The Most Overlooked Photography Business Marketing Tool

It might be a marketing tool as old as advertising, but surf around photographers’ websites long enough and you might notice that many have chosen to skip the company logo. It’s as though photographers believe that if they’ve got good photos, they don’t need a graphic to help their services stand out. plogo2.jpg

Or, to put it another way, it’s as though some photographers think they know more about marketing and branding than companies such as Google, Coca Cola and Nike.

Of course, every photography business needs beautiful photos to show clients but a well-designed logo does something else. It reflects with one easily identifiable image what the company stands for and what it can do. It should appear professional and clear; be recognizable so that it helps to turn a photography business into a brand; be easily transferred to stationery and business cards as well as appearing on websites; and it should say something about the photographer and his or her work as well.

“Since I live in Seattle, and a big part of what I love (and love to shoot) in the area are the islands of Puget Sound, I asked my logo designer to come up with something that had a water/island look to it,” explains Curt Gerston, a part-time event photographer. “Basically, since I shoot locally, I wanted clients to recognize a look that was ‘our home.’”

According to Linda McArdle of the The Logo Company, a design firm that has created around 15,000 logos — of which 250 were for photographers — all logos should be clean and easy to remember but photographers’ logos in particular should also be simple and artistic.

In theory, that should be easy. A photographer who doesn’t have the capacity to be artistic needs more help than a good logo can provide. And in practice, many photographers, especially those who shoot microstock, have the sort of background in graphic design that lets them produce their own logos. Laurentiu Nicu, for example, designed his logo which he uses both on his website and his Flickr page. “The logo has a major importance,” he argues. “People recognize me better.”

For those whose skills lie in cameras rather than Corel Draw, the alternative is to hire someone to do the job for them, but even paying a professional designer can take a little effort. The Logo Company describes its work process here using an example of a photography client, but in general, the company offers initial concepts within three working days, with revisions taking another two business days each. Most projects are completed in around two weeks and cost $149, says Linda, but require plenty of help from the client. Good feedback on the designs is important and so is clarity when explaining ideas to the designer.

The result though should be worth a lot more than $149 as clients appreciate both the sense of professionalism a logo confers and the message it suggests. “I suspect the logo and look of my website helps people feel comfortable with my services,” says Curt Gerston. Measuring the value of that sense of comfort though isn’t so easy.

Logo by Laurentiu Nica

[tags] photography logo, photography marketing [/tags]

One comment for this post.

  1. Tim Oliver Said:

    As a former employee for a large online logo design company that did production logos, it's important to know what you're paying for.

    You can pay a graphic designer to follow your instructions on what your logo should look like, or you can hire a branding expert who is trained in corporate image.

    Either way, I agree that the logo needs to be simple and memorable, but also scalable so it can be printed on business cards as well as vinyl banners and signs.

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