By: Marc Histand | An 8-minute read.
Happy New Year again from all of us at AnewPress. I hope that you’ve all recovered from your holiday celebrations and are beginning to act on your New Year’s resolutions. We’ve restarted the metaphorical clock and as we like to say at AnewPress, we’ve started anew!
As you’re thinking of your New Year’s resolution, does becoming your own publisher come to the forefront of your mind? If it does, there are several steps you’ll need to take to get yourself started, but the first and most important step is deciding on your own personal brand by creating the perfect imprint and logo.
What is an imprint?
An imprint is the stamp of your book business. When thinking of this on a broader perspective, think of different businesses that operate under several different names. Much like a DBA (doing-business-as) or trade name the imprint describes the specific business of the market under which you’re operating. When deciding on your imprint, be sure it speaks to your market. If you’re a science fiction writer, you certainly wouldn’t want to name your imprint Romance Publishing. While obvious, I’m sure you get the picture. However, creating an imprint using a throwback to one of your favs such as Element 5 Publishing or Multipass Press will be sure to grab the attention of the die-hard sci-fi fans, your core buyer base.
What’s the difference between an imprint and a logo?
While I’m sure you all know what a logo is, the imprint is a major part of the logo, but it’s only a part of the full picture. A full and complete logo will typically include the imprint and a small image that relates to the imprint itself. When creating your logo, keep in mind, again, the type of books you’ll be publishing. Much like cover design, the logo needs to fit the look and feel of your books. Remember, logos can be changed as your book business grows, so if your first logo doesn’t end up looking quite right, try and try again until you get that perfect fit. Equally as important, remember that your logo will need to work for both the back cover and the spine of your book so simple is best for readability. However, if you know there’s a logo that you’d really like to use for the back cover that won’t work for the spine of the book, consider simply removing the logo image and using just the imprint name in the same font type as the back cover on the spine.
Okay, so I have the facts. Now how do I bring this all together?
Let’s go back to the science fiction example above and assume you’ve chosen Element 5 Publishing. I hope you’ve figured out by now what one of my favorite sci-fi movies is.
You’ve landed on your imprint name, so the first step is to determine the appropriate font for this imprint. So, think of your genre as specifically as possible. If you’re publishing horror-based sci-fi, you’ll want a font that speaks to horror. Look for sharp lines, thin text, or thick at the top to thin at the bottom, much like the blade of a knife. Considering bubbly fonts that look like blood? Stop right there. This text is difficult to read and can appear childish. Unless the books will be aimed at children this font type should not be used. Is the sci-fi book you’re publishing more on the side of whimsy? Think technical, but light and airy, but again, no bubble fonts. They’ve gone out of style much like cargo shorts.
Now, let’s bring it all together with an image for some extra flare. In this scenario, I’d focus on the number “5” as the main “image” of the imprint. Focusing on an inline text element will ensure that the logo will fit properly on not only the back cover but the spine as well. Another, more popular option is to include an image to the left of the imprint. Some examples, in this case, would be a lit-up taxi sign reading on duty, or another object from the movie that will gain attention from fans.
The above design example is specific, but the structure of all logos remains the same and is incredibly important when it comes to marketing your book. All publishers must have a strong imprint/logo combination if they want to grow using brand recognition. Your books are not only your business, they are your brand and if they are not collectively branded well, you’ll have difficulty gaining a following as you market.
This is a lot of work. How long does this take?
Every publisher is different, and you may be in the early stages of brainstorming. It’s important to take your time and not rush through the brainstorming and decision-making process. Invite trusted colleagues, friends and family to your brainstorming sessions and remember, no idea is a bad idea. When creating the imprint and logo for AnewPress, we spent over a month deciding on the different parts from name, to mission, to logo image. It was a painstaking process, but it left us with a steadfast brand instead of one that we’ll need to change several times to meet any future trends.
While this may seem like too much work for an imprint/logo just keep the words “brand recognition” in mind. I’ve said this a few times already in this post, but it is the most important reason imprints are created. Thinking of lightening your load and outsourcing this work? There are plenty of graphic designers that would be happy to win your business. When interviewing these designers, ensure they respect your needs and understand that while they are the designer, you are the industry expert. This will ensure that you arrive at a final design with limited costly revision cycles. Drawing up a specific creative brief and delivering it both as a document and during a verbal call is the best way to get the expected final result quickly.
If you have questions, need recommendations or design assistance, contact us! We have the services you need to create the perfect imprint and logo.
Thanks so much for reading! As one of the Author Success Consultants for AnewPress, it’s my goal to make your publishing experience as hassle-free as possible.