Hi Bonnie!

First I must say I’m addicted to your columns! Whenever it’s slow at my day job all I do is read read read, I love them!

Anyway I had a question about name branding.

I am getting new shots printed soon that will eventually be circulating into the LA market (I currently live in Chicago but I am moving there in a couple months). After reading a lot of your advice on self-promotion and the business of marketing oneself, I thought it may be a good idea to brand my name and get a simple logo designed for it. Once I have one I like created, I would — like any business — put it on my business cards, postcards and website… but do actors put it on their headshots? I feel like I’ve never seen a name logo on a headshot, just typical fonts the reproduction houses use. What is your take on this? I figure if I’m branding my name as a product shouldn’t I put it on my headshot too or it that too much?

Thanks for your help!

Danielle Hoetmer

Hi Danielle,

Thanks for your kind words and congrats on getting geared up for your move to LA. Hope you’ll love it here!

I’ve seen a few logos on actors’ headshots and resumés, postcards and websites, but certainly not many. It’s not a typical promotional gimmick but when it’s done well, it’s always very interesting to me. Gives me a glimpse into how actors see themselves beyond what they say in their cover letters, beyond how they format their resumés, beyond what they look like in their headshots, beyond what they share on their websites, etc.

We put a lot of thought and work into our logo, when we met with a brilliant designer to create one for our company. Our designer took our meticulously-crafted list of adjectives to come up with something that absolutely communicates visually what we “feel” our brand is about. (See for yourself.)

But do actors need a logo? Probably not. Your headshot is the visual, really. That said, the actors whose logos I’ve seen — when they’re done really well and drive home the “feel” of the actor’s total brand — do seem more interesting to me, simply because I think they get the branding part of this business more than those who don’t even consider which font to choose for their name, when printing up headshots. But a sloppy, non-pro, not at all thought-out logo would be a mistake. You know that. You’re only asking about this because you’re putting lots of thought into this. Good for you!

Bottom line: Up to you. We’re not going to expect a logo. You’re not going to be lost without one. It’s going to go unnoticed by the majority of people who see it. It’s probably not going to make the difference in getting you called in either way. But if it’s fun for you and gives your materials (headshot, resumé, cover letter, business card, demo reel, website) the cohesive feel of “brand you,” I think that’s awesome. It’s definitely “a step beyond.” And sometimes that’s a good step to take to get the edge!

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000995.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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