Honolulu-based photographer Marco Garcia decided it was time for a change. He needed some help with a website portfolio edit, and a new look for his brand. Marco, who grew up stateside in Texas, is mainly an editorial shooter for clients like the AP, the New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler, as well as a handful of corporate clients. He was hoping to start appealing more towards luxury and travel clients, as well as high-end magazines.
For this project, Marco wanted to enlist our help, so I teamed up with Sean, our director of photography, to tackle the project. We worked closely with Marco and each other to create a brand new identity; logo, website, business cards and email promos. Marco’s website had the same issues that a lot of photographers struggle with, including the main problem: too much content for the user to know what to do with. He wanted to change direction and move away from photojournalism, but had a hard time losing the work that he was personally attached to.
Sean took his current work and gave it a fresh new angle, redefining Marco to his current and potential clients. At first Marco didn’t like what he saw, but he quickly reconsidered. “When I realized all the thinking behind it,” he told us, “I knew it was for the best. As most photographers know, it’s hard to critically look at your own work and make sense of it.” Sean picked more work that dealt with the hospitality industry, and travel shots with the most commercial potential.
When we asked Marco what he wanted in a visual identity, he envisioned something clean, simple and modern—a big jump. I thought that a color scheme that wasn’t too showy or overwhelming would work best, and that we should try to avoid anything tropical that made you think “Hawaii”—that way we could avoid typecasting Marco as an island photographer. The goal was for Marco’s new look to be fun but at the same time professional, and therefore visually appealing to a wider range of clients.
To ensure consistency, I took a long look at how Sean was editing Marco’s portfolio, before even starting the design process. I could sense a lot of personality in his work, and creating an appealing visual structure around these images could only strengthen that.
The project started with experiments in type. I knew the logo would act as the focal point of the design, with the color and other elements acting as complements. It was important to avoid using too much color in the design, since picking a certain palette might not blend well with some of his work. Once I hammered down the logo, type and color, everything else fell into place, and it was simple to design his email promo and business card in a manner consistent with his new brand.
For Marco, the goal of this rebranding project was to convey that he is part of a larger picture, rather than just a regional or local photographer. Marco says,
I felt that the way my portfolio was edited and the logo/colors/fonts/etc…were put together, gave my look an entirely new face. Although my web host and web design roughly remained the same, the actual content is what changed. I look as if I am a new photographer and I essentially upgraded my look. But most importantly upgraded how art buyers look at me and my work.