Alfred Rocha Photography
Freelance photographer, Alfred Rocha, approached me to have me design a logo for him. After providing valuable information through the logo design questionnaire, we were able to follow up with a meeting to establish the goals that I would be working towards. The following are some of the key needs and goals Alfred had for this logo project:
- Have logo be memorable and recognizable as Alfred Rocha
- Have the logo represent photography, without being limited to it
- Be highly adaptable to various digital sizes & online platforms
- Be reproducible and cost effective for print materials, such as a business card
- Appeal to the target audience of small businesses owners in Portland, Oregon
After my client, Alfred Rocha, got in touch with me, we had a meeting to discuss his goals further. Much of the basic information was captured upfront through the questionnaire, so we were able to take full advantage of the time in our meeting for much deeper discussion regarding brand positioning and business strategy.
He needed a logo that conveyed his brand focused on product & service photography for startups and small businesses in the Portland, Oregon area. On the subject of his long term goals, he expressed the interest in having the ability to branch out into other fields, without having to rebrand. He had originally had shared his goal of having a brand under the name, “Visual Grand,” so that he could have the ability to move into something bigger as he grows.
We discussed the pros and cons between a brand name versus a personal brand. After comparing the pros and cons against Alfred’s goals, he decided that a personal brand would allow him the best flexibility for his short and long term goals. From them then we switched the name a personal brand, “Alfred Rocha” with a renewed focus from the meeting.
Alfred’s goal is to take product and promotional photography for local small businesses and startups in the Portland, OR area. He is targeting lifestyle brands who are looking for photographers to help craft a story around their product or service with images. His specific niche is brands in the technology, industrial, and accessories markets who are also within their first five years of operation. He went on to describe the target audience in depth:
- Age: Mid 30s–Late 40s
- Gender: Mostly Male
- Ethnicity: Multiethnic (Caucasian, Indian-American, & African American)
- Income Level: 80K–150K
- Occupation: Small business & startup owners with lifestyle brands in tech, industry, and accessories markets
Much of Alfred’s competition are freelance photographers, many without dedicated personal branding or websites that I was able to analyze. They are also local photographers who have dedicated studios and high-end equipment and lighting. His competition’s clientele base is also mainly compromised of apparel companies.
The Vera Firm
The Vera Firm studio does similar work to Alfred. After analyzing their positioning, it was clear they have a similar target audience. However, The Vera Firm has a focus much broader by “directing business from concept to market,” and help companies “navigate brand development, product manufacturing, and visual marketing.”
Points of Distinction
As a way to distinguish himself, he decided to use these differences as his main points of distinction:
- Storytelling through organic and naturally-lit images
- Focused on tech, industry, and accessories based clientele, rather than apparel
- Competitive price point
Research & Brainstorming
After a week spent brainstorming and creating rough thumbnail sketches, I explored many possible directions for the logo. By the end of the week, I had narrowed down the possible concepts towards the design direction that would work best.
Edits and Variations
The following week, I took the best concepts on the selected design direction and fleshed them out into full concepts. Throughout the variation process, I discovered flaws, uncovered different nuances, and I made edits accordingly. By the end of the week, the edits and variations converged together to form the final logo.
Once I arrived at the final logo, I spent the final week digitizing and refining the logo. This week was focused on ironing out the unwanted imperfections of the hand lettering. I focused on implementing consistent weight, adjusting letter spacing, and proportion. By the end of the last week, I had incorporated mathematically sound proportion, while keeping the logo optically balanced.
Many decisions were made throughout the process in order to accomplish the project goals. Each decision further informed the design process, and eventually the final logo. The following are some the intentional design decisions made, and how they solve Alfred’s goals:
- Sans serif style allowed for readability and legibility at various sizes.
- Mono-weight style allows the logo to be generally appealing to business owners of different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities.
- Extended, broad letter style to represent strength and stability, which are characteristics that men can typically associate with.
- Square and rectangular proportions to appeal to mathematical nature of the industrial and technology markets, while also differentiating from The Vera Firm’s circular shapes
- Curvilinear crossbars and rounded corners to represent the organic and natural points of distinction
- Rectangular aspect ratio and light letter weight in order to have logo work appropriately as a watermark. This allows it to work subtly without detracting from the image.
- The use of black and clean edges add an appropriate level of sophistication that business owners making 80k–150k can associate with.
- Single color logo gives high contrast for reduction to a small size, and cost effectiveness for print materials.
- Upward flowing crossbar on the A and the H presents Alfred in a positive light, and appeals to the high energy of startup culture.
- Separate camera symbol represents photography while allowing for interchangeability for different symbols. This allows for long-term growth into different fields, without needing to rebrand.
- Camera symbol subtly embodies the brand of Alfred Rocha. The flash mechanism takes on the angle of an “A”, and lens reflection serves as an abstract “R” turned upside down. These subtle considerations are used to personalize the abstract form, without being too literal or symbolic.
- The scalability of the symbol helps accomplish the need for versatility and adaptability to various sizes and uses.
- The symbol accompanied by the logo helps appeal to the accessories target audience. It serves as an interchangeable accessory in and of itself—the icon can be used with or without the logo, and vice versa.
- The monogram serves many of the same purposes as the camera symbol, but as a representation of Alfred’s personal brand.
- Remains cohesive by borrowing letters from the logo, and borrowing the shape rounded rectangle in the camera symbol.
Dane’s services have helped me build a unique business identity that positively stands out in an overly saturated market. Thanks to his help, I can now focus on other important objectives.
I really enjoyed the depth of his interview and questionnaire process. Although some may find this process time consuming, I found it to be worth the time, as it provides him with the insight necessary to deliver a superior service/product.
I strongly recommend Dane’s services to anyone that takes their business seriously. Dane’s level of professionalism along with his screening process, clearly shows that he cares about his clients needs. I never felt out of the loop with his email updates on the project and I felt involved through the whole process; he also delivered a high caliber product within the time frame he provided. I can’t thank him enough!