You have your rabbitry or caviary (or maybe a combo of both), you are excited about showing and the future and want to rep your passion everywhere with a logo...right? Ok so maybe you didn't follow this exact path to your logo, but here are some things to consider before moving forward with your design and / or designer (ahem, here is how to help you save money on your logo design as well as how to make your designer less frustrated in the future).
MUST HAVES: These are kind of needed in order to get a logo:
A rabbitry or caviary name
General idea of what you are wanting in your logo
To figure out how or where you plan to use your logo
Rabbitry & Caviary Name
Your Rabbitry or Caviary name is the name you want your herd / breeding adventure to be known by. This name can be abbreviated for prefix purposes on pedigrees and breeding records (for example: Mustard Seed Rabbitry may show on pedigrees as MSR / MusSeed / MSeed, etc). This name can be as simple as using your own name, street or city name, or as advanced as a created word or term to identify your barn. This choice is yours and cannot be expected to be provided to you by your designer. Come up with a list of choices, play around with them on paper and see what works best for you! Once a name is decided, here is your homework: make sure your chosen rabbitry or caviary name is not currently in use. This is a simple task that may require checking a few avenues out. No biggy, here are some suggestions:
Check with the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) to see if a registered name already exists that matches your chosen name
Do a web search to see if your chosen name is already in use
Search on social media for any pages or posts that may be using your chosen name
Ask your parent breed club (if they hold a list of rabbitry / caviary names)
Helpful hints with names:
KEEP IT SIMPLE! The Fluffiest Bunny In The Planet Is My English Spot Rabbitry obviously is a mouthful...and a bit much to handle in any capacity (pedigrees, logos, etc). Keep your rabbitry or caviary name simple.
Avoid using trademarked, registered, and copyrighted names. Just because it may seem cool, Nike Rabbitry may actually invite a cease and desist notice from Nike Corporate (used in this blog purely as an example)
IT DOES NOT NEED TO END WITH RABBITRY OR CAVIARY! Your name can be just that - a name. It does not have to end with rabbitry or caviary at all, infact your name doesn't even need to end with anything. Herds such as Potter, Chu, and Eden are perfect examples of this.
Consistency - keep your name consistent. A very disturbing trend lately is changing up the rabbitry or caviary name with each new breed or species addition, change of season, year, etc. This doesn't help build your name legacy, infact it helps confuse folks to who you are.
If you plan to register and grand rabbits or cavies under your chosen name, keep in mind that the ARBA does have a letter limit on names. Using a prefix will certainly help in reducing a longer or larger name when it comes to paperwork.
General Logo Idea
What would best represent YOU, your herd, and your passion in unison? What colors do you personally like? What are logos, art pieces, images, advertisements that you gravitate towards? Basically - what is your style? This is so very important to the logo design itself and often the biggest struggle in the design process. You do NOT have to have your entire design planned out (unless you want to, then bravo and move on!), but having a general idea of what you like and what you want to represent you is important. Remember that your designer is not a mind reader and hearing statements from clients such as "just make a bunch of designs and I will know what I want when I see it" is an excellent way to get hit with additional art fees or even getting fired by your designer. Make out a list of likes, search online for logo designs and just see what sparks some excitement for ya and be as clear as possible with your likes and dislikes.
A helpful suggestion : create a folder on your computer and as you come across something that you are interested in - save the image to that folder. This helps you save your ideas to one space which will help with referencing back to later. I personally do this as an ongoing practice with Pinterest and the web, saving designs and art that inspires. Sometimes it's just the font that was used that you like, maybe the colors, or even how everything comes together. Save those and share during the design process.
What to include:
Rabbitry or Caviary Name. Yep, I could literally end this entire logo conversation right there. This is the ONLY element that is present in every logo - a name or symbol to indicate who you are.
Be careful wanting to throw every single breed you own, once owned, love, have ever touched, etc in your logo. Ain't no body got time to try to figure out which rabbitry or caviary belongs to the cluster of animals and outlines. If you are including breeds in your design, make sure they are breeds that will have longevity in your care.
KEEP IT SIMPLE - You are not installing a detailed mural, you are creating a symbol / design to reflect you and your herd. Confusing these two can cause some chaos in production. More details = Clusterfuck designs.
DO NOT INCLUDE BREEDS YOU DO NOT YET OWN!!!! Let me say this again - DON'T DO IT! I have personally been tasked in removing breeds from art as the breeders chose not to get that breed or decided they weren't what they wanted before the start. Just don't do it.
Do not plan on copying someone else's logo, especially from trademark, registered, and copyrighted art.
For the actual logo - consider not adding any catch phrases or terms you will commonly use with your herd. This is just your identifying image, not your life summed up with every phrase possible.
Using The Logo
This seems to come across as the craziest question when I ask someone during a consultation as I am often met with "what do you mean?" or "where could I use my logo?" along with the amazing blank stare. So, let me instead ask this: Where could you see your logo in the world?
Does your logo need to go onto your pedigrees?
Do you plan to wear anything with your logo on it?
Do your carriers need to be branded with your name?
What about a website / social media page use?
The list could literally go on for days and days - but this may help get that logo ball rolling down a hill of ideas for you. This is important!! I can't scream this enough - have a plan for how you want to see your logo in motion (physical and digital) because your design may need to be changed in order to accommodate uses. There is no "One Size Fits All" when it comes to logo designs and applications, so be prepared for some tweaks or the need for multiple versions of your design (for higher production requirements).
If you are working with a designer, talk to them about your needs and what you plan to do. Make your end game as clear as possible to help your designer better tailer your logo to your uses.
Making your design solo - you go on, Baby! The same practice applies - find out what is needed for each of the uses you are planning and build your logo to meet those production needs.
What to keep in mind:
The production side of your logo combined with your budget may dictate the style of your logo. For example - A logo that is going to be screen printed on tees and engraved into tumblers may need to be a vector design and limited on the total number of colors used to better show off when produced. In contrast, a logo that is only ever going to be used as a Facebook profile picture has literally no limitations and can be any image at all.
Consider versions of your logo if you are going to pursue a complete branding of your logo:
One main logo (if it includes symbols/elements other than type for name)
One type logo (just name - very handy for odd placements and sizes
For color logos - consider a color version and a single color or black and white version to assist with your creations
Now let's talk moola, or rather what you are planning to put towards this project. Going with a designer to create your logo can actually cost just as much as creating your own logo by yourself. Your budget needs to be set by you (not your designer) and needs to be realistic.
So what does a logo cost to create through a designer?
The average cost of a logo created specifically for personal rabbitry and caviary use ranges from $35 - $700 as of 2021 and the writing of this blog post (from posted ads through social media as well as discussions with designers). Most often these are flat fees, however each designer sets their own rates and stipulations for each project based on their experience and the value their time is going to give your design.
What is the average cost of a design made by yourself?
That will range wildly in price depending on how you plan to make your own logo and what you already have available to you as far as design capabilities. In this blog and for this purpose I am speaking about logos created digitally, not for a drawing or sketch placed on paper and used as a logo. There are free and simple logo design apps as well as webpages, however they often do not feature or having any rabbit or cavy elements to work with. Using design software will incur the software, computer expense and or subscription costs as well as your own time.
Are there additional costs to consider?
While most logo offerings are a flat fee per logo, some designers may charge additional fees for extended design time (excessive amount of design changes, time spent on the design above and beyond the allotted time) for specialized file formats, the need to purchase special fonts and or elements, or to create versions needed. Please keep in mind when working with a designer that you are paying for their customized product, not for taking up every ounce of that designers time.
Art fees from the designer can range in price and can start at $15 an hour and easily climb to $75 an hour (or more) for experienced graphic designers (in this hobby, not speaking on art fees outside of this specific situation as they will grossly go up in cost). Remember all that homework you did earlier? This will help with keeping those additional costs at a minimum by having your core requirements ready for the designer. Have that open conversation with your designer and make sure your needs are known prior to the start of your logo design in order to get the additional costs wrapped into the design as well as being able to plan ahead for the additional expenses (if needed).
NOTE: Someone's Cousin's Friend's Brother on your twice removed mother's side will always create logos for cheaper. It's a known fact. Choose wisely.
Once you have established a budget of what you feel comfortable spending on a logo and have your rabbitry and caviary name chosen, your bundle of ideas and plans for your logo, you are now ready to start the fun of either creating your own logo design or hiring a designer to help bring your idea to life.
In the next post I will cover finding your designer as well as what to consider during the logo process. If you have any questions, make sure to ask!