Publisher logos are a part of the writing process that are often overlooked. However, logos are an integral part of marketing and alerting readers to the credibility behind your book. While logos may seem like a simplistic piece of art, they are much more important than we often realize.
In this article, I discuss what they are, if you should make your own, and provide examples of real ones.
Whether you choose to traditionally publish or self-publish, incorporating a logo with your final manuscript can help you in a myriad of ways.
Yes, writers often pursue writing because they love the writing part of the creative process. It’s crucial to keep in mind that there are other creative aspects that largely influence your success as an author. Publisher logos are one such aspect. If you’re ready to dive in, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What Are Publisher Logos?
Publisher logos are emblems that represent the brand of the publisher. Publisher logos help identify one publisher from the next. They act as an easily recognizable piece of art that categorizes books according to the publisher.
Every book that a publisher puts into the marketplace will have a publisher logo. You will often find publisher logos on the title page of a book and frequently on the book’s spine as well.
A publisher logo helps people place the book with the publisher with a simple glance at the spine. It acts as a finishing touch to the product.
Fun fact: One of the first pages of the book, often called a colophon or copyright page, is full of details like:
- Publication information
- Legal disclaimers
Back when scribes wrote every copy of every book by hand, they used this section to make little notes about how tough it was to transcribe a text by hand. In fact, the word colophon is actually from Greek via Latin and originally meant “finishing touch.”
With this in mind, the next important question to ask is if you should make your own publisher logo. If you choose to self-publish rather than traditionally publish, should you add your own finishing touch to your book?
Should You Make Your Own?
If you want to give your book the best chance of selling, creating your own publisher logo is an important step in the process. Publisher logos are an important part of marketing. After all, branding is what differentiates your book from all others.
The more detail you put into your author brand, branding your book, and marketing this brand to your potential readers, the better chance you have for selling copies.
Creating your own publisher logo is not as difficult as it may sound. Consider the following options:
#1 – Use Canva
Canva is a great platform for creating publisher logos and offers both a free and paid version. If you have an eye for graphic design and understand branding, you may want to try your hand at creating your own publisher logo.
#2 – Hirer A Graphic Designer
If you aren’t as confident in the graphic design space, your best option may be to hire someone to design several publisher logos for you to choose from. Before making the hire, be sure that you do your proper research: ask other writers for feedback on the designers they have used and be sure to look at reviews.
#3 – Go Hybrid
On the other hand, maybe you have a vision for the type of publisher logo you want to use but you aren’t quite sure how to manifest it. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of both your own creative bent and the professionalism of a graphic designer.
Simply use Canva or another such platform to create a mock-up of the design you want to use. Next, reach out to designers and ask if they can work with your template. Once you find the right designer for your project, collaborate until you create a logo you love.
Examples Of Real Ones
Sometimes it helps to see examples of what has been done to inspire your creativity and help you create something new. Of course, we should never copy a previous publisher logo, but it’s perfectly acceptable to draw inspiration from logos.
#1 – Penguin Press
Penguin Press has a great, simple logo featuring, of course, a penguin! This publisher uses white, black, and orange to create an easily recognizable logo that will fit on books’ spines.
#2 – Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House, one of the “big five” traditional publishing houses and over Penguin Press, features a very simple publisher logo. In fact, it’s so simple it may appear on-the-nose. However, their logo reinforces their brand name and is one to learn from!
#3 – Victory Publishing
Victory Publishing takes a spin on line art for its logo. An open book, created by what looks like possibly just one line, adds a simplistic spin to what we often recognize as a traditional book logo. A simple font includes the name of the publisher and when it was established (2014).
#4 – Open Book Publishers
This publisher breaks the trend by using blue rather than the traditional black color for their logo. An open book comprises the entirety of their logo: Simple, to the point, with hard lines.
#5 – Orca Book Publishers
Here’s another simple logo but one that draws you in. The entire logo exists within a perfect circle. However, the bottom third is filled with black ink and their name, ORCA, in all caps. A black and white orca dives into the ocean in the top two-thirds.
Want to attend a self-publishing school? The company, Self-Publishing School, makes use of this play on words with their logo: a black and white graduation cap with a gold tassel stars as the logo. However, with even more attention to detail, this company doesn’t use a traditional graduation cap.
If you look closer, you’ll see the top of the cap is made up of a book and what appears to be a tassel is actually the gold bookmark—fun, unique, and engaging.
#7 – Blurb
Blurb uses white and sky blue colors, block letters, and a modern form of a thought or text box as their logo. This is one of the most creative, yet minimal, logos I’ve seen.
Time To Brainstorm
Now that you have a list of examples to drive from, it’s time to really think about what type of branding you want to get across to readers. Do you want to be simple like Blurb or Open Book Publishers?
Do you want to provide something more tangible in the logo, such as Orca, Penguin Random House, or Self-Publishing School does?
While there is no right or wrong answer, the best answer for you lies on the other side of your brainstorming session. This is the time to sit down, cut out distractions, and get into the zone.
How do you want readers to identify your books? What image do you want them to associate with your work? What type of logo will you be able to use in the various places you’ll need to?
- Book spines
- Website design
- Banners for your book signings
Enjoy the process and playing around with ideas, then commit, and take the plunge!
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