This is an ongoing series where we take a look at the concept of branding and how it applies to your comic. We’ll highlight do’s and don’ts as well as look at fixes. Can we save it or does it make sense to simply start over? We’ll also be taking requests over the coming months to help real comic artists nail down their brand.
Let’s start off with defining branding. Dictionary.com loosely defines branding as something distinguished by some distinctive characteristic indicated by a stamp, trademark, or the like. I’ve reworded it as it pertains to our usage – but you still may be scratching your head. Let me make it even simpler – your brand can be your comic’s logo, your art style or your characters that are unique and help someone easily identify you or your art.
Okay, you don’t live in a shoe box and you know what a brand is. You know that Nike, McDonald’s and Target are huge International corporations – they all have paid millions of dollars to promote their logos and build their brand. You know who Spiderman, Snoopy and Garfield are. It’s important to note that those last three aren’t just comic characters – they are brands, just like those International corporations.
So now here you are, you and your little webcomic posted on the interwebs for people to see. Guess what? You’re comic is International – after all the Internet is a global marketplace and you should think of it that way – you can attract an audience from all around the world. Big deal right? Actually yes. Unless you plan on putting a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears into your comic just to give it up in the end, right now you should consider nailing down what your brand is. It’s an important step that once established correctly can help lead you and keep you focused (points we’ll get to in future articles).
So let’s take a step back to where we started – the definition and how it applies to comics. Your comic, it’s title and subsequent logo, should be distinctive. It should stand out and make it easy to identify. Why? For starters, there are hundreds of people just like you, just as talented as you and in the same position as you. How do you plan on standing out? Sooner or later you’re going to come to the realization that there’s a reason those International corporations spend millions of dollars every year on branding.
I’m here to tell you that you should start today and the best part is you get to save your millions for stuff you want – you don’t have to spend a dime to get started – after all, this article is free. If you’re resourceful, then you can figure out a way to make an identity that distinguishes you, your comic and your brand.