If there are any positives for photographers to glean from this challenging period of social distancing and “lockdown,” we’d definitely place having time to review (and possibly rebuild) your photography business near the top of the list. In today’s video/article, we’re going to look at photography business logo design and branding for Premium community members in an effort to help guide your own branding (or re-branding) efforts.

This critique is part of our Premium Members Lounge, which is included with a Premium subscription. Other topics we cover in the forum include website, portfolio, and image critiques. You can learn more about Premium subscriptions here. 

1. Make Sure Your Logo Sends a Clear Message

Every element in your photography logo idea should come together in a cohesive manner to clearly communicate the essence of your brand. From color choice and typeface to style of symbol used, each element plays a vital role in presenting a clear, unified message.

photography business logo design and branding premium member johnny keyz
The piano keys in the watermark might be confusing for some to understand.

If you choose to integrate pictorial elements into your logo design, for example, make sure they relate directly to the message you’re trying to convey. To illustrate this point, see the example above. In it, Johnny Keyz wanted to showcase his passion for the arts by incorporating his stage name as a piano player into the logo design for his photography business. As Pye notes, the logo (which features piano keys attached to the last name in the wordmark) struggles to convey whether Johnny Keyz is in fact a photographer, or a musician, or a photographer who photographs piano players, etc.

2. Keep Your Photography Logo Ideas Simple

photography business logo design branding keep it simple
Pye notes the above logo may be too complex with three typefaces & an overly detailed illustration.

It’s tempting to want to add as much detail as possible to your photography logo idea, but in reality, simplicity is key. Using multiple colors, typefaces, and font sizes, as well as complex illustrations, can leave your logo looking busy and ultimately have the opposite of one of its intended effects: memorability. Basically, the logo should look equally great (and easy to read) whether it’s presented in large or small format.

[Related Reading: How to Build a Business in the Middle of a Recession]

3. Keep the Photography Logo Idea Consistent

photography business logo design branding professional consistent design logo
The pictorial mark (or monogram) in this logo differs stylistically from the bold look of the wordmark

If you choose to go with a bold look for your logo, be sure to do so across all elements of the logo design. For example, in the logo above, the (literally) bold typeface contrasts almost too much with the softer look of the monogram, despite its sharp points. The soft curves and overall organic shape do not serve the angular look of the typeface. This isn’t to say it’s a bad logo, but the mismatch between the elements is somewhat distracting.

4. Match the Logo & Branding to the Product

A strong logo with bright, solid colors and bold typefaces will match up great with an in-your-face style of shooting with bright, bold imagery, but it might not pair as well with, say, a fine art photographer.

photography business logo design branding match logo to product
Home page of Caroline Tran’s photography website

In the image above, you’ll find the website for Caroline Tran, whose elegant logo aligns perfectly with her soft shooting style and bright & airy imagery. If you find that your logo design differs stylistically from your imagery, you might consider redesigning the logo to match the product you’re offering to your clients.

photography business logo design naming for branding
Example used to illustrate the importance of naming one’s business in relation to branding

Beyond the logo, even the name you give your photography business will in some sense convey which level of photography service you offer. For example, as Pye notes in response to the example above, the name of the business sounds like an affordable product that one might use to clean a camera lens, or as a photography business would likely specialize in photographing children as opposed to weddings or some other genre.

5. Use Cliches Creatively or Not at All

photography business logo design use cliches creatively
While a nice touch, the camera represents a somewhat cliche element in a photography business logo

If you must use a cliche in your logo design, such as incorporating a camera into a logo for a photography business, you must do so in a creative manner. Otherwise, the message you’re conveying becomes anything but creative, which is not ideal for a photography business.

6. Hire a Professional Graphic Designer for Your Photography Logo Idea if the Budget Allows

photography business logo design branding professional graphic designer
Example portfolio of a professional graphic designer (@spoonlancer)

If possible, consider hiring a professional graphic designer to design your photography business logo and help with your branding. Your logo is the first representation of your brand for new clients; it’s a business asset worth investing in. Rates and results will vary, of course, but several cost-efficient resources (such as 99designs.com, freelancer.com, etc.) exist to help connect you to a designer whose work resonates with your style and taste.

[Related Reading: Business Tips for Photographers – Task Management & Organization]

Conclusion

When designing a logo for your photography business, it’s important that you identify your target market and then build the logo from the ground up.¬†Does your logo clearly convey your message and your purpose? If you already have something that you’ve been using for years and it’s working for you, then you may not need to “fix” it, necessarily, but it’s worth reviewing to see if your branding is serving you as best it can. There’s almost always room for some improvement at the very least.

Here’s a quick recap of what we covered in this article/video:

  • Make sure your logo sends a clear message
  • Keep the logo design simple
  • Keep the logo design consistent
  • Match the logo & branding to the product
  • Use Cliches Creatively or Not at All
  • Hire a professional graphic designer if the budget allows

I hope you enjoyed this information on logo design and branding for your photography business. If you’re interested in checking out more critiques and submitting your work for a possible critique, be sure to check out our Premium subscriptions and participate in Members Lounge Forums. We also encourage you to join our specialized groups on Facebook, where you can link up with Pye and other like-minded photographers in the areas of business, lighting, editing, and shooting weddings & portraits.