CASE STUDY: The Growing Business
This small business had an existing logo and some existing marketing but needed some help pulling it all together for a cohesive look and feel. They had some marketing ideas but not exactly sure of their execution or format. Here’s an example of how we pulled together multiple design executions for a consistent branding message.
CTW Photography is the business of savvy small business owners Carissa and Tanya, two young ladies that focus on portrait, commercial and wedding photography in the Iowa City area. Carissa is the talent behind the portrait portion, Tanya leads commercial photography and they team together to photograph weddings. They had been working together for a couple of years, but had been struggling to keep the different facets of their business together as a ‘brand’ and keep a consistent look in all of their work. After all, portrait photography is more playful than the more commercial photography, which is less formal than wedding photography. How do you produce marketing pieces that keeps it all together?
Carissa had seen my portfolio work, gave me a buzz and we started collaborating immediately. They had an existing logo which they liked and were using in their existing marketing, but something about it just wasn’t working for them. She shared their marketing pieces with me (which they created in-house), and I could see she was right… there just wasn’t a flow or consistency in their look. She and Tanya had lots of ideas of what pieces they wanted in their marketing arsenal, but just weren’t sure of the exact format or how to roll it all out in a way that made sense. Were they crazy? Was this way over our heads? No way, ladies. We’ll figure it out piece by piece, a bit at a time.
I knew the first step was to figure out their branding look. I took charge and designed a visual brand board with my suggestions: Tweaking their color palette and keeping some elements consistent between portrait, commercial and wedding. Each facet has their own design elements and main color palette too. With this branding board as our guide, we could proceed with concepting the rest of their marketing pieces.
CTW PHOTOGRAPHY VISUAL BRAND BOARD
Every business is different. I was able to work with these ladies to find out how they sell their work, which helped me suggest which format might work best for the application. Some documents are able to be both emailed and printed. Some documents require constant updating, so I designed those in a format that the gals could edit in-house as needed. Others I worked with a local print vendor to coordinate print production.
See below for photos of how some of
these branding projects worked out!
A large project was the concept of a bridal kit… a bag of goodies for new brides that signup for wedding day photography. With a lot of collaboration, I was able to concept and design the separate pieces for this kit (screenprinted tote bag, folder, inserts, booklets, tags, etc.), and we are all so proud of the results! UPDATE February 2016: The CTW bridal kit is now an award-winner! It won a Gold Award at 2016’s American Advertising Awards.
It’s important to note that this was not an overnight process. It took a lot of prioritizing of needs, and projects were tackled as fit priority and budget. We are always evolving their marketing – Carissa and Tanya are savvy enough to realize that their needs are always changing and new ideas are always developing that make their lives easier, their clients’ lives easier and not to mention easier on the eye.
UPDATE September 2017: 3+ years later, we’re still working together! There’s more to come, including evolving their brand look to a gorgeous new website – stay tuned on that front!
“From Day 1, Jill has been nothing but amazing. She is professional, timely and her work is phenomenal. Although our line of work (photography) also requires creativity and an artistic eye, Jill has presented designs to us that we simply could and would not have come up with ourselves. Simply stated: it has been an absolute pleasure working with Jill and we can’t wait for what the future holds, both for her as well as for us as we continue working with her. If you need a designer, Jill is definitely your gal. Thank you!” – Carissa Wemmie, Co-Owner, CTW Photography
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