If you are new to this blog, I have been spending the past six or so months rebranding my photography business. The official launch of the new brand, including the new website is going to be released SO soon! So what I have decided to do is tell you a bit about the journey. Because friends, it really has been one! I decided to talk rebranding from start to finish, and the end of the series will be the big launch!
Part One of this series described the events that led to my decision to rebrand, and my mentoring session with the fabulous Justin & Mary. Today, I am going to talk about the beginning of stages of working with my incredible designer!
Ravyn of Three Fifteen Design came to me by the suggestion of Justin & Mary. It was incredibly obvious in our discussion on branding that I was full of ideas, but didn’t know what to do with them- let alone how to create a strong brand with them. I couldn’t even pick out a favorite color tissue paper to wrap prints in. I needed a professional.
I immediately contacted Ravyn to ask for information on her design services. I needed someone who I could explain my heart to, and somehow they would understand. I didn’t want to look like everyone else, and I didn’t want a website that looked like everyone else either. I wanted a personal brand that felt like me from start to finish. I wanted luxury but I wanted it comfortable. I wanted unique but relatable. I wanted a brand that FELT like sitting on the porch in the fall drinking hot coffee in the morning. THAT kind of comfort. THAT kind of rest. THAT kind of luxury.
And. I was nervous.
I wanted huge things without a huge budget. I was overwhelmed by the thought of having to buy new business cards, let alone new EVERYTHING.
Then I heard back from Ravyn. Instantly, her personality in the email made me want to work with her before even looking at her detailed PDF. You know, it’s like when you see the PERFECT pair of leather boots on the rack at Nordstroms. All time seems to stand still. You can hear angels sing. And you tell yourself, I will sell my kidney to have those boots and I do NOT care. It was kind of like that.
As I read over her business services, I was in love. I had fallen completely in love with the idea of a luxury brand called Tiffany Farley. I wanted everything. I wanted more than a new logo and more then a new business card. I wanted a brand. Because at this point, I knew I didn’t have one.
Here’s my advice to other photographers looking to build a strong brand. We educate our clients on the important of investing in themselves ALL the time. The importance of investing in the memories, the here and now, and the future. We find ourselves frustrated when clients do not see the value of our time, the value of our creativity, and the value of our service. I thought to myself, shouldn’t I also invest in MY business? MY here and now and MY future? I knew I didn’t want to do this as a hobby. I knew I wanted to do this for a living. How could I educate my clients on the irreplaceable value of hiring a professional for their needs, when I wasn’t willing to do the same to meet my own? So I made the decision to jump. And I worked so incredibly HARD to pay for it. I held mini-session marathons, stopped eating out on Sundays after church, picked up extra work hours when I could, and I don’t remember the last time I went to the outlets and bought a new outfit.
But you know what? It has been worth it. The peace of mind of knowing that I am working with someone who specializes in brand identity and design- the two areas I could not lack more in, alone is worth it to me. Three Fifteen Design offers numerous collections and a la carte items so that every project can be totally customized to each of her clients. I chose a collection that included a logo set, logo stamp, client correspondence cards, business cards, and website design.
The first step was the vision. I was instructed by Mary at our mentoring session to begin collecting anything and everything that spoke to me. Colors, shapes, textures, patterns, fonts, etc. So I created a desktop folder and spent hours going through sites like Pinterest, my favorite store websites, and anything I saw that I loved. When I began working with Ravyn, I was able to send her the folder of these images. We talked on the phone, and this gave me the opportunity to describe the business direction I wanted to take. She was then able to take our conversation, and look at the images that I sent to create my new brand inspiration board.
When she sent this to me, I was sold. I wanted to LIVE in this board. Remember how I said that I couldn’t even decide on colors in the very beginning? The funny thing is, I unknowingly sent her images that were all within the same color scheme. I just didn’t see it! I cannot even tell you how much I love having a color palette to work with. Consistency was a HUGE problem for me when I started, and this gives me paramaters that maintain the cohesiveness of my brand. It is SO cool to see this inspiration board on top of the changes I have made here on the blog and how well everything goes together! Finally!
Next, she sent my very first round of logo proofs. I remember because I was in the drive thru at Starbucks when I got the email. I am pretty sure I squealed. The barista must have thought I was ridiculously stoked for my Americano!
Part of the collection that I purchased included 5 initial logo designs. This was so important because I really love choices. Her logo sets are an entire suit. I receive a main logo, alternate logos that are shaped differently, as well as additional add on elements that I mix and match and use for different purposes, which I absolutely LOVE. This is what having a strong, cohesive looking brand is all about! My logo set also comes with my font choices! Seeing the same font throughout my blog, website, and other materials really brings everything together so nicely. Her logo work was so amazing and so much of what I was going for, that we adjusted a couple things on the first round and BAM, done.
I LOVE that I now have a logo for everything I need. In fact, I just ordered logo stickers using the square “T” elements for my packaging. I am really excited to begin using the logo set more and more! She did SUCH an incredible job with my vision. When I received this email, I remember thinking how real the process just became! Being such a visual person, seeing the new brand name complete with a new logo made the entire experience come alive for me. It was really happening!
In Part Three of this Rebranding Series, I will talk about working with a copy editor, and a preview at a few of my latest projects! Be sure to follow the new FACEBOOK page to see when it’s published.
Have a great weekend friends!