For me, 2012 is a year focused on legitimizing much of my business. You might think that having written 22 books, worked for clients, performed training, and spoken at conferences, that my business would be well established. Well, you’d be right and wrong. I’m a one-man operation, so almost all of my energy and time is directed towards getting and doing work, with little to no time left for the secondary work-related things. The business side of things is going well enough, but I can no longer ignore these other issues. Towards that end, I finally decided that I’d pony up the money for a logo and business card. I received an estimate from a local (central Pennsylvania) company last year, that was around $6,000 (USD). Besides being well beyond what I could afford, it was also well beyond the value I place on having a logo and business card. A while back, I heard about 99designs, and decided to use that system instead. In a separate post, I’ll write about that process and experience, but here, I want to share the results.
First, a little history… My in-laws created a consulting company about 16 years ago for my father-in-law’s work. I started working for them full-time in 1999, doing my own thing under the umbrella company, Com-Insights, short for Communication Insights. Here’s my first logo and business card, which I designed myself. Pretty impressive, no? Believe me when I say I have no design skills.
Years later, the company’s name was changed to DMC Insights, Inc., short for Digital Media and Communications Insights. This long name was supposed to represent the two sides of the business: what I did and what my father-in-law did. I hired a designer to create a new version of the Web site, and used a logo based upon that:
I also used that in a business card, which was somewhat better than the above. For years, I worked under DMC Insights, with that logo.
Eventually, my father-in-law retired and it was just me. I also realized that NO ONE cared about DMC Insights. Most of my work is related to my books, and people know “Larry Ullman”, not “DMC Insights”. At best. Many people don’t even remember a writer’s name, but no one remembered my company’s name. Fortunately, in 2010 I was able to purchase www.LarryUllman.com, allowing me to start doing all business just under my name.
With the new domain name, I created a new Web site, which is mostly a slightly modified WordPress theme. Using that theme’s colors, I came up with a new favicon/avatar:
Better than the work I’ve done in the past, sure, but not something to be proud of.
Here, then, is my new logo, created by a designer at 99designs (again, I’ll write more about that process later):
And you can see the new avatar and favicon in the address bar. Later this month I hope to update this site’s look using the new logo and colors. Here’s the business card that goes with it:
It’s not amazing or revolutionary, but it’s nice and professional. And it’s not embarrassing, which is a HUGE step up from what I’ve had in the past. As I said, my logo and business card aren’t that important to me, but they shouldn’t be, um, pathetic, which is what my designs were. It’s almost always best to stick to what you know!
What do you think?