Yup, another Maker's Mark question.

Chris623

Well-Known Member
Nope, not Maker's Mark thebottled kind..........though I used to drink my and your share of it.............but I digress! ;)

Right now I'm concentrating on learning how to make top quality carving knives. Not really going to make any money on them, but wouldn't mind building a reputation as a top notch craftsman of them. I'd like to do more than woodburn my initials in the handle, which most makers do. Some, who forge their blades stamp the hot metal, but as small as the blades are, most of those marks look pretty pathetic. I would like to go the stencil route. I've got a power supply to do the job..............so all I need is stencils. I've done repeated searches on several knife sites and have plenty of recommendations for stencil makers. But my real question is about the design of the stencil. My name is ridiculously long........................might even be longer than the blades I'll be making. (you can look at my website address below to see what I mean) So I'm thinking a small, identifiable logo and my initials..............which would simply be CC. I don't expect to be selling to a much larger radius than my own State of Oklahoma, so I'm not trying to make a big name for myself around the world or anything. So any suggestions for how to get a nifty logo design to send to a stencil maker?
 

Chris623

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Ed. I'd read what you wrote a little while back in my search for answers. All good information, for sure. But.........................................

In the first place, I am making my blades in the stock removal method. In the second place, they are not much larger than a pen knife blade. The largest is approximately 3/8" wide and 1 1/2" long. I'm pretty much limited to the electro-etching method at this point. What I'm needing help with is how to design my logo...............or who to ask to design it for me.
 

Chris Railey

Well-Known Member
Don't sell yourself short several of my knives now reside in Texas, and have done so by word of mouth only. I live in Georgia.
 

Chris Railey

Well-Known Member
I have the Etch O Matic stencil making equipment and it works pretty well for simple logos. In truth, you could build what I have on the cheap and just by the dura film blank stencils from them but I believe in supporting people who make stuff so I bought theirs.
 

Chris623

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Chris. As I mentioned in my first post, I've already got the variable power supply...............all I need is the stencils. But I need a logo first.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
OK....let's discuss this.....
Not really going to make any money on them, but wouldn't mind building a reputation as a top notch craftsman of them.
Unless you figure out a method of getting at least your name in the mark, any reputation won't be yours...because they simply won't know who made the knife/knives, or who the maker is.

If you've read the article that I listed the link to....then you know my feelings on "logos"..... most are obscure to everyone except the maker, and are usually impossible to connect to a specific individual. As I've said before, if they can't find you, or find who you are, then they can't purchase a knife from you (nor will they ever figure out who the "reputation" is connected to).

A serious stumbling block, that I have seen over the years, is individuals who have made knives for a number of years using a "logo" as their mark, who discovered for themselves the pitfalls that I've mentioned, then decide to either incorporate their name into an existing logo, or switch to their name..... they immediately are classed as a brand new maker because of the change.....and have to go through the whole scenario of getting recognized again. This is why it's extremely important to think carefully over a "mark" or "logo".......because once you start using a specific one, it creates problems (usually serious ones) if you decide to change it "down the road".

There are WAY more people making knives today, that at any point in my career. If a potential client can't look at your mark, and easily locate you with a quick google search, they are just going to go with someone they can find easily.

It takes some time to establish anything other than your name. For example, way back when I first moved to Montana, a friend suggested I use the nickname "The Montana Bladesmith"....... over the years that "handle" has become like a second name for me...... many folks who may not know who "Ed Caffrey" is, know who "The Montana Bladesmith" is.....and associate certain knives with that handle, or my name. BUT! Having my name and the "handle" be both recognized/attached to my knives, took a lot of years...... so if I were to change my "handle", it would take a LONG time for it to be recognized.

I don't strictly use a stamp..... I use the stamping method on those knives that I can, but on knives with thin/small blades, that would be warped if stamped, I use a stencil that contains the same information as my stamps (On those knives I stamp, CAFFREY is on one side of the ricasso, and M.S. (Mastersmith) is stamped on the other side. Here's an example of the stencil I use on folders and other blades that are not no good candidates for stamping.......

Adam4.jpg


All I'm saying is....when creating/deciding how to mark your knives, try to put yourself in the place of an individual who has no idea who you are, or what you do, and try to mark you knives with info that will help a person find you. Whatever you decide upon, give yourself the most exposure you can by using the information contained in the mark in you signature on forums, emails, and anywhere you identify yourself on the net...... Just look at my signature as an example. My name, my "handle", my website, and even my table number at the Blade Show..... and my signature is consistent across ALL the internet sites/forums I visit.

Personally, I'd get rid of "Chris623" and use your name, and be consistent with that over ALL the sites you participate in across the net. For example.... I'm always some form of "Ed Caffrey" no matter what the forum, facebook, or instagram situation might me....that's the consistency you need to be recognized, and by using your actual name, it tends to engender a level of trust, that just wouldn't happen if I were to use a different "handle" on every forum, plus...it keeps me in check, in that by using my actual name, it makes me think twice before typing something that I probably shouldn't. ;) That's how people "get to know you" in the most consistent, least amount of time. Again.....you have to remember, what is relevant, or "special" to you, means absolutely nothing to most other people.....so you have to try to connect, and become recognized.

So in the end, it's totally up to you, I'm just trying to explain how something that might seem insignificant, should entail a great deal more thought than you might realize, and how that decision can make things easy, or difficult.
 
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Chris Railey

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Chris. As I mentioned in my first post, I've already got the variable power supply...............all I need is the stencils. But I need a logo first.
If you look at my post again you will see I was talking about the equipment to make your own stencils. I do.
 

Motor City Mike

Well-Known Member
A makers mark is about as personal and subjective as it gets. I'm not sure how anybody else is going to hit something so specific to you.

But I understand the how and why of your question.

I was in a similar boat when trying to decide on a mark.

In the end I took Ed's advice.

I've always liked the way Rick Hinderer had his name on his 1st & 2nd generation XM-18's so I somewhat modeled mine after his. My first initial and last name (which is also kind of long).

I figured it's good enough for the likes of Ed Caffrey, Rick Hinderer, R.J. Martin, Phil Boguzewski, etc. then surely it's good enough for me.
 

Chris623

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Mike.

The only question I had was "So any suggestions for how to get a nifty logo design to send to a stencil maker?"




Chris
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
Christenberry is a pretty unique name. I don't think you'd need much more than that for a MM if you keep up with your keywords and whatnot on your webpage, social media, and forums. If you pick the right font, you might be surprised what you could fit on a blade spine or the flat of a blade.

The next option would simply be to create a shorter company name, which could be just about anything, although, obviously the more unique the better.
 

Chris623

Well-Known Member
I'm not on any social media. I don't plan on having any kind of a webpage for my knives. I probably won't make enough knives to worry about it. I know I won't be making enough full sized knives to worry about it. Just wondering where I could get the artwork done for a stencil order. The spine of these knives is .050", so I doubt there's any room for my name there. It would have to be a mighty small font to put it on the blade without taking up the entire blade. Some blades are as short as 3/4". I'm thinking a 1/4" tall elipse with overlapping C's (CC) inside and be done with it. I understand what you guys are trying to get me to do, but you don't realize what I'm making, and how few of them I'm going to be making.
 

Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
I get your dilemma, I'm having the same dilemma. I want a logo also but may opt for my name for some e of Ed's reasoning and also I can't figure out a logo that I like. There are some knife makers that I admire,; Tely, Homestead, Von Gruff, Trollski and more all have simple logos. I actually started to play with the CC and came up with something, only to find out it's the logo for Chantel lol. You do have an awesome name. Google CC logos and t might you some ideas. Your furniture is beautiful btw.
 

Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
I'm just playing so if you hate it, I don't take it personal. I just thought you could play off A logo that represents your last name.
 

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