Just like corporate logos communicate an organization's value and relevance, personal logos are representative of your personal brand. A personal logo is more than just a pretty image you slap on a website or resume. It can tell a story, signify your passion, and be a powerful statement of who you are and what you stand for.
If you want people to recognize you and all you have to offer, creating and using a personal logo can be a major game changer. Often, having a unique personal logo can be the thing that sets you apart from everyone else.
Imagine that you are trying to choose between two restaurants. One restaurant regularly offers a wide variety of dishes while the other sticks to serving the same thing every night. Some people, maybe even yourself, might go for the one that serves the same dish every night since it’s familiar. However, many people would choose to eat something refreshingly different.
This restaurant scenario is similar to how people treat personal logos. If you don’t offer any visual representation, you blend in with everyone else. However, if you create a strong, refreshing personal logo, you might just become the talk of the town.
To help you learn more about personal logos and the personal logo creation process, we asked several design professionals and enthusiasts to share some helpful insight and tips regarding creating a personal logo and leveraging it for increased brand recognition and career advancement.
Here's an overview of some of the key takeaways:
In a market that is over saturated with attorneys, it was important to me to have a brand that stood out from the typical legal scales and monogram-ish logos many firms lean towards.
The fox represented in my logo is standing tall, thinking, and surveying the area and land with an air of confidence which I believe is representative of my overall character as it relates to my legal abilities. Because my logo is distinct and memorable, I believe it leaves a person feeling good about me as a lawyer! The fox totem represents great wisdom and also happens to be my last name.
I desired a brand logo that depicted where my art studio is located, in a gorgeous rural area in Virginia with lots of birds. The color teal feels fresh and trendy and matches my signature icon. The broken border circle says hand-made — a perfect representation of my custom watercolor portrait shop.
I see a good logo as a strong anchor to a successful brand. Profile photos get outdated every few years. A logo can be more timeless than a profile pic. Plus, if it is designed well, it can be more memorable than a tiny image of my face.
I designed my logo myself. I love logos that are built on basic geometric shapes and I wanted mine to be geometrically sound and simple, while still being easily visible as a “T.” It also helps the logo be scalable: this logo could be 15 pixels on a screen or 15 feet on a banner and still be legible at any size.
I work as a freelance website designer and I’m an avid hiker, so I wanted a logo that would represent me to start building a brand with. My logo represents what I do for work as well as what I do in my personal time, so it shows people who I am right off the bat.
I am an artist — a photographer and a writer who dabbles in other mediums — and I wanted my name to be more than a name. I fell in love with the idea of classic monograms and wanted to make a modern version.
My design company, Bolton Design, made a whimsical monogram of my initials I can use on its own, or placed in the middle of my first and last name. Having a well-designed logo instantly took my name from just being a name to being an enterprise.
I had just started to make the leap to consulting officially and decided on the moniker WonBuck, a pun that speaks to many subtexts:
1. A solo Serene Buckley ― one “buck” ― going off on my own
2. A focus towards earned or “won” media
3. A nod to the now-famous quote by Bill Gates: “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”
It's a deer/buck profile created from the WB initials, designed by my husband, Conor Buckley. The logo plays homage to the simple, refined and timeless style of the New Yorker. I also have a very visual and very playful side, which the bright color choice symbolically communicates. It's fun and doesn't take itself too seriously ― a good and often necessary reminder to stay grounded during the tumult of a new career trajectory.
I was a graphic designer and when I launched this brand I connected with indie brand developer Eric Kass. I was developing a new honey brand, and I wanted to stand out in the crowded market. I wanted to make beautiful things to make people happy. It didn’t hurt that I owned a graphic design studio for many years and inherently knew the importance of putting my best foot forward.
Our packaging was our signature right out of the gate and our first wholesale customer was Anthropologie, who found us because of our package. There are so many other things that have to be right with a product, but it all starts with the way it looks.
As a freelance publicist who wanted to establish a company, I felt that I needed a logo, branding, and website for potential clients as well as a place to showcase my work.
I told my designer more about things I didn’t like than what I did and let her run with it. She presented two totally different options, and I chose this one as I felt it best captured me and my name, which is my brand name.
While I was on the fence about using my last name, Diamond, as my company name, it was too good of a name not to play with. Plus, people knew me and my work by name, so it just felt like it made the most sense. I truly love my logo even after a few years.
Seventy-five percent of hiring professionals are currently using or plan to use an applicant tracking system (ATS) or human resource management system (HRIS), so it's essentially a bot that first sees your resume. Keep this in mind when submitting an online application.
“Because such systems may not be advanced yet, some might trip over fancy design elements and reject your application out of confusion,” explains Zety career and workplace expert Michael Tomaszewski, “meaning your resume won’t even reach a pair of human eyes.”
Steph Cartwright with Off the Clock Resumes adds that many applicant tracking systems have evolved to simply ignore design elements — but applicants still need to be proactive to make sure the textual content of their resume is crystal clear. “Make sure you're not replacing important keywords with graphics and you have those details listed in text somewhere on your resume,” Cartwright recommends.
To make sure your resume is ATS-readable, consider running your resume through Zipjob’s ATS resume test.
When you go in for your interview, it may be appropriate to provide printed copies of an infographic resume in addition to copies of the traditional one you submitted online.
Digital Ethos operations manager Calum Howarth explains that he is often impressed by candidates’ ability to display their skills and accomplishments in a way that is outside the box. “Since digital marketing is an industry that requires a lot of creative thinking, I'm often willing to hire ability over experience.”
When Howarth was on the job hunt himself, he redesigned his resume to look like a Google search results page for a particular agency. The move was a great talking point in the interview, the agency loved it, and he got the job. While innovative visuals can’t replace meeting the requirements for a job, they can certainly help set the tone as you advocate for yourself.
Now that Howarth recruits for similar positions, he explains, “I love stumbling across unique examples of creativity when I'm sifting through resumes. I'm always going to offer an interview to a candidate who has gone the extra mile.”
Weiswood Strategies president Emily Weisgrau is all for unconventional resumes as long as they help to tell the story of the person they represent in a clear, authentic, and compelling way. Weisgrau predicts we’ll see creative resumes continue to gain popularity alongside the accessibility of logo design agencies and infographic template makers.
“The trick is to make them unique to each individual and not overwhelm them with so many graphics that you can't actually get the core information an employer needs to make a meaningful assessment of a candidate. If a personal logo, icon, or unconventional format gets an employer's attention and helps them to get to know a candidate better, go for it!”
Executive branding coach Katherine Miller adds that hiring managers visually and mentally process resumes as they do websites, so “if your resume doesn’t quickly convey your value and isn’t memorable, your chances of getting a response is a mere 15 percent.”
In Miller’s experience, industry-appropriate graphs, call-out boxes, and highlighted testimonials from previous employers are key to getting interviews. “These elements leverage the science of neuropsychology and subconscious processing marketers have exploited for decades,” she explains.
While it worked out great for Howarth in digital marketing, showcasing a personal logo may not be appropriate for all industries. Prepory Coaching Group CEO Daniel Santos says that industries such as banking, law, healthcare, and government are less impressed by graphically enhanced resumes and may even dismiss candidates that apply with them.
Santos explains that individuals within creative industries like marketing, event management, or entertainment should consider adding a logo or other unique design element to demonstrate creativity and engage with prospective employers. Furthermore, he advises, “individuals applying to companies with forward-thinking cultures like unicorn startups, Airbnb, Warby Parker, etc. can also utilize design elements to catch the attention of HR managers.”
Santos reminds job seekers that design elements such as a logo should be used to highlight your professional experience and skill set, “not to make up for the fact that you have very little to no professional experience.”
Robyn Coburn, founder of Resume Review, echoes that sentiment. “Are you an entry-level applicant? If so, consider that personal logos might come off as a bit pretentious for many early-career jobs.” Cobun generally recommends saving personal logos for the marketing materials for your own B2B service company, so if you’re looking for work as a consultant, a logo makes sense.
Career coach Carlota Zimmerman believes that personal logos and other design elements are better suited for social media accounts and online portfolios than for resumes. “Save your design elements for your LinkedIn profile,” she advises.
After all, that’s exactly what LinkedIn is for. “Feel free to cover your profile with illustrative displays of your talents, including photos, videos, classes you've taken, and badges representing the certifications and degrees you have.”
If you do decide to display a personal logo from your online portfolio on printed materials at an interview, make sure they align. Dawson Whitfield, founder and CEO of Looka, emphasizes the importance of consistency and simplicity in printing. “If you're using a personal logo on your resume and on your website, those logos better match. If the logo you use on your resume can't print well or show up well in black and white, you're going to lose consistency points.
Personal branding is more important now than ever before. Developing a digital aesthetic can help with one's career, and in some cases can even make a career (think influencer marketing). A personal logo is not necessary, but it's a piece in a larger online persona that can make people recognize you and want to work with you. It adds polish.
First, think classic. If you do choose a personal logo, it should be something that you'll want to keep or modify subtly over the years. Next, it must reflect the values you are trying to promote, unless your personal brand is clever and trendy, stick with something simple and chic.
Think about what you want to say with your logo. Make a list of the three to five words that describe your personal brand. Are you fun, stylish, smart, zany, hard-working? You'll want to choose fonts and colors that reflect your values. Do a little bit of research on color psychology to understand the feelings different colors evoke. If you know what you are trying to convey, it is much easier to put together a logo that expresses it.
Logos are all around us. I like to spend time looking at logos for similar brands to make sure I am not doing anything too similar and get a feel for the way other organizations do things. Google image search can be very helpful. Get inspired by visiting Behance. Try designing with free tools like Crello and Canva.
The digital world has changed everything. In this free-agent, consultant economy, the brand is you and a personal logo will help you get your name out there, whether switching careers or starting a new business.
You will need to really get to know yourself and what you stand for before creating a personal logo. The logo should capture the essence of who you are and express the type of product/service you can offer the world.
Start by doing an audit of your unique skills, personality, passions, and strengths. There are several quizzes out there that can help you determine what work you are best suited to. Work with an expert who can give you honest feedback on how to best represent yourself through a personal logo as it is not always easy to see what makes you different and special in a crowded marketplace.
I would recommend exploring Pinterest for ideas on the type of look, style, colour scheme, fonts, etc. that you feel would represent you visually though your brand identity. Another good resource is our colour guide to see which colours represent you and your brand best.
The need for a personal logo is imperative. As a business owner, you need a forward-facing item that can help distinguish you from your competition and your logo will help do that. First impressions are everything, which is why brand recognition is something you should establish early on. Let your audience recognize and trust you through your logo system.
As an identity designer, I often run into people who cannot clearly, in two sentences or less, tell me what they do. Knowing what you do and why you do it will influence every move you make, so if that isn't clear you need to revisit your "why" before sitting down and trying to get a logo off the ground.
Start simple. Don't try to begin with over calculated options. Consider the aesthetic of other brands that speak to you stylistically. Remember printing costs for future products such as T-shirts when considering colors. Be yourself, represent yourself. This logo is an extension of your voice.
A logo can be a great way to add professionalism and recognizability to your name. We are in a world now where every person is a brand, and you will make more of an impact when you communicate who you are in a visual way. It will come in handy, especially on your social media accounts, website and resume.
I would suggest doing research on what you're trying to communicate about yourself. It will be a deciding factor when choosing typefaces, color schemes, and symbols.
Avoid DIY design. A professional designer has the experience and tools to create a quality logo you can use long term. Choose a designer with a portfolio that matches the style you desire. It's okay to be inspired by other brands, but don't blatantly copy.
Pinterest and Behance are great for inspiration. You can go through an agency or a freelance designer. Some helpful sites to start your search include Freelancer.com, 99Designs.com and Fiverr.com.
Creating a personal logo is a great option for those who are doing freelance work, are political figures, minor celebrities, or influencers. Personal logos will help others identify you, your work, and your industry without having to dig around for an online bio or ask you directly for more information.
First, you shouldn't expect your first logo design to be your final version. Keep in mind that whatever design you end up with, that is how others will identify you, so you want to make sure that you absolutely love your final design.
Second, you don't have to create a logo from scratch using MS Paint — there are resources that can make a professional design for you in a matter of minutes. Lastly, if you seek out logo design services, make sure you have a budget in mind and stick to it.
There are so many resources that can help you create a personal logo. You can decide to hire a professional logo designer, you can hold a logo design competition, you can create your own logo using Adobe Indesign, or you can use an online logo maker like ours. If you're just looking for some tips or design inspiration, you can check out sites like Pinterest, Logo Design Love, and Logo Lounge.
You should create a personal logo if you intend on commercializing or otherwise profiting somehow off of your personal brand. You should also have one if you have any sort of audience or community that you engage with. A logo is a way for you to show your value in the simplest form possible, so make sure it stands out.
Before you create a personal logo, take some time to reflect on what your personal brand is. Think of three to five distinct words that describe how your audience, customers, friends/family think about you and start from there. Is your brand professional? Casual? Educational? Feminine? Masculine?
Do some research about what shapes, colors, and/or fonts best reflect your personal brand. Don’t pick something just because it looks nice. Really think about the feeling and the story behind the logo.
Don’t go for something just because it is inexpensive. If you are going to have a personal logo, have something that is uniquely you. A nice looking font with some colors is not going to make you memorable, nor is it going to reflect on your personal brand.
That being said, there are inexpensive ways to get some value, especially if you are just starting out. Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are some places to start — just keep in mind that, although it is possible to get some bang for your buck, you do get what you pay for. Don’t be afraid to spend some money because this is an investment, not a cost.
Creating a personal logo is the foundation of personal branding. You should only create one if you're planning on leveraging your name or personality to promote a specific product or service.
Make sure your logo is you. You want your logo to reflect your personality. Visually, it will be the foundation of your business, including Facebook/Instagram page, website, business cards, etc.
Make sure all text is highly readable so everyone can read it. Make sure it's simple, and not complicated. Simplicity is beauty in design, so if people are confused, they won't take the time to figure out what your logo says or means. Make it original and memorable. Remember, you're creating a brand. You want the image to stick in people's minds, so use colors that stand out without being annoying.
Fiverr has hundreds of freelance graphic designers. Hire a marketing agency if you are getting a logo, website, and marketing services. You'll have a much better experience hiring a great company that can take on everything and communicate with each other well. If you want to make your own, use Adobe Illustrator or Canva.
A personal logo can be the biggest tool in helping to create familiarity among your market and therefore cause people to take notice over time. Without it, you are climbing an uphill battle of getting your name recognized without any visual identity and that is an extremely difficult thing to do.
Before creating a logo make sure it's relevant. Many times people not experienced in branding or graphic design just start and go with what’s cool looking to them, but a logo should be much more than that. It should give an idea of who you are, what you do, and who you are trying to reach. Ask yourself, “What does this say to people? Will they know what I do? Is it easy to read? Does it fit the style of my work?"
Do your research first. Look to see what professionals in your industry are doing and take notes. By no means should you copy them but the more you look at logos within a particular industry, the more you notice trends that occur and often times those trends are what attract the right audiences for that particular industry.
You can do a search for "best (insert industry here) logo designs" or "logo inspiration for (insert industry here)." But often, if you are serious about your business, it’s best to hire a professional graphic designer that you feel comfortable with. You want people to take you seriously, and if you are an expert in your field, then you want people to come to you for your services, not do it themselves.
Graphic design is no different. There are many experts out there. Don't hesitate to focus on what you do best and let a graphic designer focus on what’s best for your identity. It could save you a lot of heartache and trouble in the long run.
For those in an industry where they are required to differentiate themselves personally, a logo is the foundation to a broader personal brand. A logo is akin to a visual elevator pitch, in the sense that it is a simple visual reference that people can easily and distinctly remember. It should immediately bring to mind the value proposition and positive associations a person has with that individual and their business.
From a design perspective, the colors, style, fonts, and visuals create the base for all other branded items for the individual’s business, making brand consistency easier and allowing that person to present themselves as more professional and polished.
Before you set off on creating a logo, the first thing to know is that ideally, you will not change it in any drastic way once you have implemented it, so take your time and don't rush creating the final product. In addition, authenticity and timelessness are crucial.
As I stated before, changing your logo in a drastic way is not something you should do unless necessary as part of a larger brand strategy. Therefore, create a logo that will not fall victim to ever-changing design fads and preferences and look "so 2017" only a year or two after you started using it. Regarding the authenticity of your logo, this is where you really need to identify key characteristics of yourself and how you do business to ensure the imagery you are using to represent you conveys the same characteristics.
For example, if you create a vibrant, energetic logo that implies you're a bubbly and sociable professional, but you are actually a stern and monotone professional, that contrast can create dissonance for potential customers and make them less likely to do business with you.
Lastly, when designing your logo think about the mediums and use cases of your logo. From Facebook and Instagram to email heads, printed brochures, billboards, etc, your logo’s layout and recognizability should work across various mediums and not be impacted by size, cropping, or configuration.
There are plenty of great resources to help you create a logo yourself or have someone assist you. Canva is a free tool that provides a very intuitive user experience and has all the elements you could need to create a good logo. The Noun Project is a wonderful resource for finding all sorts of icons and vector art. Fiverr and similar services are another great option if you want to find a graphic designer or freelancer who can help create a logo for you. Pinterest and Instagram are also both amazing resources to find logo inspiration as well as artists and designers who can create logos for you.
Ultimately, creating a logo and designing it are your decisions to make. Your personal logo should be something that you are proud to display.
Clearly, there are several design resources you can look into to help you create your custom logo, so designing a personal logo can be a fun adventure rather than a burden. From color palette and design trends guides to logo maker templates, everything you need for a great logo is at your fingertips.
If you are having a tough time figuring out where to start or you feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of resources available, consider checking out the recommended resources provided above as well as these top-rated logo design companies.