How to build your brand – Looking beyond the logo. Part three: Photography

How to build your brand – Looking beyond the logo. Part three: Photography

Erinn KovitchMay 28, 2020

“Every interaction, in any form, is branding.” Seth Godin

At Idea Kraft, one of the most repeated mantras we have when kicking off a branding project is that a logo is not the only element of branding. While the words “brand” and “logo” are often used interchangeably, a logo is just a piece of the brand. It may be the most forward-facing piece, but it works in unison with many other elements to create a brand in its entirety. If all the elements are not considered, you may end up with a weak brand that takes away from your brand experience. If your overall brand is disjointed, you won’t resonate with the audience that you’re trying to reach.

In this series, we will take a look at all the elements that build a brand: Color, Photography, Typography, Illustrations, Tagline, Voice, and Culture & Values. These elements should be used together in a cohesive and thoughtful way that not only solidifies your brand but elevates it.

For more information and an interactive guide on how to create your brand from the ground up, email us for a copy of our Build Your Brand guidelines.


Photography is a main component of your brand, though it may not be the first one that comes to mind, as it isn’t directly a part of the logo or one of the visual elements you may think of when thinking about branding. However, photography can be a real workhorse and supporting pillar for your brand, and it is essential you give it consideration when building your brand.

Brand photography is the collection of images that you use in all your forward-facing media – such as social presence, print collateral, and website. The images represent your brand visually and can include anything from your team, your products, the space you work, or the events you go to. It also applies to the images you’re using in advertising and promotion. These images use tone, color, props, stylization,  and anything else that makes your business uniquely yours. It is important to give careful consideration to all photography you’re using – whether it is the headshots you’ve hired a professional to take of your team or the stock images you need to purchase for your brochure. Treating photography as consistently as you do other elements of your brand will ensure a more professional and cohesive final look that consumers will trust and help build brand awareness.

Take a look below at some of the photography examples we’ve rounded up to get inspired on how you can treat photography when building a better brand.

1 – Patagonia

If your business is focused on e-commerce, then photography is something your brand will need to seriously consider. Patagonia does an excellent job of using images that are consistent. They are shown on the same color background, with the same lighting, and at the same size for an overall pleasing and user-friendly shopping experience. Consider hiring a professional photographer for your e-commerce store to achieve the same effect to showcase your products in the best way possible.

ecommerce example

2 – Gates Foundation

The Gates Foundation in an organization that excels at using imagery that is authentic. The images used are based on a photojournalistic approach. The people in the images are real, not models and the organization’s brand guidelines dictate that the photos should be as untouched as possible with no artistic elements added.  This pure and raw approach reinforces the company’s brand by portraying to their audience a realistic experience as possible.

authentic example

Gates Foundation example 2

3 – Spotify

When Spotify went through a recent rebrand, they had the dilemma of having thousands of images of artists, with no consistency to unite the brand. Through the use of a duotone treatment and bold graphics and colors, they were able to create a unique style that made them not only stand out but to create a unifying element that reinforces their brand. This concept would be a great approach to an organization that only has access to stock imagery. By going beyond the photo itself, you can apply a treatment that elevates and makes your brand stand out from the crowd.

Spotify example 1

Spotify example 2


4 – Urban Outfitters

In order to target a specific audience, Urban Outfitters pays close attention to their photography to achieve brand consistency and the correct messaging. In their brand guidelines, they state that their imagery isn’t just to show their products, but to “provide a portal into their world” to build an emotional connection to the brand.

Urban Outfitters example1

Urban Outfitters example

Urban Outfitters example

5 – Califia Farms

In addition to the mouth-watering food photography images they use, Califia Farms takes a unique approach to the handling of their other imagery by using a layered collage style that elevates and distinguishes the brand from other companies in the same field. The artistic renderings provide playfulness and evoke the spirit of the abundance their brand is based on.


Califia Farms 2

Califia Farms


Email us today to discuss your branding project or to get more information on how to build your brand!

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