Mike Tittel, an independent photographer approached me looking to take his personal brand identity to the next level. Mike Tittel Photography, an adventure sports/active lifestyle photography company based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, decided that if he wanted to move from his “basic Verdana [all type] logo” that he needed to work with a professional — something unfamiliar to him and his previous marketing efforts.
Mike was a follower of mine on Twitter and after discovering my portfolio, decided to fill out my online Logo Design Project Worksheet. After reading his responses and a few initial phone conversations I felt that Mike and I shared something very similar, and not because we were both independent workers; we both had extreme passion for what we do and also valued thoughtful, relevant design. Continue reading below for a look into Mike Tittel Photography’s logo design process.
Again, Mike, a freelance adventure sports photographer [ view his portfolio ], shoots both editorial and commercial assignments, as well as maintains a stock collection which contains over 45,000 rights managed images. His primary goal, and main reasoning for getting in contact with me, was to reach further into the commercial photography industry and work for clients such as Nike, New Balance, etc. Essentially he was looking to expand his presence and market reach.
A few notes from my clients Logo Worksheet:
- Simple, clean
- Memorable and approachable
- Easy to work with across various mediums
- Something that reflects and works with his portfolio and current colors; background of current website is black
After reviewing Mike’s portfolio and worksheet responses, my first initial response was to make the logo bold and dense to compliment the beautiful and powerful extreme sports photography he produced. I also felt that a bold logo/mark would lay well over busy images, since the logo would most likely be overprinted on top of busy background and photographs.
Like all my designs I started off with a sketchbook and pencil:
While many of the above sketches are completely unrelated to the produced concepts, sketching is important as it let’s a designer get as many ideas out as possible in a short amount of time — great activity for the brain. Also, when searching for ideas and brainstorming I like to doodle completely unrelated drawings — sort of allows me to free my mind for few minutes, before coming back to a thoughtful process.
Although the final concept was the first presented concept (see concept 3), the first below concepts were produced to have a more action/sports feel to it.
The ‘M’ in Mike was emphasized through the mountain/lightening bolt mark, with the additional two lines emphasizing speed: all which can been seen through my client’s photography.
Drawing from the above concept, a second mark was produced to emphasize speed, direction, balance and strength.
Concept 3 (“The Chosen One”)
Prior to the above concepts, this concept (seen above) was presented to the client first (sometimes we get it right on the first try), which I was particularly excited about. The image captured all of the notes Mike discussed (simple, clean, memorable, reflective of his work, etc.)
While Mike was more drawn to the first two concepts and direction they were headed, I felt that they stemmed too far away from the fact that Mike was a photographer. What Mike and I particularly enjoyed about concept 1 and 2 was the strength and bold feel, so the typeface, Knockout by Hoefler and Frere-Jones brought back the extra punch the first two presented.
The point in the ‘M’ was replaced with an orange lens with the negative space resembling a simplified camera body (see image below). This logo was much more flexible, as the ‘M’ could also be singled-out as a mark on its own. I also told Mike that this logo would turn out to be his own personal “Fedex gem.”
Logo applied to the website
Business cards and stationery
The business cards were printed by Jakprints and implemented a fifth color, metallic silver, on the backside ‘Mike Tittel.’
While it’s not everyday that you get to work with clients that are not only a pleasure to communicate with, but equally as thrilled with the process AND the result, Mike was kind enough to write a fully detailed testimonial, which you can read on his blog.
While this is only the start of a few projects I’ve been working on with Mike and his company, it’s been a pleasure working with him up to this point and wish him and his company the very best success in the future.