Branding your post-apocalyptic clan

By Published On: May 22, 20234.4 min read

***originally posted on on August 2, 2016***

You might be wondering why it’s important to brand your plucky band of misfits and murderers. Well if you have to ask that question then you probably aren’t fit to lead such a group, and a coup is imminent. So I’ll direct this to your successor (hey—good job on the coup!): make no mistake, the post-apocalyptic world is still a capitalist one—in fact perhaps more so than before we blew it all up. Branding is as important for a marauding clan as it was for Wall Street businesses. The two things most critical to your group’s success are attracting the most talented marauders, and striking fear in the hearts of competing groups—miss the mark on these and your group will surely end up a stack of burning corpses (burning on account of the possible contagion, duh).


Make the logo too detailed

Unless you can figure out how to power a Xerox machine using a bucket of potatoes, you no longer have modern conveniences to print off your propaganda, so you’re gonna have to hand-draw that sumbitch every time. You’re also going to have to teach others to draw it, in case your life gets cut short (and let’s be brutally honest, in this new reality you have an 80% chance of experiencing a violent parting of ways between your head and your body). Manually reproducing your logo in every instance becomes a game of telephone. What began as a scythe ends up as a banana with googly eyes. This is how your brand gets diluted, and trust me when I say this is the downfall of almost every marauding empire (besides a wandering zombie horde, of course).


Be trendy

Even though your group will likely have an astonishingly high turnover, you’re looking for brand longevity—don’t be too eager to adopt current trends. Sure, the Axeheads over in the next county are getting a lot of buzz right now, but in six months we’re all going to be rolling our eyes at their logo. Axes and skulls are so 2048.


Be too literal

This is an opportunity to get creative! Just because your whole vibe is murdering, stealing and raping doesn’t mean you need to weave those elements into your logo. Think abstract, be conceptual. Perhaps even go the mascot route—but nothing racist, unless racism is one of your brand pillars.


Define and research your audience

Your brand must appeal to your audience, so spend some time figuring out who they are. It’s very difficult to appeal to both psychopaths and horticulturalists at the same time, so you need to have a well defined business plan before embarking on establishing a brand—are you growing your own food, or savagely stealing it from other groups? Too many group leaders don’t flesh out these details beforehand.


Study colour psychology

Different colours evoke different emotions. If your group is a violent one, definitely stick to warm tones—reds, oranges, fuchsias and purples, and of course black always adds a touch of macabre. But be careful about advertising your strengths when they’re ones others may want to pillage—if you’re a largely horticultural group, stay away from greens and yellows or the more murdery groups will target you especially. As a peaceful at-risk group, it’s better to remain vague in your messaging.


Get feedback from others

It can be very tempting to create your brand in a vacuum. After all—this is a dictatorship, not a democracy. We tried democracy, and look where it got us—total annihilation! Anyway, this is one area where you might want to forgo killing any dissident who dares to provide a contrary opinion, and establish safe timeout periods where your members can ask questions and make suggestions without fear of disembowelment. Just keep in mind that you’ve assembled a group comprised mostly of violently unhinged individuals, so take every bit of feedback with a grain of salt. Use your best judgement—it is, after all, what got you to the top in the first place (well, that and finding that crate of machetes).


Make the logo bigger

Back before the world became a hellscape of suffering and destruction, designers hated being told to make the logo bigger. But this is a whole new reality, baby. Branding your is all about striking fear, so the bigger the better for your logo. And there are so many opportunities to do so, now that ad space is basically free. Skyscrapers and freeway underpasses are your new canvas, so go buckwild.

Additional tips:

  • Make a stencil of your logo to save time. Once the hardware stores have been liberated of all remaining spray paint, switch to blood (if you’re a murdery clan) or berries (if you’re a peace-loving clan—but actually you should be eating those berries you idiots).
  • If you’re lucky enough to have an Etsy type in your group, sew yourself a flag with your emblem and brand pillars. Gone are the days of embedded advertising and sponsored posts, so flying your freak flag is your best chance to get your message out there.

Good luck!