Taking it to the next level. Taking it up a notch. Turning it up to 11. However you want to put it, Taken Photography has gone Braizen with a new beautiful and sexy brand identity. We’re so totally, out-of-this-world, Julie-Andrews-on-the-mountain-top-ingly overjoyed about Alicja Colon, her art, and our time working with her to create this new brand. Here are Ashley’s and Alicja’s perspectives on the process:
When my very good friend (and fellow designer), Alicja contacted me to design her new brand I was floored… and admittedly scared. I mean – she’s a designer – I went to school with her for goodness sakes! And as many of you can imagine, designers are not always easy to work with (hence the scariness) and when she told me she wanted a combination of Swiss and Mucca, I nearly peed myself. ~Ashley
I honestly had no earthly idea how we were gonna accomplish that feat. But after several discussions and some really flippin’ awesome critque (that reminded me of my school days… sigh) I think we ended up exceeding Alicja’s expectations. Check out the results below… ~Ashley
And, in case you’re wondering how Alicja feels about Taken Photography and its Braizen transformation, here are her own words:
Q: How would you describe your experience with Braizen?
A: I would describe it as … thoughtful. Everything had a plan and a reason and a logic behind it – every mark or every design element and even every omission. The three of you really reasoned out everything you did; showed how you figured out my branding, taking everything I said into consideration. I would say the experience was surprising as well. Surprising because it was better than I expected – because I’m a graphic designer and I posed a difficult challenge. Surprised by how much I love it.
Q: What aspects of the process did you most enjoy?
A: I love bouncing the ideas around in our discussion – in the collaboration. I really loved how we bounced ideas back and forth and solidified that collaborative relationship – it was like friends talking about ideas. I got to know you guys. I love having that personal interaction.
Q: Talk about the responses to your new branding.
A: It’s amazing. Everything is SO sweet. When something is aesthetically pleasing, it bumps up the client’s impression of the quality of the product. People have commented that the watermark is SO beautiful and, at the same time, when they see the logo they talk about how sexy it is – so it’s accomplished what I wanted and people are responding to that. The price guide speaks to the quality of my product and lets my clients know that they are getting a high-end experience. It’s been awesome.
Q: So, you’re a graphic designer, why did you choose an outside firm to handle your design needs?
A: Well, Ashley and I did go to school together and graduated in the same class. In school she was the starlet. She was the girl the professors always compared us to. At that point, I knew she was amazing. She was always awesome – I was always inspired by her. She’s in a league of her own, far beyond other designers. When I found out she was also a photographer it made total sense because her perspective was always incredible – her images. I’ve followed her ever since.
And though I am a graphic designer, I was too close to the project to design my own branding. I couldn’t get the right perspective on it. It pushed me to choose her. She’s not a one-shot wonder – every design is just amazing and it’s been that way for, what, six years now. Now that I’ve gone through the process and learned more about Walt and Tyrie and what they can do, I’m even more confident in what Braizen has done for me.
Q: You have a unique perspective since your are both a photographer and a graphic designer. What advice would you give to fellow photographers/small business owners when looking for a designer? And what would you tell them to expect about the overall branding process?
A: First and foremost, I strongly believe you can’t brand yourself. It’s too hard to see fully see the situation from the inside. Braizen can see things objectively from the outside. So, really TRUST – trust them and what they do. They work on brands and overall communications all the time. I wouldn’t want someone to tell me what Fstop they think I should shoot at, so why would I do that to them. I hired Braizen for their experience and talent.
Another thing is to be open and vocal UPFRONT. I understand it’s hard to say why you do or don’t like something – but you have to try and learn. Is it the line weight? The colors? The curve? Communication and collaboration is the key. And if you struggle with visual communication your piece is gonna suffer.
Also, live with a proposed concept for a week before you reject or accept it. Just like a first date, most people don’t fall head over heels over a brand right off the bat; it’s like you have to get to know it before you get smitten by it.
Expect honesty from Braizen – they’ll tell you if the look your going for isn’t inline with what you want to communicate. Also expect originality. Braizen IS NOT a “oh look what they did – can we do that?” kind-of-firm. If you want that, look to other places. But if you want quality, personal attention, talent out the wa-zoo, experience AND complete branding (everything from what it says to how we say it) – go with Braizen
More from Alicja and Taken later…