Branding Your Biz|Inspire Me Baby

This week, we talk to Tiffany from On the Spot Studio about branding your photography business.

Thanks SO much to Inspire Me Baby for asking me to guest post! There are so many things to consider when branding yourself and so hard to narrow down what to really talk about, so I had Zenia come up with some questions for me to answer for you guys! Check ‘em out below:

How vital is it to have a vision of what you already want when trying to brand yourself? If we have no idea what we’re looking for, how do you help to guide clients?

It’s pretty important to know what you want when starting the process. The reason I say this, sometimes I give out 3-5 proofs, all different feel/style/etc. and sometimes, it’s just too much for the client to choose from. If you have a basic idea (element, colors, feel, etc) then I can keep closer to your vision instead of showing you things that would/could work as well.

Do you find that there are trends in logo design?

YES. Most definitely. I try to let clients know and help them realize that sometimes simple is better. Think of the following when branding yourself:

- Is it memorable? You want clients to connect your logo with your work.
- Will my branding work with all types of photography I want to do? Don’t choose an element that focuses more on say, children, if you shoot weddings as well.

I’ve noticed the following “trends” lately:

- Damask
- Dots & Swirls
- Funky fun hand drawn people/child elements

I’ve also noticed people ARE starting to go more simplistic. I don’t consider this a trend: I consider this timeless, classic, modern, it will NEVER GET OLD.

Are there fonts and/or colors that would you suggest avoiding?

Yes. NEON COLORS are a HUGE no no! When designing, I use Pantone colors as that is what most printers use as well. NEONS are especially bad on the web. Think of your client when they visit your site: do you want them thinking, “Oh look at her lovely work!” or “Oh my, what a bright logo”?

Fonts: oh, my those of you who know me, I am a font SNOB. I’ve written another article on fonts. I have certain fonts I refuse to even LOOK at, let alone download and use. Fonts that are overused (Scriptina, Blackjack, Inspiration) get old FAST. Not only to you, the client, but to others. I have cruised lots of sites that clients have directed me to and usually, 5-6 times, the same font is used in their design. I suggest to clients to browse the font sites and choose THEIR favorite and if needed, I will purchase it for their design. The goal is to stand out, not blend in.

How do you balance your artistic vision with the desires of your client?

I try to let the client guide me. I do 1 on 1 chat and show them proofs as I design. This gives them full control over placement, colors, etc. I AM designing for them. It’s only fair that they get as much control as possible :) Sometimes, I am vocal about my opinion. I try to warn the client right away that I am a very opinionated designer :)

What do you think makes a brand memorable?

Classic, simple, and straight to the point. Make your NAME the focus, not the element. I know I would rather be known as an artist with a name and face than a picture that *might* represent what I do….

What is your background in design? How long have you been a designer?

I have been working in digital design since 1999. I was the only senior in my class to work on and teach my teachers how to use AutoCad. From there, I doodled online a lot, working on websites, eBay templates, banners, etc. for close online friends. Logo design kind of just ‘fell’ into my lap: literally. I had a photographer email me and ask if I could design her a logo. I knew NOTHING of logo design at the time but agreed and charged her a whopping $15. I had 65 emails the next day. So over the months of starting out, I studied/learned all I could about logo, branding and marketing design.

Hopefully I answered the questions above as best I can! I look forward to hear from any of you and I’m always available to answer any questions you may have!

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