I’m sharing the Em’s Pet Grooming logo with you today because she officially has her grand opening tomorrow – Saturday, May 29, 2021!

Starting your own business can be ruff, but Em already has a great support system. She has been a groomer for several years, but starting her own business has always been her dream. In 2021, she announced she was launching Em’s Pet Grooming, located in Bristol, VA. She reached out to me a few months ago when she was in the beginning stages of renovating her physical location.

As part of my questionnaire, I ask if there are any elements the client really feels strongly about being in the logo. At the time, she knew wanted her two dogs (Lucy and Oakley) to be a part of the logo, and she mentioned possibly including their paw prints or silhouettes in the design.

I asked her, “What do you think about illustrations of the dogs? And also – are you open to an illustration of YOU also being in the logo?” and fur-tunately for me, after a short pause, she said yes.

Why did I ask her that? Although the owner is usually “the face of the company,” it obviously isn’t a necessity for a brand to have a literal portrait in a logo if there’s a name in the logo. However, having illustrations of a person and/or a pet in logo is an incredibly unique and meaningful way to create a logo that will set you apart in your industry. Because the personality of the business matters so much in visuals, it doesn’t work for every brand, but it was a perfect fit for Em’s business.

I was also thrilled that she wanted her two dogs to be a part of the logo because it was not only sentimental, but was going to help people quickly associate her with the pet/dog industry. Before I even sketched out anything, I could already envision her curly haired cuteness between her two dogs (one on each side for balance) in the logo. I was so excited to get started that I didn’t even make it to my notebook – I sketched out a few layouts on a post-it note after our phone call.

I had her send me tons of photos of herself and her dogs so I could make sure to capture their personalities and visual traits.

I got to work on creating illustrations of the dogs and Em using the photo references. I tried a few different illustration styles before landing on the one you see below. It’s a monoline illustration, meaning all the lines/strokes are just about the same width. This keeps the design from being too complex and detailed.

The crisp, timeless illustration style is the ulti-mutt balance between young and mature. If you know Em, you know she’s a good balance! The layering effect of the dogs in front of her helps to give the illustration depth and visual interest.

Her brand font has a handwritten touch for a relatable, familial vibe she gives off (her customers are fur-ever, like family), and since it’s a sans serif font, it leans modern vs. traditional. The upward curve suggests positivity and happiness.

And there you have it! Time for a round of ap-paws?

Em has initiative! She had her signage created and installed within a few weeks of the logo reveal and sent me this photo a month ago.

My friend Christina helped me create these aprons as a gift for Em for her open house!

Thanks so much for trusting me with a logo for your new business, Em! Now, howl I ever stop using dog puns!?

Read about me, myself, and I.

I’m Briana. I help service-oriented leaders create amazing brands using strategy based on their ideal clients. In a nutshell, I assist businesses with merging who they are with what their ideal clients need by offering things like brand assessments, strategy, design, and consulting.

I was born and raised in Bristol, TN/VA in the Tri-Cities at the center of the Appalachian Highlands, and I still live here with my husband Stephen. I’ve been in the marketing industry since 2008, starting my career designing Homes magazine ads for a real estate company, which I continued doing, along with freelancing photography and logo design during college. I continued freelancing while I spent a short period of time at a marketing agency and then became a marketing manager for regional nonprofits for six and a half years. I went full-time with my branding business in 2018.

In many ways, I am an old soul. I can’t help but have a desire to understand people of all demographics, generations, and personality types. I use that desire to your advantage: to determine how you can better serve your dream customers. It’s an emotionally-driven approach to branding that involves stepping into someone else’s shoes. After all, the emotion a brand creates for a customer is what keeps them coming back, and who better to take an emotionally-driven approach than me, one of the most emotional friends you will probably ever have!

Read more about me and my background.