The Process: Branding Leah Badea
I’m excited to share with you some branding work I did for my wife Lori’s small photography business. Actually, right now it’s more of a hobby than anything, but I wanted her to look good and professional doing it, plus it gave me a chance to work on a new logo. Creating a logo for a photography business was something I’ve always wanted to do. The medium of photography is generally very creative by nature, so it’s only right that the branding of a photographer should be creative as well. I really do enjoy working with other creative people, especially those who see the value in branding and visual identity—as my wife does.
The story behind the name comes from the nickname of our daughter Leah. When coming up with a name my wife was going to photograph under, ‘Leah Badea’ always made us laugh and we thought it was a good fit.
As far as branding was concerned, my wife wanted something that was simple and feminine, but at the same time not too feminine as to isolate any potential clients. Her style of photography tends to stay away from the super posey types of photos. What she tries to do is capture people “in the moment.” She wants her photography to look natural and to tell a story as well.
These are the elements that I focused on while doing my research and sketching. Based off of our conversations, some of the key words I kept in mind while sketching were: ‘natural,’ ‘moments,’ ‘capture,’ and ‘story.’ My goal was to capture (yes, pun intended) those ideas and put them into the logo.
Often times when I’m doing my research for a logo design, I’ll notice certain trends within that particular industry for how designs look and feel. I saw plenty of photography logos that had cameras or aperture lenses worked into them and that was something I wanted to try and stay away from unless I could do something truly unique with them. For this reason, I realized that photography logos are very hard to pull off. Usually when I’m working on a branding project, I’ll save the cliché or overused things for an icon set or as supporting elements.
This is the mark that I ultimately came up with:
It consists of a combination of the flash on a camera and multiple hands on different clocks showing different times of the day (that’s why the lines are different lengths). This symbolizes what photography does: it stops or captures an exact moment in time. And this is what I was trying to get at in the design. In a way, the flash of a camera symbolizes the stoppage of time. The lines represent both the burst of light coming from a flash and the different hands on multiple clocks.
I also created a reverse color of the mark with the lines being transparent so that would make for a good watermark on a photo—something very important for a photographer.
For the logotype, the typeface I chose was Lavanderia by James T. Edmondson. Lavanderia is a super clean script font that I thought fit the theme of Leah Badea well. I experimented with other typefaces, but a script font seemed to work the best, as it has just the right amount of feminine appeal to it. I chose to go with an all-lowercase logotype because I felt the capital letters of Lavanderia were just a little too extravagant for what we were looking for.
To compliment Lavanderia I went with LiebeErika from LiebeFonts as a secondary typeface. It’s used as a descriptor when combined with the logo and as a call-to-action as well. It adds a personal touch to the brand with its handwritten, yet legible design. If you know my wife, it certainly matches her style. In fact, it almost looks like her handwriting.
I experimented with different types of color, but always kept coming back to this peachy type of orange. I chose to use it as the main color of the brand. It really stands out when positioned on top of a white background. I think it has a very nice feel to it.
To compliment the orange and expand the color palette, I just knocked down its tint to 20%. Basically, it’s the same hue, just with white added to it. This helps keep the colors in harmony. It also works very well as a background color.
ICONS & SUPPORTING ELEMENTS
I designed an icon set to go along with the brand as well. I worked in a couple of vintage elements within the set as well. During our earlier conversations, my wife had also mentioned that she wanted something with a vintage feel to it, without it looking vintage. So that’s why I designed some old school cameras and photographs to be used within the brand—it gives it that vintage feel without it actually looking vintage.
EXECUTING THE VISUALS
I’m very pleased with how the brand turned out. I see it being applied in some creative ways—especially when it comes to packaging. My hope is that the brand stands out amongst all others in the photography field. The mark has a double meaning, which is always a plus when designing a logo. I always think it’s cool when the owner of a logo can tell the story behind the design of it—especially when the story isn’t evident upon first glance.