Everything you need to know about designing a photography logo that will make your business stand in the spotlight

Prepared by business owners for business owners

Designing a piece of imagery that will stand out among your competitors in the harsh world, where everyone thinks they’re the second incarnation of Ansel Adams, is far from easy. Even if you know everything about composition, immaculate framing and lens, designing an actual logo and making it effective is a whole different story. It’s not about “looking pretty” - it’s about efficiency and making it a part of your brand.

There is no such thing, as a perfect logo. But you can sure as heck come as close to the ideal, as possible!

Apart from possessing all the necessary technical skills and a pinch of artistic “know-how”, you need to know your micro-niche and target audience. Are you a small photography studio making a living off wedding photos? Or perhaps you’re selling your content to magazines and blogs? Knowing the difference will heavily impact the looks of your logo

In this guide you’ll learn about the most important rules governing creating an effective photography logo.  

No time to waste!

8 rules that will help you design an effective photography logo

There is no “golden principle” that will make all other logos fade in comparison to your masterpiece. As you are fully aware, making a photo look good takes a lot more than some kind of “7th sense” – you need to possess specific set of skills and techniques that will turn your image into a piece of art. The same applies to logos – you need to be aware of some of the most common principles that govern the world of branded imagery.

  • 1

    The logo should fit your brand

    There is no other way around it – if you want to impact your micro-niche and attract a specific type of clients, you need to create a logo that will match your business.  

    It sounds easier, than it actually is.

    First of all, you need to answer one, simple question: “what is my business all about?” Are you one of the big fish in the market, influencing thousands of fans and photo-enthusiasts in your home country? If so, perhaps you should rely on something that would underline the “cold professionalism” of your business.

    Or maybe you run a one-man company that deals with photographing children during birthdays and similar events? This would mean focusing on more light-hearted imagery. Perhaps experimenting with the “fun” factor of your logo would be a plausible idea.

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    This logo here tells us a lot about the business it represents. It certainly doesn’t treat itself as too serious. The heart shape and the frivolous typeface set an intimate kind of tone, implying that the company wants to be close to its clients, establishing almost a family-like relationship.

  • 2

    The logo should be simple and straightforward

    Simple means memorable and memorable means profitable.

    Think of some of the best minimalist photographers of all time, such as Hiroshi Sugimoto. Sometimes the most powerful images are the most simple ones – and the same rule applies to logos.

    If it’s possible and applicable to your brand, stick to basic shapes and lines. If you want to underlines the strict, cold or aggressive “face” of your company, use sharp edges and visuals. On the other hand, blurry and round lines imply calmness and a sense of relief.  If you find your logo unnecessary cluttered, subtract as many elements as possible, until your basic marketing message remains intact.

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    This logo here is a brilliant example of minimalism in the flesh. The “R” letter resembles a camera standing on a tripod. The simple, black and white pallet is elegant and works with all sorts of marketing materials: starting from business cards, to posters and billboards.

  • 3

    Limit yourself to 2 typefaces maximum

    Going above 2 different typefaces in your logo will confuse your targets and create lots of unnecessary mess. You need to make it memorable. The typeface should be distinct enough so that the letters are easily read no matter the scale of your logo.

    Remember, that the style of your typeface should complement your photography business. Do you want to appear as aggressive, or perhaps focus on intimacy? These decisions could make or break your branding endeavors.

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    The typeface used in this example perfectly complements the business it represents. The soft curves of the letters resemble an oval shape of a balloon, making the logo consistent with its marketing message.

  • 4

    Pick the right set of colors

    Working in the photography business, you should be fully aware the sheer power of colors and their artistic impact. Nonetheless, when it comes to logos, you should be more worried about what kinds of combinations are useful from the marketing perspective. Following our minimalist principle – the less usual means the better.

    Limit yourself to 2, 3 colors.

    Generally speaking, photography logos are not set around particular colors.  Experiment and try to come up with different combinations. Color psychology plays a big role in marketing: blue, purple, black and deep red imply authority, calmness and elegancy, whereas bright shades are more energetic.

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    This example showcases that a limited set of shades can heavily impact our mood. The “feminine” style of this logo tells a lot about the company – it’s of energetic youth. The pastel pallet is delicate, suggesting, that the logo might come from a blog about fashion photography (by the way, check out our guide on designing fashion logos).

  • 5

    Avoid cheesy imagery

    There is nothing more cringe-worthy than relying on overused pieces of imagery. We get it, you work in photography business, but it doesn’t mean that you absolutely NEED to implement that camera shape into your logo.

    Instead of going the easy route, try to be creative and pick something that relates to your mice-niche. A good way to do it is to brainstorm some adjectives and phrases that might describe your company and start from there.

    image9

    This logo relies on a creative usage of a film camera shaped as letter “C”.  It’s clean and simple and yet, unique enough to catch your attention among its more obvious competitors.

  • 6

    Make your logo resizable

    Making your logo resizable means you can successfully expand your marketing endeavors. What this means is that you can implement your branded image on business cards, posters and web ads without looking unprofessional.

    If you want to resize your branded imagery in the future, you need to design it using vector-based software

    Vector-based graphics rely on a set number of points that can be rescaled to any size without losing quality. Avoid using raster software, such as Adobe Photoshop, because it will cause massive problems with reproduction. Imagine looking on a digital, pixelated logo of some photography studio near you.  Not very encouraging, is it?

  • 7

    Make the logo work in black and white

    You need to keep in mind, that your logo might be reproduced in different places and sizes. And this means that it needs to work in black and white. Avoid cluttered and messy graphics designed in too many colors – if you don’t, your monochromatic design might turn out to be a giant, horrifying smudge.

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    This creative logo is a perfect example of a well-thought design that will work great in black and white It relies on a single color and straightforward shapes.

  • 8

    Don’t steal other’s people work

    This is pretty sad that it needs to be said, but intellectual theft is becoming more and more common. Not only that, but some designers think they can get away with “borrowing” some elements of a particular logo, modifying them and implementing into their own image. We know it might be a shocker, but applying a filter to a graphic and calling it your own design doesn’t really cut it.

    Unless you want to get your company in some serious financial trouble, avoid downloading and modifying anything that you might find online. It will also make you look like a thief, tarnishing your reputation.

Summary

Logo is not a “pretty” looking image that could be tossed onto your homepage among dozens of other pictures that don’t serve much of a purpose. Logo is a true piece of your brand, reaching to target clients and drawing them in. Designing one requires not only talent, but also vast technical skills and experience. Hopefully, this guide helped you learn about some of the most impactful principles about designing an effective logo:

  • Make your logo fit your brand and your business
  • Design something simple that sends a clear message
  • Don’t use more than 2 typefaces
  • Pick limited pallet of colors that speaks to your clients
  • Avoid cheesy, overused images
  • Design your logo in vector software
  • Make your logo look good in black and white
  • Don’t steal and “borrow” other people’s work

Thanks for reading! Check out our guide on designing a medical logo as well!