different that people will see and think of you.

2. Choose a logo.
Pick a shape or image that people will associate with you. It could be associated with your shop name (e.g. a star shape for 'Star Creations') or just random. Make it clear and unique. You could draw it by hand and scan it into your computer, use a photo, or draw an image on the computer. You might want to include part/all of your shop name, but not necessarily.

Mary from Quite Contrary Crafts uses a little butterfly in her logo, and combines it with the Q in her shop name:

Little Black Heart uses a hand drawn heart shape:

Lynsey at Swirly Arts uses a photo of her well known cheeky chickens (either fabric or drawn):

3. Choose some colours.
You'll need at least two colours, one for the background and one for your text. You might want to add a third, but make sure they all co-ordinate. Make sure that the colours you choose suit your shop - e.g. if all the things you make are in bold bright colours with lots of sparkle, you probably don't want to choose brown and grey for your brand.

Victoria Brewer - Pure Designs uses white with a vivid green colour for an attention grabbing brand:

4. Combine all the above.
Write your shop name in your chosen font and put it in your chosen colour. Fill in the background colour and add your logo. What do you think? People will see this and think of you, so a) you must like it, and b) it shouldn't remind you of anyone else's brand.

5. Use your brand on EVERYTHING.
Put it in your folksy shop banner. Use the logo for your folksy shop avatar. Upload the logo to your facebook page and stick it on any other profiles you have. Use it on any printed documents, e.g. receipts or compliments slips, and make it into stickers for use on your packaging. If you have a website or blog, make sure it is all in your chosen colours and fonts. And put it somewhere on every item you sell - maybe a sticker on the back of the packet, or a piece of card stapled over the top of the packet, or a card band wrapped around the item, or a tag attached to the item with string. Put your font, your colours, your logo on EVERYTHING that is yours.

Leanne at Ello Design uses her simple Ello logo and light blue colour everywhere so you always know it's her:

Folksy shop

Facebook page



See how they're all the same - you wouldn't have a problem knowing that it was Leanne if you saw this branding.

Another great example is Clarkie Designs. Emma from Clarkie Designs always uses the same font and colours, whether it's on Folksy, Facebook, or her own website:

Folksy shop

Facebook page


So your branding doesn't have to be really complicated. Just choosing yourself a font and some colours, and perhaps a little image, will be plenty to make sure you get recognised wherever you are. Of course, there is a lot more to design than this, and if you were trying to become a high street shop you might need some help to create a suitable brand - but for your folksy shop there's no reason you can't have a go yourself. Something is better than nothing, as long as you use it consistently.


  1. That was a brilliant tutorial-one which I will remember when re designing my brand/logo. I'm not the quickest when it comes to computers so am waiting for a quiet day day to sit and tackle it.

  2. Thanks Dawn. Good luck with redesigning your logo.

  3. Thanks for the feature and yes - being consistent is the key to it :)


Thanks for your comments, I always love reading them.

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