logo love: megan clausen photography

Introducing the new look of Megan Clausen Photography of West Des Moines, Iowa!

My friend, Megan, is an amazing and talented photographer (and all around artist and person!) who was looking to hone in on the essence of her brand and get it captured in a logo and some styling she could apply to other collateral materials. I have to say, this was a bit easier to do than with other clients, because I already knew her. When I think of Megan, I think of colors, beautiful doodly handwriting, optimism, extreme creativity, and a bright and sunny personality. Yes, the logo is about her business, but her business is built on HER and HER WORK, so it made sense that the branding reflect Miss Megan, herself.

Super creative, she gave me an idea of some color combinations to try and sent me the files to a couple of fonts she wanted to play with. She even doodled a few things in a notebook for me to look at. The evolution of a look is always fascinating to me – and the journey of the Megan Clausen Photography logo was no different! Let’s take a look at the process…

Sometimes you just need someone to give you some ideas to start from, and then you can figure out what you’re looking for. It’s hard to know what you like until you see something that you don’t…or you see something you DO like, but want to try it in a new way. Such was the case here. I sent Megan these initial jumping-off points, and asked her to think about a tagline – how she would describe her business, her photography style, her clientele.

The simple camera doodle and the shutter were both a “yes” and she sent me a couple of fonts she wanted to try. It was at this point that Megan shared that she might like to incorporate a play on a rainbow of colors – as in the photography industry (and others I would assume) displaying the color wheel is a signal to GLBT potential clients that you are available for business. It wasn’t essential to Megan, as she said she could find other ways to work that message in through her materials, but it was another idea/direction to think about as we moved forward.

Ooh we were starting to get close. (Or so we thought!) We narrowed down quite a bit from the above options, and tweaked the hues to her preferred shades of green, blue, etc. To play off the handwriting fonts, I tried adding a sketchier edging to the shutter pieces…

It was at this point, we thought we had it. There would be a couple “versions” (depending on if she needed a more square, or more rectangular application) but overall, we were there! Then, Megan shared the logo with a friend, who immediately said… “wow, that looks a lot like the Picasa logo…” Augh! This had never occurred to EITHER of us, but sure enough, we checked it against the Picasa logo (Google’s photo editing software company) and sure enough, it was AWFULLY similar. Just a little close for comfort, and we certainly didn’t want people to think we had tried to copy it!

On the flipside, I certainly didn’t feel like Picasa owned the idea of a shutter altogether – hello, it’s the essence of a camera! So I tried some variations….

Finally, we sat down together, and played with new color combinations for the shutter. Red and blue, red and white. orange and turquoise. After a while, no matter WHICH colors we used, it continued to look like a life preserver. We decided that it was the full color spectrum that made the shutter effect so cool, so we abandoned it altogether. And lonnnnng story short, we went in an entirely different direction, inspired by one of Megan’s many doodles, and here you have it folks! TA DA!!!

It officially passes my own little test of a good logo, (she can use just the little red element if need be, or use a version without her tagline and only the biz name), and after we both spent a lot of time picking at the final layout, we were both in love with the final product. I’m very happy from a design standpoint, and she’s happy because it’s HER – the true measure of success!

This won’t be the last you’ll hear me speak of Megan…I’m anxiously awaiting a photo session with her in August and will have amazing pictures to share!

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