Logos are one of the most powerful means of communication. Where would we be if we couldn’t tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi? Just about everything from large corporations to small online stores have a logo. These little works of art have to tell an entire story in just a few simple lines and colors.
If you have already added personal touches to your RV, how about designing a logo for it? Having a personal look will separate your camper, trailer, or van from a sea of similar-looking vehicles. Logos can also be used if you decide to start an Instagram page, YouTube channel, or just give out postcards to your campground neighbors.
RV and trailer blog owners such as The Wandering RV and Long Long Honeymoon have their own logos.
If you are an artist, then more power to you. However, some people may not think they are creative or computer-savvy enough to create their own logo. Consequently, there are so many options out there these days, including free artwork and talented, inexpensive designers willing to take on the job.
What is a logo?
Even though they are small and simple, a lot of thought goes into the most professional of these marketing marks. Logos have to explain in very few words and lines a lot about what they are representing. Think of the Nike “swoosh” logo. It’s really just a curved line but defines a billon-dollar company.
When you design your own logo, really think about what you want. Do you tow around a vintage trailer and want to reflect its cool factor? Do you want your logo to show your love of boondocking, RV resorts, or national parks? Do you have a hippie van from the 1960s? Maybe you want a logo that shows the quirks of your homemade wooden trailer. What really defines you, your RV, and your camping style?
When you design your own personal logo, you will want it to be as original as possible. You can’t take an image that belongs to another designer or company and call it your own. In addition, think outside the box.
Many camper and trailer logos tend to use the same cute teardrop trailer and “Happy Camper” phrase, so try to come up with something different. Logos can also come in many styles such as hand-drawn, contemporary, rustic, or vintage, so pick what fits you best.
1. Design your own logo.
Take a stab at designing your own logo. This can be everything from a stick drawing to a unique watercolor painting. Above all, the one key with a logo is to keep it simple. Don’t try to cram too much information into what is essentially a small design.
You will want to design your logo as a vector image. Unlike photographs, vectors are images made up of mathematically defined paths rather than pixels. The paths can be straight, curved, angled, and pointed, and can make both simple and complex drawings.
While photographs made of pixels decrease in quality when they are re-sized or blown up, vectors maintain their quality and remain smooth and clean. Vector images can be scaled up to any size (even to the size of a large RV) and keep their quality.
Most designers build logos on Adobe Illustrator. This robust and professional program does it all, from illustration to basic line art. However, it is expensive and you have to purchase a subscription from Adobe. There are other ways to play around with online drawing software.
The free trial program, Gravit, is a simple vector drawing program where you can draw objects, create icons and simple and complex illustrations. The program even lets you import Adobe Illustrator and SVG (scalable vector graphic) files.
These types of files can be found for free on Vecteezy or VectorStock. Vecteezy has both a pro and a free version—the more popular files can be found on the pro version. If you decide to use Vecteezy, whatever graphic you download should only be for personal use, not for commercial purposes.
2. Hire a designer.
If you don’t feel comfortable tackling your own design, there are plenty of designers who will do it for you. Check out sites such as Fiverr or 99designs where thousands of graphic designers can design a simple logo with a few revisions.
These sites also offer contests where you post your design challenge and have designers come up with their own version. You pick the winning design and pay for it. Prices can range from around $25 to several hundreds of dollars.
Etsy also has hundreds of stores that belong to graphic designers and illustrators who can take an existing graphic they have created and turn it into your special icon or logo.
This is an efficient and inexpensive way to get a personal logo for around $20 to $50. Look for a designer who will send you your logo in a variety of formats and in both full color and black and white.
3. Just use text.
Find a unique font that really fits your style or your type of RV and play around with it in Microsoft Word or another text editing program. Save the finished file as a JPG or PDF that can be used in both print and on the web.
There are several key points in using a font as a logo. Be sure to use a font that is easily readable in both upper and lowercase. Script fonts are fun but can be difficult to read in all uppercase. They can also be more difficult to read when they are re-produced.
Where do I put a logo on my RV?
You can use your logo on everything from spare tire covers to t-shirts and postcards. Maybe get a few stickers printed to put on your bumper or hand out to new friends.
Some companies will even print adhesive graphics that you can use to replace the factory graphics on your 5th wheel or Class A. Have fun with it and make your RV an extension of your personality.