Monday, August 18th, 2014
I’ve always enjoyed creating brands for my personal projects, but have struggled to create something for myself which I stick too. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore something new, be your own worst client and create something you’d want to stamp on everything you own. But why do I constantly get the itch to start again? It’s the same story every time: Grow tired, conceptualise an idea, develop the form over a few weeks (or days), finalise, update all the online avatars etc. Then a few months down the line I begin playing with new ideas and the process starts all over again. I would never imagine doing this for a business I owned or worked for, and certainly wouldn’t expect it of a company or brand where reputation is important, so why do we do it? Maybe to understand I need to see how I got here:
Going back in time
I, like many creatives, have had many personal brands over the years, and while a few have been lost to the sands of time (old PCs and Macs), the somewhat motley crew below show how my logo mark has changed throughout the years. 2007 – The days of designing while listening to Taking Back Sunday and Underoath 2008 – I began using my name and went for a light-hearted approach 2010 – I shortened it to my initials and used an overlapping diamond element to represent the hyphen inbetween the second names. 2013 – This is where I put a bit more thought behind the marque. Starting from scratch, I decided to play on the ‘DC’ part of my name and the obvious association to electrical circuits. The logo itself was created from the DC power source symbol, as well as a custom R character created from simple shapes. I only used this for a splash page, so never got round to developing an independently useable marque. The idea however was something I liked.
Which brings me to what I have now:
2013 – Developing the ‘DC’ electrical circuit imagery further, I aimed to create a simple scientific-esque symbol which’d be at home on a website, business card or (visually at least) on a circuit diagram. Instead of using the visual metaphor of a DC cell, this time I went for a take on the older symbol for a DC circuit generator. This symbol is a ‘G’ with a dash beneath it, all surrounded by a circle. I replaced the ‘G’ with an ‘R’ in Avenir Next, and my new marque was born. A simple approach execution with deeper meaning; R DC.
2014 concept – Now this is why I started writing this post. I’ve experimented with a few new concepts this year, same ol’ situation, but this one was going to take the cake. It abandoned the circuitry idea for something even more straight forward. Wether you read R D – C, or R D C, it still makes sense and spells out my initials, and the hyphen for once had a suitable place. But wait… why am I doing this?
I think I re-design because I’m misunderstanding what a personal brand really is. I look at it as a shape, a font or a series of colours, when in reality the biggest element of a personal brand is more than skin deep. It’s how you go about your craft. It’s what you’re like to work with according to others. It’s your ability to have a style, but still be flexible and change with the times. All these things take more time and effort than creating a new logo or choosing a new typeface, and can’t be done over night. Neither can you fake it. Like a large company taking missteps in one way or another, people will remember that. A reputation, a body of work and your personal character is the greatest brand you could ever have, so maybe it’s time to focus more on that? Maybe instead of self-indulgent skin deep efforts, we create a personal manifesto which we promise to hold ourselves to? This would be something you return to and improve over the time, without it getting tired or easily changed.
I think I might give it a go…