Sunday September 21st, 2014
Saturday September 20th, 2014
Mug Shot Magic
Friday September 19th, 2014
Trinette + Chris are commercial photographers based in San Rafael, California and are the authors of countless dreamy, bright, and meticulous shoots. When I first browsed through their site, I couldn’t stop swooning over their lovely images and got lost in the warm, nostalgic narratives that they create. Let’s just say that when I found out Trinette + Chris were in need of some design work, I was beyond excited to work with them and may or may not have done a little dance at my desk in anticipation.
Trinette + Chris had created a treatment template themselves a while back, which is what they’d been using, but they felt it lacked the same impact their images carry and the sexy sophistication of their brand. That’s why they asked me to design a custom treatment template for them—one that would carry the refined elegance of their brand but would also be easy to use, update, and reuse, again and again. We discussed the types of content they wanted to include in the template, they sent me some copy to include, I pulled some placeholder images from their site, and I got to work.
We chose to create the template in Adobe Illustrator, since it would give us a lot more flexibility and superior design capabilities to Keynote, Word, or Powerpoint. We tried out a few different formats and ended up going with a landscape orientation, which would display best on clients’ computer screens. I focused on keeping the design elegant but clean, and infused Trinette + Chris’ orange and gray color palette throughout. The title page lets their logo be the hero, and identifies the client for which the treatment is being presented. Next comes the ‘About Us’ page with a nice photo of Trinette + Chris, as well as a paragraph dictating their vision and the way they work.
I also set up a grid for the inner pages of the treatment, with a consistent header and footer. This includes three important elements: a headline which dictates the content for that page at a glance, Trinette + Chris’ logo, and their contact information (phone number and web address) so the client can easily get in touch or see more at any point. These elements also come in handy in case one page gets separated from the rest. Even then, the client will know who this treatment is from and how to get in touch with them.
I recognized that the ‘+’ in Trinette + Chris’ logo presented a unique opportunity, and that I could incorporate that in more clever and playful ways throughout the template, so I used the ‘+’ in place of bullet points where I could, among other places. These kinds of subtle details really help a brand come to life and take on a distinct personality.
We obviously needed to have project inspiration pages to showcase images, ones that would be particularly appropriate for that particular client.
I also included a page where Trinette + Chris could recommend specific locations for the project at hand.
Next came a page for testimonials from past clients, and a cost estimate page, breaking out each element of the project into individual line items, followed by a page for a proposed project schedule and one for terms and conditions.
Finally, I included a page for the client to agree to the proposal and sign, and wrapped up the treatment with a contact page. I again utilized the ‘+’ to tie in the branding and paired it with the sentiment “We’re looking forward to working with you.”
Trinette + Chris were pleased with the results as well and had this to say about the experience:
We recently used the design services at Wonderful Machine for the first time. It was a really great experience for us. Melissa did such a great job, we were really impressed with the design she came up with and how smooth the process was. It really helped us take our branding to another level. We really appreciate having that kind of support at Wonderful Machine, it’s one of the many great additional services that they offer. Normally we would have to go out and find a designer which seems like so much work, it’s a huge benefit to us to be able to hand that off to Wonderful Machine and have it done well in such a short amount of time. We are thrilled with the results.
I love working within brands and helping to infuse their identities into new marketing pieces. This project was no exception. Not only was it a pleasure to work on, but the concept of a custom treatment is a great one that I’m sure will serve Trinette + Chris well. Keep in mind that any client can come to your website and look at your images, but preparing a unique treatment and going the extra mile to tailor it specifically to the client at hand will show your commitment to the finite details and that you’re willing to go above and beyond.
Until next time, don’t forget to check out all of our design consulting services, and drop me a line if you’re interested in a new identity or if you’d like our help building out your own brand. We’d love to hear from you!
Thursday September 18th, 2014
For a long time, Daniel Bedell dreamed of shooting for one of his favorite magazines, ESPN The Magazine. This year, Daniel has been fortunate enough to shoot a number of projects for the magazine and several of them have been fan shoots, although the title “fan” seems insufficient. These people are more like FANATICS! He began an assignment featuring Baltimore Orioles fan, Romeo Santos, which grew into a shoot featuring Romeo, his son Camden and a few of his die-hard super fans, all adorned in the Os’ orange and black regalia.
In the last few years I’ve moved much more towards a style that uses a lot of natural light and in general strives to feel beautiful, but natural. I have shot a lot of stylized lit portraits though and still really enjoy that. I’ve done several of these ESPN Super Fan shoots this year and you’re often shooting in some small spaces like basements, bedrooms, living rooms all filled with tons of memorabilia so I have gone ahead and shot them all as lit portraits.
Daniel even managed to get a smile from Romeo’s baby son, Camden, whose name is a reference to Camden Yards, the location of Oriole Park. After completing some portraits in Romeo’s decked out living space, the pair set off to Eutaw Street with Romeo’s friend Neal and a few other friends who were taping a promo video at the time. Though this was a paid assignment, David also felt a personal connection to the project.
I think the sad truth is when it comes to paid work it is hard to get both jobs that are visually and intellectually interesting. Personal work let’s you be in charge of the assignment and able to dictate style, time of day you shoot, how long the project and what direction you take it. I think this puts you in the drivers seat moving forward as you try to get jobs that are more and more like your personal work.
The photo documentation of Romeo and his friends did not come without challenges for Daniel.
With this project like a lot of the fan shoots the issue is space. These fans usually have a ton of cool stuff, but often all spread out over their house and figuring out a great composition is hard. The fun part is that they are excited for the experience and you can usually get them to do some crazy things. The second part with the rest of the guys at Camden Yards was very spontaneous, I knew something was happening but I wasn’t given any details in part because they were making it up as they went. As I said in my blog post Baltimore is a great place for spontaneous weirdness.
Overall, the images were greatly received by ESPN and by the shoot’s subject, Romeo.
My editor at the magazine loved the images, especially the ones with the subject, Romeo’s son Camden. She decided that he was baby Carlos from the Hangover. They put out the image with the feather boa out on social media to hype the project before and then ran the one with the baby wearing sunglasses. I recently shot another thing for ESPN at an Orioles game and saw Romeo and he told me how the photos were one of the coolest thing that had ever happened to him.
While he doesn’t have any immediate plans on continuing the project, Daniel hopes that he can get more Super Fan assignments, as they are a lot of fun. He also learned one very important fact about super fans.
If your baseball team gets a Super Fan feature there is a great chance you’ll contend for first place!
To see more of Daniel’s work, visit his website.