Written by Ray Masaki

Questions:

I would like to start by off thanking you for answering questions for up and coming clothing lines. I’ve learned some things from you and I deeply appreciate it. Your help can definitely make a clothing line dream come true. Most clothing lines feel as though, you are their competition, so why help?

Someday I plan to do a collab with you, or hire you as a potential designer? I love your brand and I plan to follow in your same footsteps.

I have a few questions:

#1 My clothing line does not consist of a symbol logo. It consists of just a word logo. Other brands, such as The Hundreds and Kid Robot rely deeply on their symbol logo. Do you think there is competition between word logos vs. symbol logo brands? I think there’s pros and cons for each logo. I think symbol logos get played out fast, but a symbol logo is more bold than a word logo. In my opinion, word logos last longer because they have a more traditional look, but don’t get as noticed. I understand there are many brands out there that have both a word logo and a symbol logo. My plan is to just stick with the traditional word logo. Later on down the line, I may create a symbol logo, but the chances are very slim.

How can my word logo compete with the symbol logo brands?

Should I switch the design of my word logo with different types of typography and fonts for different articles of clothing? I feel like my word logo will get played out fast if I use the same design for inside tags, hang tags, and t-shirt designs.

#2 In the beginning stages of starting my clothing line, I plan to do most of the tasks myself. The only employee I will have is a designer when starting. When I’m ready to expand my business, I plan to hire others for the brand. What type of positions am I looking to fill when expanding the business? Are you a one man company or do you have others on your team?

Answers:

1. I think your problem is that you’re limiting the powers of the type logo. It sounds to me like your type logo is just plain type with very little editing. What I would suggest is to add your own flair to the type that represents your company. There are extremely powerful and memorable type logos that do simple modifications to make you double take.

Personally, I’ve always liked the versatility of having both a type and graphic logo. Look at Lowdtown for instance, I have 3 logos that I transition between. I have the main type logo which I use on a variety of labels and business cards. I consider my type logo to be the most professional, so that is the purpose that I’ve given it. I also have the mouthcan logo and the lowdmouth logo. Both of these are obviously very graphic and are used more for brand recognition, because I feel like they are pretty memorable. Graphic logos establish the mood of your brand, in my opinion. And you mentioned kidrobot with their graphic logo. I agree that they use the kidrobot robot symbol the most, but they also have the simple type logo too. Each logo has a purpose and it adds versatility to your branding. However, don’t go crazy and have like 10 different logos, because that would create brand confusion rather than brand recognition.

Open your mind to several ideas and variations. When I came up with my logo, I had to go through several dozen iterations til I came up with ideas that I liked. Try just sketching out as many logos as you can, and I’m sure you’ll be able to find a gem in there be it type or graphic.

2. Yes, I am a one-man operation, but let me tell you, it’s not easy! It’s funny you mention that because I’m currently trying to find some employees to help out as well, but since I’m so attached to Lowdtown it’s difficult to find another person that I can trust it to. Since I’m the main designer, I’m not really searching for another designer, but probably the most important thing that I’m looking for is someone who understands the business side of things. Getting an accountant would probably be the most helpful, because I’m completely clueless when it comes to sorting my own taxes and figuring out how to efficiently use my money. I wish I had more time for marketing as well. If I had someone who can handle that side of the operation of promoting the brand and finding wholesalers, that would be extremely useful.

Thanks for the questions, I hope this helped!

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