There is so much meaning behind the NRP brand. All that we do revolves around our core purpose: To capture and preserve beautiful legacies.
Y’all, we love legacy. We love that photographs have the ability to freeze time in a way, preserving faces and moments from generation to generation. It’s why we do what we do.
Last year, I felt like my heart for this purpose was so full, but my brand felt unpolished. I liked my brand, but it didn’t feel cohesive in color and style. Most importantly, it lacked significance and meaning. I felt like I was trying to do the trendy thing, rather than offer a brand with purpose and meaning.
Now, I feel incredibly proud of the NRP brand! To put it simply, I feel like the face of my brand finally matches my heart. As a photographer, I truly believe we do so much more than simply photograph events. We document legacy, we inspire others, and we build relationships along the way. Now, the Nancy Ray Photography brand is rich with legacy and offers that beautiful, professional, polished look I wanted for years.
It took months of digging deep to get there. I worked with Kathryn Duckett of Creme Brands and cannot recommend her highly enough. She gave me a new understanding of branding. Kathryn showed me it can be professional, simple, cohesive, and thorough. She also showed me that a new brand can be delivered on time! In all my years working with designers, I’ve never had someone keeping me on track like Kathryn did. She was incredible.
One thing that surprised me in a wonderful way with her: less choices often times is the better option. I absolutely loved that I was presented with two logos. TWO! Some might think of this as “not enough,” but in reality, when you are working with a talented artist who completely gets your vision, it’s all you need to determine the direction of your brand.
We launched the new Nancy Ray Photography brand and site last year on May 26th, 2015 – the exact same day I gave birth to sweet Milly! (Talk about a day full of accomplishment!) My team carried the launch for me while I was in the hospital, and my new brand was such a blessing to us through my maternity leave and my transition back. Now that it’s 2016, it feels so good to be starting this year our with a brand full of significance and meaning. I’m excited for a full year with a timeless brand that won’t fade out of trend. I’m excited to start 2016 out on the right foot, with a brand that communicates our love for legacy.
Do you know what really inspired this brand? The photos above. Those black and white photographs are from Will’s grandparent’s wedding and my grandparent’s weddings, alongside a family portrait of my grandparents. (My mama is the girl on the far left, with her hands folded in her lap!) Talk about legacy, friends. These two couples left such a mark on our families, our marriage, our financial stewardship, our contentment, our way of life. Papa and Mama Dot, you will never know the impact you’ve had on us. You’re both in heaven now, but your legacy truly lives on in your life lessons and letters you left for us. Grandaddy Gene and Grandma Neva, your legacy continues in your lives today, even as you hold Milly and love on her. What a privilege and blessing it is to have great grandparents! We are constantly learning from you, your marriage, and your wisdom.
While the logo isn’t everything, it absolutely is one of my favorite aspects of my new brand. Because it’s so tied into the heart of what we do, I feel like there’s no better way to introduce my new brand than to explain the detailed aspects of my new logo, and why it means to much to me. Take a look at how beautiful it is!
NR : The woven NR together stands for legacy. Legacy is intertwined from generation to generation, and there is a “passing down” that takes place when leaving a legacy. Similarly, you can see how the NR are woven together, passing from one to another. It also symbolizes the beginning of legacy on a wedding day – how two people are woven together to begin a new family tree. Goodness I love the beauty of these hand-lettered initials! They stand for so much.
Nancy Ray : The typeface she used here is clean and sophisticated. I love the way it feels. It is reminiscent of a logo from years gone by that I absolutely loved (anyone remember the birdcage logo?), and I feel like it has taken my brand full circle.
Photography : This calligraphy makes my heart sing. Truly – Abany of Brown Linen created the perfect lettering that reflects the heart of my brand like never before.
est. ’08 : This is my favorite part of my logo! When Kathryn was asking me a comprehensive list of questions about my brand and my heart behind it, she asked me a simple question: ” what is your favorite heirloom?” I answered : “The letters that my grandfather left for all of his grandchildren. He typed them on his typewriter while in his last few months of life, and filled pages with life lessons and wisdom. Those letters, along with the photographs from my grandparents wedding, mean more to me than anything else.” When she heard that, she made sure that the typewriter font was included as a subtle yet important part of my brand. (My grandparents are pictured below on their wedding day.) It’s also the year that Will and I established our marriage and the beginning of our family tree – June of 2008.
The colors and fonts of the NRP brand were chosen to represent a clean, simple, warm feeling. Upon visiting our site, we wanted it to feel fresh and welcoming. I must say, I love the way it turned out!
And finally, I wanted to end with this – a few tips for you if you are trying to decide on a new brand. Here’s my best advice for this process! If you’re in the middle of a re-brand:
– Dig deep and do the hard work on the front end
– Brainstorm and find the heart behind you work first
– Branding is not a logo or a font or a color. Branding is translating the heart behind what you do into something much bigger than that. It’s communicating the purpose of your business to your clients! Take your time, but also stay on time.
– Setting those deadlines is an important piece in making it happen! Don’t be afraid to be decisive. It’s a long process with lots of decisions.
– Ultimately – go with your gut and be honest with yourself along the way. In the end, you won’t be disappointed!
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