Branding isn't a sexy topic for magicians. But it is necessary. I enjoy branding which makes me weird. It's a different creativity muscle but a muscle nonetheless. Part of the branding toolkit is your logo. I've created many magical logos. Grab a coffee and let's walk through my process.
Here's a look at the final product
Watch Magician VS Caffeine
(with the sparkling new branding)
I've been meaning to sit down and create the Magician VS logo for a few years now. That's the first essential concept, percolation. While creativity is spontaneous, polished ideas require many sleeps. Let it brew.
I tend to think about this process as subtle confidence in my own capabilities, but I also heavily rely on opinions from people whose opinion I trust.
With Magician VS, I had a big reason to finish the logo so I documented some of the process to share with you.
The first step designing you creative is committing to the simplest 'understanding' of your ideas.
As performers, that's our voice.
Your logo is the part of your personality that casts a shadow. Details have significant influence; complexity does not.
This includes colour choices, personality and voice. Some of that is easy because YOU are the product. In this case, I'm creating an identity called Magician VS, so I am developing my understanding of the voice I want to use for a long time. If you don't like it what you've created, you'll forever put up your own roadblocks.
In terms of identity here are the things I wanted to make sure to communicate in the Magician VS logo.
My Magician VS Logo must include list:
Simple, clean, bold font
Scream "magician" from across the room but not cheesy
implement a visual hook with something recognizably 'magical'
Competition vibe to support VERSUS
Glitchy (I love the look but decided against for my own brand)
No rabbits. No wands. Ever.
Next, it's design time...
Playtime! Pen, pencil, Photoshop, tablet, scroll and quill-- whatever! Just get everything out of you. This is idea-vomit.
Trust me-- there's gonna be some terrible @&(! in there.
Here's some of the initial design work:
You may even create something that you like-- polish one of those designs into a much brighter diamond.
Part of that work is play, the rest is decision making.
After chatting with my buddy Graemazing Reed, this idea was abandoned. Why? It may be visually appealing, but it didn't service the brand.
Back to the drawing board
I returned to this design several months later and here was my vomit:
In this last image, you can see the mistake that causes the design. I copied over the spade pip onto the design and where it was placed-- the story revealed itself to me.
I started with a purple background because I had pre-established this colour for the brand. I don't need Photoshop for this process, use whatever means you have to work freely without interruption of "how do I...."
Graphics are essential making your ads and promotional material stand out. Over the years, I have assembled a massive toolkit of images. It's a good idea to start collecting now.
This design stage would be called Creativity Unleashed . Don't let your tools slow you down. I'm pretty fluent in Photoshop and wished with every fibre of my nerdy body that I was fluent in Illustrator. But I am not-- so I don't use that tool to create. I'm learning those skills separately.
When designing-- keep your work and save the steps.
There's something mentally encouraging about seeing progress (it's called momentum) but more importantly, any opportunity to make a mistake is an opportunity for something awesome to happen.
Mistakes are the birthplace of creativity.
If you lack-creativity, it's most likely lacking-effort. Ask yourself, what's the very first step-- and then do that.
This render has been since refined. Cutting out some of the spade pip to showcase the VS.
I hope it telegraphs the vibe I am trying to communicate, and that's the next point-- controlled subjectivity. It's visually appealing to satisfy the masses. Remember 13% of people are just terrible humans.
Finally, after all this work it's time to publish. Put it to bed and be done with it for a while. Brands and logos evolve incrementally.
Your logo should be finished in black and white and ideally vector. It's like hot-sauce-- you should be able to put it on anything.
It's important to get your logo finished as a vector graphic so you can scale it for any project, on any medium or back-tattoo.
There it is. In a nutshell. What area of concern do you want me to dive deeper? Let me know in the comments.
Check out Magicians Masterclass and take the Magician VS Caffeine class. It's not about branding, but I talk about the creative process. Free for students of magic.
If you are a magician, learn more about this trick and the creative process behind making a magic trick. Join Magicians Masterclass and take the class for free. I've recently made big changes over there, so if magic is your thing, come join the conversation.
We're also hosting a magician's convention at the OWOW Magic Festival, if you live in the southern Ontario region, take advantage of the lowest registration price! Ending soon! Registration includes two nights of gala shows and all convention events! Register now!
A magic festival and magicians convention combined! magicfestival.ca
The first step to creating your magician logo is to start!. Next, you must idea-vomit everywhere, then select and refine. Make mistakes, don't judge too early in the process. Rinse and repeat.
You must do the work to actually make progress. Creativity is born from mistakes. Ask for opinions from people you trust. Make tough decisions and don't be afraid to start again. Commitment is the hardest part of creating your brand.
I hope this helped you. Let me know in the comments where you are in the process and don't forget to check out Magicians Masterclass if you're interested in learning about my creative process creating magic tricks and effects.
PS: If you are a fan of magic, the magic team and I are producing a magic festival this October in Ontario. It's going to be a show-stopping weekend of some of our countries most distinguished magicians and some international surprises! Learn more about the OWOW Ontario Week of Wonder Magic Festival here.
Listen to the Touring Tricks Magician Podcast