Branding Design and Photography for Fay at Bright Sky Career Coaching

personal-branding3.jpg

A while back, I got approached by Fay, who specialises in Career Coaching, Outplacement Support & Executive Coaching in her business Bright Sky Career Coaching. She needed to update her brand a bit (it was previously known as Bright Sky HR, with a bit more focus on the HR side rather than coaching), meaning both new branding design as well as updated photography.

After a discover call over the phone, a filled out questionnaire and a Pinterest board having been set up, I started off with the logo design and other branding elements (including colour palette, font suggestions and icons), as well as an updated business card design. As Fay really liked her existing brand colours, I just changed them slightly and gave them a bit more modern look & feel.

bright-sky-logo.jpg
icons.jpg
colour-palette.jpg
biz-card.jpg

Once this was done, we met up for a Personal Branding session in London, where we spent the morning taking photos of Fay. She wanted her photos to have a professional yet friendly feel, some with office buildings in the background, as well as some greenery not to make it too corporate.

DSC_3504.jpg
personal-branding-photos2.jpg

Fay also needed a second photo session, which would take place indoors in her working environment. A lot of the photos from this session focussed on the interaction between Fay and her clients.

personal-branding-photos1.jpg
personal-branding-3.jpg

Lastly, I worked on some social media banners and PowerPoint design, in which I included both the logo and a photo from one of our sessions.

It’s great to work on projects like these which includes both design and photography - and as these two things go hand in hand, it really helps having one person working on them both.

To get a quote for a similar project, just get in touch on info@carinthakrar.com.

FB-v2.jpg

The 7 Elements of Art and Design

If you are one of my followers on Instagram, you might have noticed my little mini-series I had recently called ‘The 7 Elements of Art & Design’. The elements - line, shape, colour, form, value, space and texture - are the building blocks used in any art or design making. You can’t create a design or an artwork without using at least one of the seven elements, and most of the time several of them are used together (the elements often overlap as well).

The concepts might seem simple, but to achieve good design, it’s important to use them in a thought through way as they can all impact the look and feel of your art or design work.


Line

line.jpg

A line is defined by a point moving in space. There are an endless number of ways a line could look like - it can be two-or three-dimensional, descriptive, implied, or abstract. It can be horizontal, vertical, wavy or diagonal. A line can be used in different ways to create various effects for the viewer - for example, a soft and curvy line generally suggests softness and comfort, where as an uneven, scribbly kind of line suggests chaos and uncertainty. 


Shape

shape.jpg

In art, shapes play a very important role in how art is created. Shapes can have lots of different meanings - for example triangles can help draw the eye to a particular point, while circles often represent continuity. 


There are two categories of shapes - geometric and organic. A geometric shape (like a square or circle) is precise and mathematical, whereas organic shapes are usually more abstract and often inspired from nature. Personally, I love using different types of shape in my designs / both geometrical and organic. 


Colour

colour.jpg

Colours have the power to affect our emotions and mood in different ways. They’re built up of three main characteristics— hue (blue, red, yellow etc), value (light to dark) and intensity (spectrum of bright and dark) - all important factors to what the final colour will look like.

The colour wheel is used to classify colours into three categories: primary (red, yellow, blue), secondary (green, orange, purple), and tertiary (red-violet, blue-green, etc.). By drawing a line through the middle of colour wheel you separate warm colours (reds, oranges, yellows) from the cool (blue, greens, purples). Different colours are associated with different things/moods, so it's important to understand when and how to use different colours in art and design. 


Form

form.jpg

A form is a shape that is three dimensional, or gives the illusion of having that effect. A form, just like a shape, can be geometric (cubes, spheres, pyramids etc) or organic (anything else three dimensional really!). In graphic design, forms is a good way to add more depth to a flat design, and it's developed over the years from more realistic illusions (inc. gradients) to today's designs which generally are more minimalistic and subtle. (for example the envelope icon in Gmail). 


Value

value3.jpg

Value is closely related to colour, by being the lightness and darkness of a colour. The difference between the lights and darks is defined as contrast. The value of colours in art & design can have a big impact the mood - strong contrasts can often be seen as having a dramatic effect for example, where as using similar values (less contrast) makes an artwork appear more soft. 


Value also play a big importance in photography in the way light and shadows are used. (I love playing around with values & contrasts both in design and photography - above, a portrait of my littlest ❤️) 


Space

space.jpg

In art as well as design, space refers how your artwork is arranged. It also refers to a feeling of depth; the relationships between foreground, background and middle ground can be used to create a three dimensional illusion to a flat image. 


Other ways of using space is thinking about how the positive space vs the negative space is used (positive being the subject, and negative space the area around it). In graphic design this is something that's important to think about when for example designing a logo, so that you get a good balance in the design. 


Texture

texture2.jpg

Texture is a description of how something feels or looks like it would feel. In physical art & design this could be different materials such as fur, leather, stone etc, or the type of paper you use for a brochure or business card (actual texture). In digital art & graphic design it's the illusion of a texture, which can be achieved by using for example photography or Photoshop. Adding a texture to digital art can create depth and meaning to a otherwise flat design. 

So there you have it - the 7 elements of art and design. Hopefully you have found it insightful perhaps it will be useful the next time you’re creating an artwork or a design!

A Personal Branding session with designer and illustrator Becky di Palma

Becky is one of the most creative people I know – we’ve been friends for over 10 years (and colleagues a few of those years) and I absolutely love her sense of quirkiness and fun.

Becky needed some photos for her new design & illustration website and her social media. We took a combination of headshots, ‘action’ shots of Becky drawing, as well as some outdoor photos.

We had so much fun doing this Personal Branding session, photographing Becky in her element, and I think her personality shines through the photos!

To book a similar session, get in touch on info@carinthakrar.com

designerandillustrator.jpg
becky10.jpg
becky6.jpg
becky5.jpg
becky3.jpg
becky4.jpg

A Personal Branding session with Nathalia from Social River

A while ago, I got an email from Nathalia from Social River, as she needed some photos for her website, social media as well as for a book she was about to launch in Brazil.

Nathalia is a Content Writer and Social Media Manager, and has also written a book about motherhood, so we decided to include her children in some of the photos. Because of the name of her business (Social River) and the fact she has a great connection with London, we also agreed that it would be a good idea to take some of the photos by the river Thames.

We had a talk over the phone to discuss her needs, to work out locations and timings. I also advised her on clothes and styling, as well as how to prepare for the session. As some of the photos were taken in a cafe, we decided to do the session quite early in the day to avoid big crowds.

We ended up with a great and varied gallery with photos from her home, the cafe, a park and the riverside, meaning Nathalia will be able to use her photos on her website, social media and marketing material in various ways.

You can read about her Personal Branding photography experience here - https://socialriver.co.uk/2019/05/14/personalbranding/

Here are a few of my favourites from the session:

personalbrandingsession
personalbrandingsession
DSC_2264.jpg
DSC_2295.jpg
DSC_2359.jpg
DSC_2397.jpg
DSC_2376.jpg
DSC_2415.jpg
DSC_2519.jpg

Visual identity: What it is and why you should have one (and why design and photography are equally important)

visual-identity-why-you-should-have-one2.jpg

When you think of ‘visual identity’ – what do you think of? Most people probably think of a logo, perhaps a colour palette and fonts. These are all important parts of it, but a visual identity is more than that; it includes everything that’s visual in your brand – icons, patterns, diagrams, as well as photography. Some types of photos you might need for your website and social media are headshots, product shots and some general lifestyle images.

As humans we are very visual, and when looking at a website for example, the imagery and photography is usually the first things that attracts our attention before we start reading anything.

 

Research

When working on a visual identity, a big part before starting on the actual design or photography, is research. What makes your brand different? What type clients do you want to work with? How do you want people to feel when they visit your website? These are all questions which will help when designing your visual identity.

 

Get inspired

An important part of the branding process is looking at what inspires you visually. Personally, I love using Pinterest and I always ask my clients to set up a Pinterest board where they pin anything that inspires them. For branding design, it could be logos, colour schemes, fonts, but also photos that inspire, like interiors, flowers, holiday photos. For photography, it could be headshots and personal branding photos that you like, but in the same way as for branding design, you can also pin other things that inspires you as it all will help setting the tone for your photography.

petal_ray-moodboard-drafts1-2.jpg
Consistency is important for your visual identity. Logo, colours, fonts, design elements and photography should all be in harmony, and set the same tone to your brand.  

 

Keep it consistent

Consistency is important for your visual identity. Logo, colours, fonts, design elements and photography should all be in harmony, and set the same tone to your brand.

If you would describe your brand as energetic, fun and happy for example, that should all be reflected in your visual brand – both design and photography. If you had a great branding design but your photos were dark, moody or too serious, that would clash, and send out mixed signals to potential clients.

Or, if you on the other hand would want your brand to be seen as professional, serious and trustworthy, you wouldn’t want a branding design or photography that were too bright, carefree or fun.

 

DIY or using a professional?

It can be tempting to design a logo yourself and use free stock photos or your own personal photos. The benefit of using a professional however, is that she or he will design your brand based on things like your brand values and ideal client, and make sure everything works together in harmony – logo, colours, fonts, icons, photography.

This means that your business is much more likely to be seen as professional, and is also more likely to attract the types of clients you want.  

So look at it as an investment – hopefully next time someone researches your profession, if you’re the one with the most professional looking and memorable brand, you are a lot more likely to get the deal!

If you are looking for help with your visual identity (branding design, photography or both), I would be more than happy to discuss! Just email me on info@carinthakrar.com

How to prepare for a Personal Branding Session

personal branding photographer camera outdoor.jpg

Whether you are a business owner, blogger, entrepreneur, artist or consultant, a Personal Branding photography session is definitely something worth investing in. A Personal Branding shoot is pretty much what it says – a bespoke photo session that shows your unique style and tells a story about your brand, which helps creating a strong brand and to grow your business.

In a time when everyone wants to create a brand for themselves, it’s really important to stand out in the crowd and to be able to grab potential client’s attention quickly. A Personal Branding photo session can definitely help with that, as these photos can instantly help people feel a stronger connection with you.

To help you prepare for a Personal Branding session, I’ve compiled a list with some tips on what to do to make the most of the session. As your photographer, we’ll be working closely together to make sure we get at set of photos that are truly representative of your brand.

After your initial enquiry

After you email or call me with your enquiry, I will send you a questionnaire to find out a bit more about you, your business and your brand values. It’s important that you answer these questions as thorough as possible, as it will help us getting a set of photos that aligns with your brand.

After this, we schedule in a phone or skype call to discuss the details, and work out a plan for the shoot, including location (one or more).

personal branding.jpg

Get inspired!

It’s great to discuss ideas, but having a vision of what you want your photos to look like is super-useful too. Together we’ll create a mood board with photos we think would work for your brand, as well as ideas for colour palettes, textures and backdrops (for example a brick wall or a sofa by a window). I usually use Pinterest for this as it’s really user-friendly.

personal-branding-illustrator.jpg

List the types of photos you want

To make sure we cover the types of photos you need, write a list of the various types of photos you want. This could be both detailed things like ‘sitting in sofa with laptop’ or ‘detail shot of me chopping an orange’ as well as general ideas like ‘close up of me smiling’, or ‘landscape photos with lots of white space’ (useful if you want to put text on top of a photo!).

DSC_9467.jpg

Work out the location

Where your branding session will take place depends on you and your business – if you’re a baker, baking at home in your kitchen, then that is probably the best place for your session (unless you want to borrow someone else’s brighter/bigger kitchen!); if you have a studio you work in, we’ll do most of the shots there; if you only work with your laptop, we could find a beautiful park, a nice café, or at some urban location with nice buildings as backdrops. We’ll discuss this in our initial chat as well.

personal branding photo window kitchen.jpg

Outfits & personal style

What you wear should be representative to you – stay away from trends (unless they are really your style!), but do wear what you feel both comfortable and fabulous in. If you buy a new outfit for the session, make sure you try it on a few times beforehand to make sure you really like it and that it suits you. This is applicable for hair and make-up too – stay away from make-up you normally wouldn’t wear, and don’t try any completely new hair styles.

A few other tips for choosing outfit:

  • Select colours that fits your brand – for example if your brand values are ‘fun’, ‘energetic’ and ‘lively’, choose colours that represents this (probably not beige).

  • Don’t be scared of patterns -patterns can look great, just not too tiny or detailed.

  • Try to stay away from solid black or bright white, as it can stick out quite a bit in the photos.

  • Make sure your clothes are ironed – wrinkly clothes will show in the photos!

  • Have fun with accessories – a nice belt, some fun ear-rings can make your photos fun and interesting (if you’re an accessory kind of person!)

Prepare two or three outfits, preferably a bit different – for example one dress, one dressy top and trousers, and one more casual top.

I’d love to help you with your choice, and am happy to look at your suggestions (or give suggestions) before the session.

DSC_9240.jpg

Props

Depending on what you do and what you want to showcase, props can definitely add value to your photos. If you work with something physical, this would be fairly straight forward (ie. Pens & sketch books for an artist; a chopping board/knives/vegetables for a chef or health coach). But even if you only use your laptop in your work, there’s always something you can include to make the photos interesting:

  • Laptops, notebooks, pens and other stationary

  • Food, coffee cups, biscuits

  • Flowers & other pretty items

  • Your children (yes, why not??)

personal branding photo detail.jpg

Preparing for the day

  • Try to get a good night sleep (not always easy if you have small kids!)

  • Stay hydrated

  • Have your outfits/make-up/props ready

  • Relax and enjoy the session – it’s going to be a fun experience and worth getting excited about!

Don’t feel worried – I am there to guide you and help you feel relaxed throughout the shoot.

Are you ready to book your Personal Branding session? Or do you have more questions? Get in touch on info@carinthakrar.com – I’d love to hear from you!

Logo design for content writer & author Sara Bussandri

When my close friend Sara asked me to design her logo, I got really excited - I’ve known Sara for over 10 years (when our oldest children went to baby swim!) and have followed her journey from busy working mum to setting up her own, successful business as a content writer and author. (you can find her here!)

I have worked with Sara before, when photographing her for a Personal Branding session, so to help her designing her logo felt like the perfect way to continue working with her.

Sara had some ideas which we tried out at first, but in the end we landed on something quite different! The initial idea was to have the name in a swirly font, and to also incorporate a pen into the design. We nearly decided on this, but in the final stages of the design process, I came up with a geometric and clean design - colour blocks that took the shapes of her initials (SB), and that also felt fresh, fun and creative. (And perhaps not as expected!)

When asking Sara to describe her brand, some of the words that came up were positive, trustworthy, honest, professional, attentive, fun and creative - something I think comes across in the logo design.

As the logo is based on geometric blocks, they can also be used as elements in other designs - business cards, marketing material, website - which is really useful to the overall design of the brand.

If you’re looking to have a logo designed, or perhaps some other graphics material, please get in touch! I would love to hear from you!

sblogo4.jpg
saraphoto.jpg
sarabussandri colour ALTERNATIVE.jpg
sblogo6.jpg
sbagain.jpg

The branding design process

the-branding-design-process.jpg

There are a few different steps to get to the final design of your brand. For every client, I try to use a similar process, and here is an overview of the different steps from start to finish:

1. Initial enquiry & consultation

The process starts with an enquiry from you via email or phone call. After I have been given the details about the project, I book in a consultation where I try to get to know you and your brand, and a few more details about what you want. I will also ask you questions about your values, your competitors, your USP, your ideal customer and more. This consultation could either be face to face (if you live locally to me) or via Skype. If you prefer, we could also do it all by email. Once we're both happy and have decided to go ahead, I will send you a contract and an invoice for a deposit.

2. Research

Next, we work on a joined Pinterest board to collect a number of mood images which you feel represents your brand. The images can be anything - logos, furniture, colour schemes, patterns, pretty pictures -  the idea is that it shows a feeling or mood of your brand. If you're not in to Pinterest, you can just send me images via email - whichever you prefer!

3. Design

This is where I start sketching! I will come up with three initial concepts for your logo, which you then can choose one from. Once you've chosen one to move forward with, I will develop it further and also create a colour palette, font suggestions, logo variations and the full brand board. If you want other things like social media covers and business collateral, this will be designed once the logo and branding board is finalised. 

4. Payment time!

Once you are happy and have received all files, I will send you the final invoice. And now it's finally time for you to start using your logo and branding designs!

The above steps are a brief outline of how I work and hopefully you'll find it useful!

Carin

What makes a good logo?

what-makes-a-good-logo.jpg

What makes a good logo? There are so many trends and ideas out there, it can be hard to figure out what's best for you. There are, however, a few important things to take in consideration when designing a logo:

Keep it simple 

A logo should generally be as simple as possible, without being too plain or unexciting. The simpler it is, the easier it is to use (in all different sizes) as well as becoming a lot more memorable. Think of some of the big brands - Nike, Apple, BBC - they all have simple, yet memorable logos. Another thing to consider here is colour - fewer colours is often better, to keep it as simple as uncluttered as possible. Generally two or maximum three colours are enough.

Keep it timeless

It’s easy to get caught up in trends, and look at what others do. But a good logo isn’t the one that follow trends; it’s the one that can stand the test of time. Try to avoid the latest trends and fonts, as you're likely to get tired of it fairly soon (and there are probably quite a few looking similar)!

Keep colours in mind

Colours are important when choosing a logo. The different meanings of colours can have an impact on what you’re trying to communicate about your brand. The emotions and key words associated with green (which is one of my favourite colours!) for example, are freshness, nature, ethics and nature. Blue, on the other hand, represents professionalism, trust, success and calmness - no wonder so many companies use this in their branding! (Keep en eye out for a post about  this subject specifically, as I’m planning to dig deeper into this!)

Make it fit in with the rest of your brand

It might sound obvious, but the logo should fit in with your overall brand. If you don’t have a specific brand design or brand guidelines, there are probably still things that makes your brand you - what you stand for and the feeling you want to convey to your customer. It’s a misconception that the logo alone is the brand - in fact, the logo is just part of an overall brand, and should be defined by the brand rather than the other way around.

I hope that gives you a little bit of an idea on how a logo is designed, and what makes a good and useful logo!

Carin 

Hello!

I'm so excited to finally have a website for my design business! Having had my photography website for a couple of years, I thought it was definitely time to set up a website specifically focussed on my design work too. 

I'm so excited to get this going and I'm planning to fill this space with lots of fun and useful content!

Carin x