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Branded

by Anita Mae Draper

I finally did it! I created a visual icon or logo, for my writing and added it to my new website and business cards. It all started when the Inkies were discussing brands and taglines and helping each other pick appropriate, attention-getting ones. Take a look at these:
  • Barb Early - Faith, Fiction and the Occasional Felony
  • C.J. Chase - Intrigue of the Past, Inspiration for the Present
  • DeAnna Julie Dodson - Step Into Time...
  • Debra E. Marvin - Dark Tales Brimming With Light
  • Dina Sleiman - Dance With Passion
  • Gina Welborn - be light. be love. believe.
  • Jennifer AlLee - Inspirational Fiction For the Heart and Soul
  • Lisa Karon Richardson - Inspired Adventures
  • Niki Turner - (Hasn't decided yet, but didn't want to leave her out)
  • Susanne Dietze - Romance with Nineteenth Century Charm, Timeless Heart
  • Suzie Johnson - Hearts Uplifted, Hope Renewed

Until then, I'd been using the tagline, Prairie Stories to Stir Your Heart, but one of the Inkies came up with Woven Under Western Skies. I liked it right away, but felt it needed more. I mean, what was woven under the western skies? All my books contain faith and romance as well as being western based. So my tagline became Faith and Romance Woven Under Western Skies or just Woven Under Western Skies when space is at a premium.

I had the words, but I wanted a logo to match. So I started playing around aiming for simplicity.

Here's what I came up with:

#1 - I liked the flowing look which simulates the prairie wind and the curved line for Under the Western Skies, as well as the faith element, but what about the romance?


#2 - I liked the idea of the cross and heart entwined, but it didn't look right even though I tried to slant the cross and heart to simulate the windy prairie.


#3 - Uh oh. I'd gone backwards in my design. By trying to show the woven part, I lost the romance. And the overall look was too busy.


#4 - Okay, this I liked. Similar to #2, but better because the cross and heart are going in opposite directions. Not only does that balance it out, but it simulates two people from diffferent faiths, backgrounds, and walks of life. Plus, I still had it all Under the Western Skies. Perfect!

Well, not quite. The image was what I wanted, but it looked childish. I needed an artist to pull it all together and make it shine.

As it happens, God has blessed me with a friend who is a graphic artist when she's not writing or mothering. I suppose she's really an eFriend because I've never met her, but firmly believe God had a hand in bringing us together back in 2005 when I used to participate in the Writing Challenges on the Harlequin Community Forum.

Other than her exceptional writing, DebH drew my attention with her avatar. It turned out to be the image she created for her wedding invitations showing her and her fiance doing what they love doing most - scuba diving and kissing. Heh.


Deb took it one step further and used the same images to create the topper for her own wedding cake.



Naturally, when I needed help with my logo, I emailed it to Deb with the word, HELP!

Within hours, Deb sent me a reply that said, It sort of looks like you were going for a brand looking type of logo. (like a cattle brand?) Going with that line of thought, i liked logo number four - it seems more aesthetically balanced. i'm attaching a photoshop file with my interpretation of that "brand". you can turn on/off different layers to see how it looks (i put a tan background for you to see the brand "burn" i added for a subtle touch - you can turn off those layers though). i even put in a blue the same color as your name on the vista card (nice! like the sepia too).

Here's the Vistaprint business card I was thinking of ordering:


And here's what Deb came up with:

I liked the blue, but it reminded me of iced sugar cookies. Yum - I could have my brand and eat it, too. LOL
 
 
 
 
 


And here's what the back of my business card looks like, because I did go for the Premium Vistaprint ones...



And finally, Deb's 'branding iron' energized me to create this for my new website:



Not only has Deb been there to help me artistically, but she's followed my writing progress and is one of my biggest fans. I can't tell you how honored I am that someone like Deb believes in my writing ability.

Here's Deb with her son, Nathaniel aka Guppy.


Yes, she's the DebH that comments on my blogs, including here at the Inkwell where either one of us will mention Guppy, her son and Boats, her husband. Guppy is quite a suitable nickname when you look at his scuba diving parents. Oh, and did I mention that Deb got married on a dive boat at sea?

Thank you, Deb for supporting me all these years and being there when I needed you. Hugs.


Do you have a brand? Tagline? Icon? Tell us about it. And if you don't, tell us what you write and maybe we can help you create one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. You can find her at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/

Check my new website for rules on how you can enter my Welcome Prize Package.

Comments

  1. Guppy is adorable!

    Anita, I love your creative process, and 'm so glad you shares how you came up with your icon. And DebH... wow, I love what she did with your vision, Anita. It's wonderful.

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  2. Well word on the street is you will probably sell soon so it's good you are doing all this prep now ! Looks great and thanks for the scoop on DebH.

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  3. Suzie, I've often thought of myself as an artist, but what I see in my head doesn't look the same on canvas.

    But then, I'm perfectly on pitch when I sing in my head, but with off-key wild abandon when I open my mouth. :o

    It's just one of the reasons I admire DebH - she can translate her thoughts onto paper whether it's images or words.

    Thanks, Suzie.

    Anita Mae.

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  4. Oh Deb, I wish you were my agent! Since you're one of my crit partners, I can only hope you know what you're talking about. But then you've always supported me, too. I am continually amazed by the friends and supporters God has blessed me with. How can I not try my best?

    I've wanted to do a post on DebH and Guppy for a long time and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. If she's not too busy, she'll stop by on her coffee breaks like she normally does. :)

    Thanks, DebM. :D

    Anit Mae

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  5. Such a cute logo with a great tagline!

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  6. Love the literal "brand" and the Western look of your new website. In addition to the simple brand - Dance with Passion, I also have a longer version I use. "Dina Sleiman writes lyrical stories that dance with light. Join her as she explores the unforced rhythms of grace."

    I never thought of any sort of logo or icon, but after I can up with "Dance with Passion" I had my husband take hundreds of pictures of me dancing on the beach for use on my website.

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  7. You know you have the right tag line when it just pops like that. Love your logo too, Anita.

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  8. Thanks, Anne. I spent months thinking of the perfect one to define me and my writing. Yes, I used my original Prairie tagline, but when I realized people associated Prairie books more with the frontier stories than the actual location, I knew I needed a change.

    All I can say is - I'm blessed with friends, you included. :)

    Anita Mae.

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  9. Dina, as I read your comment, I imagined your pose as a line drawing. A few strokes of flowing lines simulating your dance pose. That what I see for your logo.

    The cover of your debut book, Dance of the Dandelion shows your graceful daughter in a similar, but more refined pose which would also work as a logo.

    Just my opinion, of course.

    Thanks for the compliment on my website. :)

    Anita Mae.

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  10. Thanks, Barb. Isn't it great what can happen when friends put their heads together? :)

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  11. Wow. I am SO impressed!

    First, your ideas for a logo were great and I love what you finally came up with. And Deb did a fabulous job refining what you had.

    So, SO cool!

    Now I want one. :D

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  12. thanks Anita for the kind words about what I helped you with. it was pretty easy to create something since you have a solid vision of what you want. of course it might've been easier for me to catch on because i've been one of your biggest fans too. *heh*

    i'm not even close to the publishing stage as you are and since God has given me an artistic gift, i look for ways i can plant my skills as seed for reaping a harvest later (like being pubbed myself...someday). investing in the Kingdom is always fruitful anyway. Your boldness of Faith, Anita, has been a great inspiration to me - it was a joy to be of help.

    And thanks to all the ladies who think Guppy is adorable. I think so too, but then, I'm biased. *heh* He's definitely our little gift from God.

    I'm usually available to help anyone with graphics stuff - it depends on if Guppy will allow me computer time. *grin*

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  13. Anita, I love that you were able to work your brand into an actual brand. It looks great! It almost make me want to start writing westerns so I can have a brand of my own ;+}

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  14. LOL DeAnna, call the Inkies together and we'll help you find one.

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  15. Deb, you're sweet to offer to help.

    Your comment reminded me of that first year at eHarl went we didn't know each other to be believers. The writing challenges are mainstream writing so we didn't profess our faith in our normal day-to-day conversations or writing. Considering the challenges have to be under 1000 words and need to incorporate the challenge theme, it's hard to add anything other than what is required.

    And then about a year after we met, Deb emailed and asked a very tentative, "Are you a believer?"

    Well yes, I am. And I'm so glad she had the courage to ask.

    Anita Mae.

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  16. You live in Nevada, Jen. Why can't you have a western brand? :D

    I guess the profile of a woman's head  with a megaphone at her mouth wouldn't work for your The Pastor's Wife Speaks blog, huh. Can you image the comments from the men! LOL

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  17. Thanks, Anita. Yes, I'd love to brainstorm with everybody about a logo that goes with my "Step into time . . ." tag line.

    And I meant to mention how very cute Guppy is. He looks like he's about to tell the paprazzi to get out of his face. He's darling!

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  18. Anita, coming from the land of cattle brands myself, I absolutely love this! Kudos to you and DebH!

    Someday I'll come up with something for myself, surely! Thanks for including the un-branded Inky, BTW! Oh dear, in cattle terms that would make me a MAVERICK! : )

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  19. That's so impressive, Anita!! You've got me thinking. I never considered a logo before. I've been using Writing Faithful Romances as my tag. Earlier I used Faithful Romances worth pondering, but thought was a little iffy. I can't figure out how to expand it to claim the questioning I hope my stories creates in the readers mind--a desire to consider if they need to change their views on something? One day hopefully something will come to mind.

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  20. Dina, I just realized I said line drawing which I think means the outline. Right Deb?

    What I meant was 3-5 bold strokes showing the movement of the dance. Oh, I still can't explain the image in my head. :(

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  21. Anita, as fun as that megaphone brand would be, you're right about the possible comments :+}

    Wild horses are a big part of Nevada past and present, so if more of my stories were set in Nevada, a brand would work. Maybe that's something to think about...

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  22. Anita
    i knew just what you meant when you said line drawing. i think line drawing works better for what you're thinking of than an outline, especially if you want to capture the "movement" of the picture.

    mayhaps the picture in my head is similar to yours...

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  23. I never thought of creating a logo, either, but it's a fabulous idea! It really pops out on your new website, too. The process of how your logo unfolded is fun.

    Makes me think about what my own logo would be! Hmm...

    Guppy is adorable. I liked the wedding cake, too! Nice to meet you, Deb!

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  24. Niki, you ARE a maverick! Just look at your throat piercing. LOL

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  25. Hey Eileen, I had to think about your question...

    What I would suggest is for you to make a list of words thatdescribe you as well as your writing. You've already started with:
    - faithful
    - romance
    - questions

    Is there anything unique about you or your past that explains why you write what you do?

    Google the above words for:
    - clipart
    - images
    - VistaPrint has dozens of logo samples which was where I decided I wanted one too.

    It's like writing... you never know what will spark an idea.

    And finally, ask your friends. Missy Tippens at Seekerville has an excellent post today about that very thing. http://seekerville.blogspot.com

    I'd like to know if you came up with anything, so keep us informed and I'll keep thinking about it too.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

    Anita Mae.
    PS I'm using my iPhone and it won't let me see the top of this comment so please excuse typos.

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  26. DebH, I bet we're thinking the same. I wonder what Dina thinks, though?

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  27. Susie, yours would probably show a teacup with a touch of lace, 19th century style. Or a scalloped hanky with a bit of embroidery as the background and then a teacup in the foreground.

    I'm sorry, I seem to be stuck on teacups with you. LOL

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  28. Thank you, Faye. I appreciate you dropping in and letting me know. :)

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  29. Well, the day we just happened to be available to chat on line about tag lines was an awesome day. We done good!
    Niki - maverick? hmmm.


    Now for logos? Wow, that's a lot to think about. I think I should just FINISH THE EDITS first.

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  30. Anita, thanks so much for your suggestions. I have to mull over this. Lots of mulling.

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  31. Like the logo! Looks great!

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  32. Good idea, Deb. Then start sending them to me on Sep 1. My red pen's been warming up with Gwen's work, so it's rarin' to go! :D

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  33. Eileen - you're welcome.

    Elaine- Thanks!

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  34. I love how your brand is an actual brand. Shouts western all on its own. Quite cool.

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