DIY LOGO DESIGN & BRANDING

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved home decor, party styling, DIY and travel. You can read more about me here to give you an idea of why Oh So Kel was born but when I decided to go for it and share my passions with the world, I knew I didn’t want to launch it half-heartedly. I wanted to develop a brand and identity that I was proud of, that people took seriously and that really reflected who I am. Hopefully (eek!) when you see my stuff you get that impression too.

As my love lies with DIY and design I thought why not create my logo, brand palette and website myself? Oh So Kel is my creative outlet after all. I could do it, right?!

YES!

In doing so I’ve been so frustrated I’ve literally cried, I’ve convinced myself I couldn’t do it and I’ve spent hours and hours going round in circles, but what I’ve ended up with is a whole new set of skills I never had before. I’ve fulfilled my dream, I’ve created something by myself that I’m proud of, connected with incredibly supportive people from across the globe along the way and I have a website and brand that is wholeheartedly mine.

Excuse the slightly self-indulgent high-five to myself, but my point is, I did it! And as I’m all about sharing my passions in the hope that I can inspire others, I’ve decided to share this too.

Choosing the Name

Deciding on the name ‘Oh So Kel’ was without a doubt the easiest part to this whole process. It came to me very early on and nothing else felt right or seemed to fit. My biggest debate was whether to go for ‘Oh So Kelly’ or ‘Oh So Kel’!

Start by working out what business names appeal to you, figure out why, brainstorm ideas which aren’t just name ideas but write down words that describe what you and your business is about or you want to be about (I did this and it really helped me to come up with my strapline ‘Design. Create. Inspire’). Chat through your ideas with friends and family to see how they react, and I personally think there’s a lot to be said for gut instinct too.

Shortlist your names and consider how well each can be used in different contexts, ask yourself which really encapsulates your goals and vision, even mock up potential logos for each to start questioning which has the right identity and feel.

Creating the Brand

My first step was to create a Pinterest board where I could save brands, websites, fonts and colour palettes I resonated with. This allowed me to find common themes that helped me to identify what I wanted Oh So Kel to look and feel like. The ‘Beautiful Branding’ board is here if you want to check it out.

I also started to bookmark websites and save e-newsletters from brands where I loved their tone of voice, liked the structure, or was drawn to for a different reason. Think of it as a jigsaw puzzle that you’re piecing together.

Choosing the Logo and Colour Palette

As well as choosing a font and logo that matched my brand (for me it needed to reflect elegance, creativity and professionalism) it also needed to be clear and transferrable in different medium (website, business cards, social media).

Certain fonts and colours pair really well together so if you’re using one font for your business name but another for your strapline, for example, then it’s worth considering this. Script type writing goes well with a contrasting simple text, which is the look I went for.

There is great advice out there on this and I’ve saved many articles in my ‘DIY, Brand and Logos’ board on Pinterest which includes stylish font pairs, logo design ideas and guides to colour personalities.

Creating the Logo and Colour Palette

With a clear idea on the look and feel I wanted, I used PicMonkey to design my logo and create my branding palette because I’m not very confident with InDesign and found it too complicated for what I wanted to use it for. It’s great because your files can be saved to the ‘hub’ in your Picmonkey account which acts as a back up, allows you to edit really easy and duplicate the files too.

I invested in the Royale Package so I had access to the more extended options.

My brand has two different logos for different purposes; the long one is great for headers but the square one is better for social media profiles and things like stickers for envelopes. If you choose to use a strapline or other wording with your logo, consider how this might work with the logo variations and different medium.

Once you’re happy with the outcome, save the files to your hub then download them onto your PC, ensuring you save them in PNG and JPEG. PNG allows you to paste the logo over the top of an image or colour without the white space/box around the logo showing, if that makes sense, like on the back of my business cards, which I also created using Picmonkey. There is a templates area where you can select either sizes for certain uses such as business cards, posters or social media banners or a completely designed template which you can then adapt.

Once you start to find your ‘style’ you can apply it to other things like this name sign off:

Included in my branding palette, also created on Picmonkey, are my logos, colour palette, patterns and features, fonts, and other elements such as my website social media icons. It’s so great to have all of this in one place to refer back to, particularly when designing a website. Ensure you keep this file saved in your hub so you can open it and click on the colours to get the Pantone references (you could of course type these references underneath or in each colour but I chose not to) and to also edit it if things change.

Website

I used Wix to create my website, on my own, with no previous experience and no knowledge of code (there is no requirement for you to need this with Wix, but you do with WordPress). Don’t get me wrong, I struggled to start with having never done it before, but it’s such a visual package that once you’ve got the hang of it you can simply drag and drop elements into it as opposed to creating code in the background. They have templates to choose from so you’re not starting from scratch and for someone un-technical like me, it was definitely the right choice.

The editing side of things is like using Word in my eyes and anything I’ve struggled with I’ve had help from Wix direct by raising a ticket on their website or by some unofficial Wix User Forums on Facebook.

If you sign up for a Premium Package you receive free hosting, storage, analytics, support, no set up fee and domain connection. Which level of package you go for determines the length/amount for each and other services such as email campaigns, apps and ad vouchers. There’s an additional charge to buy an e-mailbox (I’ve created an iCloud account instead which some say is less professional but I’m happy).

For hosting, I’ve chosen Reg123 as I’ve used them before and never had a problem.

I’m more frequently noticing that Bluehost seem to have cornered the market so if I were to do it again, I would probably research into the pros and cons for both.

Now I’ve read time and time again that WordPress is absolutely the way forward, that nothing compares to it, that Wix is restrictive in comparison and that WordPress is better for SEO and site monetisation, so it’s worth weighing them up before making your choice, but for me personally, I definitely don’t regret my decision.

Perhaps check out my Wix Websites Pinterest board which has tutorials on how to build a Wix site, what its best features are and also comparisons between Wix and WordPress.

I’ve created a
Free Blog & Website Graphics board on Pinterest which may be helpful too.

I hope this helps if you’re about to embark on your own branding journey! If I can help in any way, please get in touch.

Please tag @ohsokel and use #OSKinspired on Instagram if you create something after seeing this post. I’d love to see the results!

Until next time,

OSK xx

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