It’s all in the artwork.
When I first started my clown costumes company, Pricilla Mooseburger Originals, I needed a logo.
I was living in Southern California with my friends Sarah and Heide. We were always having fun dinner parties for all the clowns we knew and entertainment friends. Heide invited this guy she met at the post office to the party and he turned out to be a new artist for Disney.
That was how the “Pricilla standing on a spool of thread” image was born!
Branding Your Clown with Art
I say on my website that you are the face of your business. As a clown that sounds true, but in reality it’s not true at all. Your logo is the face of your business! And it can make you look more professional, OR more unprofessional. Another statement I make, which is much truer is, “the caricature logos I create SCREAM ENTERTAINMENT before anybody even reads a word.” So my question to you is: “What does your logo say about you?”
No matter what type of clown you are you should always look professional and brand yourself accordingly. I can hear some of you saying, “but I only clown once a month.” Yes, but you need to look professional for that 1 time each month. We spend a lot of time learning to put on the make-up, and, for some of us, even more time coming up with the right name, We spend even more time and money on workshops, costumes, and props to develop our character. But we really don’t have anything that says who we are.
Okay, okay, a name tag! A name tag? …Really?
You can certainly design your own logo. But beware. If it looks bad, so will your business. And as a result, so will you. No matter how good your show is! No matter how great your make-up and costume are! A cheap, poor-looking logo is almost as bad as no logo at all. If you invest money into your costume and props why wouldn’t you invest money into your branding and logo? This is the curb appeal in front of the house that is your business. This is the first thing everyone will see. In most cases even before ever seeing you. And you will be judged accordingly. Good or bad.
Rules for Branding Yourself
Rule 1: Be Honest with Yourself
Our goal here is to be professional. Not amateurish. That is not to say a childlike look can’t be professional. It can. But, if you can’t spell, draw, or put colors together then hire someone who can. Seriously! If you are on a budget then trade with them for their services. Ask to work something out. Even payment plans.
Rule 2: Get a logo
This can be just your name, your website, or your face with your name, etc… Just make sure it says who you are. And I don’t mean with words. Writing “SPANKY the CLOWN” in an odd font is hard to read and doesn’t work. In fact, it’s a turn off. See rule #1. What I mean is: if you twist balloons then put a balloon you like to twist in the logo. Do you do magic? Great, put a magic wand in it. Or your trademarked trick. Do you specialize in face painting? Awesome! You’re holding a paint brush. Do you do science stuff? Have a flea circus? You get the idea.
Research other professionals like yourself on the internet and look at their logos. Learn from them. But whatever you do – DO NOT STEAL THEM. It’s immoral and illegal. You can get sued. Your logo should be personalized for you. When you are developing your logo try and use colors and shapes from your costume or make-up. Your logo should be an extension of your character. Try this. The next time you are shopping walk down the cereal aisle. Look at those boxes. Ask yourself who they are selling to? Adults or kids. It should be obvious. Now look at the cereal being targeted to kids. Notice anything? Yep, most all of them have a character that the kids can relate to. If this was your cereal box you would be on it as a cartoon. Your box colors and lettering would be fun and easy to read. It would say “BUY ME, I’M FUN.” This is what you want your logo to do for you.
Ask a friend who can draw to help you out and draw a picture of you. Simple cartoon is fine! Then scan it in and apply it to your name. Work with them ahead of time so you can find a layout that works. Or contact me. I’ll be glad to work with you.
Ideally you will need a black-and-white logo and a full-color logo. Maybe even some variation if you need it wide and tall for different projects. Square or round logos tend to work best and can be used for lots of different projects. Many times I am asked to take just the words from the logo and create a separate logo with those. Your logo may also change and adapt a bit as your business does. It’s okay to use a slightly different version, but update quickly if you can to keep everything current.
Rule 3: Put Your Logo on Everything
(this includes your tag line if you have one)
Be smart when branding give-away and promotional items. If you can afford customized backdrops and car wraps then go for it. But at least start with the basics: your business card, a coloring page, and a banner. The banner can hang from the table at your show so everyone can see your logo and information. Your business cards look like the banner and ties it all together. Hand out the coloring page that has all your contact information on it to the kiddos.
Sure there is so much more you can do. Create handouts to match your event. If you perform at schools or libraries get some Book Marks to hand out. How about customized stickers (again, if you can afford it) saying, “Today I saw FRECKLES the Clown”.
Rule 4: Get Your Artwork from the Artist
If you hire an artist then get the files you paid for. Make sure they are high resolution. VECTOR artwork if possible. And make sure they do NOT contain any images (or imported pictures – as these cannot be enlarged or printed if the link is broken). Vector files are created with programs like Adobe Illustrator and are NOT made with dots or pixels. They should always be smooth, with clean edges. No matter what size the graphic is. From postage stamp to billboard size. Vector images are typically editable pdf files.
In contrast, the files that use dots and pixels are called RASTER images. Raster images will always have saw-toothed edges and are really made for the internet, to be used at 100% or smaller, and tend to be jpg files.
I would love to work with you and help you create your branding and logo. Please feel free to contact me anytime at email@example.com.
Mention Mooseburger when you do and I’ll be glad to throw in a FREE coloring sheet with every full color custom logo design.
Read more practical tips for your clown business:
- How to promote yourself and your business
- Get more clown jobs in the Fall and Winter
- 5 Questions you should ask before the New Year
- Wrap up your Christmas business deals like a pro
- Creating a Facebook page for your clown
- Yes, you can say “NO” to a gig request
- When business is slow, you have to improve
- 4 Reasons NOT to wear your clown costume to a performance
- How to survive the birthday party business
- Why you should expand into non-clown THEME parties!
- What is a “Plain Clothes Clown” and why should you care?
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Mooseburger Clown Arts Education has been running one of the world’s most well-rounded clown schools since 1996. Performers from all over the globe travel to Minnesota each summer for a fun and intensive clown training program. Each aspect of our clown camp is designed to meet your needs and boost your confidence as an entertainer.
Whether you want to join the circus, visit nursing homes, run your own birthday party business, paint faces, or twist balloons, there is something just for you at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp.
Or call me toll-free to discuss your education and see if Mooseburger is the right fit for you: 800-973-6277