Establishing Brand

With all the advances and availability of technology today, budding graphic designers are turning up on every corner. Or are they?

I know what you’re thinking, “How hard could it be? I can create my own graphics.” Then again, most people think they have great taste, are wonderful drivers, and have a terrific sense of humor. Let’s face it, statistics prove otherwise.

The primary function of a graphic artist is to create a versatile, memorable logo, known as an identity. The object is to make your name known and memorable and further your professional brand. Continued promotion of your logo is how you entice potential clients to listen to your demos.

Incorporating engaging font(s) laid out in a clever design with a progressive color story communicates your value to executive assistants, advertising Creatives, producers, and directors well before we ever hear your demos. Your logo defines your taste level and aesthetics. Without proper ‘packaging’ in the form of an effective logo (identity), all your best efforts to create outstanding demos might very well fall on deaf ears. Think about it. Would you purchase anything with a dull, lack-luster package? Doubtful.

Your graphics should look as good as your demos sound. It’s one thing to say it, and another thing entirely to do it.

Most voice talent think their graphic should appeal solely to them, and ultimately overlook who they’re promoting themselves to as a voice talent. Your graphics need to communicate most with the producer, casting and/or talent agent’s assistant. They often have an extensive art or advertising background, are between 19 and 33 years old, highly opinionated aesthetically speaking. Instead, most talent simply please themselves, follow out dated cliché graphic options, and seldom have the benefit of distance to objectively art direct their own graphics.

To add to this, far too many voice talent have a cheap attack when it comes to their graphics, thinking they can have someone they know handle their graphics for nothing or next to nothing. The problem with having a friend or relative design your graphics may have nothing to do with whether or not they have great taste and a keen eye for style and color, but their technical skills may be limited. Therefore converting your graphic into multiple formats may be beyond his skills, which this is imperative to insure your graphic works online, in a postcard, and on a business card, for example. One-size does not fit all when you’re employing multiple vendors to complete your promotional materials and hope to have a consistent final product.

Moral: there’s NO FREE LUNCH! If a friend or relative tells you they’d “be happy to design your artwork” for nothing or for a deal, take my word for it, it’s going to take a very long time to complete. From my experience, you’ll likely add six to eight months onto the entire project because everyone’s got bills to pay, and frankly, paying jobs will get done first for just that very reason. Besides, God forbid you want to make changes or modifications to the initial design that was done for you gratis. Your friend, or cousin, or brother-in-law figured he could simply throw a microphone or a mouth over your name and call it a day.

Concentrate on your logo making your name known in a progressive, appropriate way. Your identity (logo) should look like how you sound. Fonts can speak volumes to mood, age range, demeanor, and humor… without being so literal as to say, “I’m conversational, yet professional and approachable.” It’s way too obvious. Fine for Pay-to-play sites, but it stops there. They need the algorithm key words. Your logo should convey, not actually say it. Bad graphics can bury a perfectly wonderful voice talent.

So, how do you art direct the graphics? Keep it to a minimum. Looking over the graphic artists past work. Determine whether you identify with the mood or style presented in any of these other logos. Let the graphic artist know what fonts, colors, shapes and layout in his past work you identify with most. If you found one or two visual images or fonts that appeal to you, mention it or email a link of these to your graphic artist. (Not 5, not 15 examples—just a couple. That’s all.)

Like most things in life, if you want something done right… leave it to the professionals. Hire a proper graphic artist who knows the drill. Better yet, if you produced your demos with us here at SOUND ADVICE, we recommend an experienced professionals we’re confident we can fully endorse who will allow you to look as great as you sound.

Copyright © 2020 by Kate McClanaghan. All Rights Reserved.