Charmellow : Graphic Design & Letterpress Studio
Real design from a real designer.


5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't DIY Your Logo


With all the technology, access to great design ideas and computers at our fingertips - it's easy to cave to the urge of going it alone. I applaud all the DIY you can get away with. When it comes to your business logo and branding, do you have the design knowledge it takes to come up with something original that stands the test of time? 

I've come up with 5 reasons why I have the skills to get it done, son. 

Reason 1 - Passion

I spent a lot of time in school in my 20's learning how to use my ADHD to my advantage creatively. All jokes aside, I have invested both time and money becoming an expert at graphic design. I have a deep passion for making things really awesome. I cringe at horrible fonts while driving, comment on every new sign on our small town main street, and basically live my life observing design all around us. 

I spend my "down time" pursuing other creative hobbies like letterpress printing, screen printing, book making and collaging. I live a life dedicated to making things beautiful around me. When a person hires me to do their logo design, I apply this same passion to find the right solution. 

Reason 2 - Education

I thought about not putting this one in there, because sometimes it seems elitist or braggy. In all honesty it's an expense I will live with the rest of my life. Art school. I went to one of the best. This reason isn't enough on its own, because plenty of people went to school for something and totally suck at it. 

I went to school for graphic design, and spent about 8 years studying things like Cultural Semiotics and History of Graphic Design to get the foundation I have. At art school, you aren't always just drawing naked people and sipping latte's. I mean maybe some art schools. I spent time learning skills off the computer that help me come up with better, more creative solutions than other people. I spent 60% of my time researching concepts and ideas, which is the true basis of all design. Information. It's just a bonus that growing up I spent all my time organizing boxes of crayons and doing all the art I could get my hands on.... 

So when you hire me you get a total package - artist, researcher, designer and (sometimes) business counselor. The education from the last ten years working for others and being in business for myself has provided an additional education. Meeting business owners and learning about their unique businesses has provided me with insight to so many different industries. I have worked with people in automotive, entertainment & events, food service, art & cultural institutions, small businesses of all kinds, government agencies, schools, colleges & universities and more. 

Reason 3 - Research

The word research is an umbrella term for a few different things. I research your competition, design trends of the industry, the meaning behind your name, the website design that is best for you... Research gets me to solutions. I research what most people don't want to spend time looking into. The work I do upfront has almost nothing to do with art, and yet it provides the connections I need to make the work I do sing. 

Reason 4 - Practice

I've had the pleasure of practicing art for my whole life. I've focused on designing things for the last 12. I've made a thousand logos probably, sketched a million doodles, had a trillion ideas. I practice this every. single. day. What takes you 6 hours (designing a flyer, for instance) probably takes me 1. I have tools, expensive tools, and I know how to use them. My tools are on and off the computer. 

It takes practice to think creatively. My brain is trained to go there on command. Haha. Okay not on command because let's be real, creativity can be like a fickle cat sometimes. Practicing every day makes me primed for production. 

Things I practice every day: the internet, drawing, composition, creative thinking, software mastery, research, seeking inspiration to feed the creative beast, coffee drinking, blogging, social media marketing, business stuff like invoices, fine art things like block printing... It varies day to day but you get the idea. 

Reason 5 - Tools

The obvious tools like computer, software, pens, pencils, tracing paper - whatever you imagine a graphic designers tools to be, I use those. I also use things that aren't as obvious. I've used coffee grounds to stain a paper background. I have hand water colored bouquets of flowers. I've carved my design into a linoleum block to get a textured design instead of buying one on adobe stock. 

I spent the last month making books, printing prints, carving blocks, letterpressing book covers, drawing every place I've ever visited... This feeds the creative beast and opens me up to tools that someone who lives on a computer is never exposed to. I use things in a new way to create the feelings that attract people. I use all the tools available to me to achieve something totally lovable and original. 

The idea here, is that I live, eat and breathe design. It's always a good idea to hire people that are invested in what they do, that is why I hire a plumber to fix my toilet, a lawyer to fix my legal life, an accountant to fix my accounting... I don't have time or desire to learn the ins and outs of any of those things! I'll leave it to them, the same way people should leave designing to designers. 

You need a logo, I need something to work on - let's get in touch!