In the 7 years that I’ve been shooting and developing a business I’ve gone through countless brand identities. Starting out, I kept choosing logos and colors that were trendy at the time. I went with birds, dandelions, and even the color combo grey and yellow. I certainly loved all of those things when I chose them. However, they weren’t representative of me on a lasting level. I liked them because they were trending at the moment.
The problem with that is, that just as quickly as they came into the spotlight, they were old news.
When it came time to re-brand again, I wanted to make sure it was a brand that could grow with me. Branding is a hard and intense process. Creating a solid structure from which to grow from was paramount for me this time around. I worked hard to really think about what I represent as a business and how that would play into how I am representing aesthetically.
In an attempt to always be putting more helpful information out there for other photographers and business owners, here are my top 5 tips for branding.
1. Think Timeless.
When you think about the larger brand identities out there they aren’t necessarily trendy. They’ve been the same general idea for years. Coke will always be red, pepsi will always be blue and red, we will always think of starbucks when we see a green straw.
Red may not be the ‘it’ color right now. But, it’s coke’s color and whenever I see it I start to get a little craving for those bubbles in the back of my throat.
We want to maintain consistency in brand so that people have the chance to be attached to it.
2. Make it Mean Something.
When you are choosing your colors and your identity I find it helpful to think about what you represent on a deeper level. Colors come in and out of style but, what you stand for and what you represent as a company will remain relatively the same.
For me, that is the power of women. The upside down triangle is a strong symbol that in a lot of feminist realms stands for feminine strength. It also stands for equality when used in other areas of life. This is also something I believe strongly in. Those factors of my business and myself aren’t changing. This allows the symbol to grow with me because there’s meaning behind it.
I also really like the contrast of masculine and feminine aesthetics. Strong lines with pale colors. This represents me in a way that is personal to me. I feel like such a strong mix of feminine and tomboy qualities. My clients may never know that about my brand, but, it’s a simple way for me to keep my look the same.
3. Encourage Adaptability.
While we want our brand to be timeless and to stay with us for years. We also want to make sure it can grow with the changing styles and trends. Making tiny changes to your brand will keep you relevant and interesting.
Here’s a great graphic showing the progression of three major brands.
4. Keep it Simple.
With the intention of making it timeless and easy to digest for your consumers. Think simple. There are so many beautiful works of art out there and it can be fun to play with colors and layers and our ideas can get away from us. But, take your best idea and then start paring it down. The bare bones of it, that’s where your gold nugget is going to be. The simpler the better.
5. Think of the Variations.
Do what you can to create a logo that is clear when you look at it. You know who it’s for and what their business is. Then, look for a piece that you can take away that can represent you on its own. For coke it’s the color red, for nike it’s the check, for shell it’s the shell, and for me it’s the upside triangle.
This can be taken away and when seen people will automatically think of your business.
I know this just touches the surface of branding. But, I hope it’s helpful for anyone going through this process at the moment.
with love and branding,