Brand Development

Nathan, as luck would have it, happened to be a graphic design student for a year in college. He’s a great artist (one of the many things I love about him) so after I officially started my photography business, he got out a sketch pad and started sketching logo ideas with me. I knew I wanted something that suggests the natural world since I love the outdoors, and that used my name. First I said, how about a logo that incorporates the business’s initials – HBP – and that somehow connects the letters with the silhouette of a mountain?

Okay, good start… I also like the idea of using a globe, since I am a globe trotter and many of my fine art images are from around the world.

Hmm, okay, well what about one that uses the letters H, B, and P somehow embedded into a mountain range? 

Nathan’s take on my rough sketch (bottom, above) was the image in the middle, with the squares suggesting photos. The one at the top – of the tree – was his own unique idea. I scanned all of these ideas, and sent them off to our friend Ryan Rabbas, who is a graphic designer in Las Vegas.

Ryan immediately rejected the “globe” concept – he said as a rule he never creates logos with globes because it is so overdone and not unique at all as a brand. I appreciated his honesty. We further decided that the mountain/square image was too complex and that we needed something simpler, more recognizable. And the HBP design wouldn’t work because it wasn’t immediately recognizable as a photography business. We all liked Nathan’s tree concept, especially because my maiden name, Baumann, is derived from the word for “tree” in German: “baum.”  So, Nathan went back to the drawing board to create additional concepts, and came up with this:

About this time, we got bad news from Ryan – he had been diagnosed with lymphoma – at 30 years old. He wouldn’t be able to complete my logo because he was immediately beginning chemo. We found this out the same weekend that Nathan and I got engaged, and his bad news occurring simultaneously with our good news put life into perspective. 

I sent all of the sketches, and all of the ideas to my high school friend Chris Copley, who runs a graphic design business from her home in Tennessee. Her company, 4108 Designs, makes custom photo cards for all occasions. She’s an extremely talented – and incredibly FAST – designer, and she ran with our ideas, first creating this version of Nathan’s rainbow tree sketch:

I wasn’t a fan of the rainbow color scheme. Also, I wanted the more natural looking tree versus the block-ish design above. 

Finally, we settled on all lower case letters and the color scheme of lime, black and white. 

The final step was creating a watermark that I could use on my online images and blog. Chris lifted the tree from the logo and we reduced the size of the file so it would work as a watermark. 

And that’s the story of how a brand was born. 🙂 Thanks to Chris and Ryan and Nathan for their stellar contributions! Oh, and BTW, Ryan is healthy today – he kicked his lymphona’s butt! We are so happy for him and thankful he’s okay. Thanks, team.



About Mosaic Collective, LLC

I am Holly Baumann Ambuehl, founding member of Mosaic Collective, LLC, which was founded in early 2017 and is based in Central Illinois. I own and operate Mosaic Collective with my partner in business and life, my husband, Nathan. Mosaic Collective, LLC houses our rental property, my consulting contracts (with the nonprofit and public sectors on various work), and also my commercial and portrait photography business, which has been doing business as Holly Baumann Photography since 2008 long before the formation of our LLC. My blog posts feature client work, but I just love to write, so I also write about owning a business, food and drink, travel, and sometimes, my personal life! I am always honored when clients trust me to capture their vision, and equally so when my readers converse with me about what I've photographed or expressed here. I hope we'll have an opportunity to collaborate professionally and/or become friends. I'd love to hear what you think! - Holly
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