styling and branding

Twenty Brand Archetypes by Forty Agency

You guys.  I'm SO hungry!!! I'm literally pushing my lunch an hour later just so I can post this today.

I read the article last night as I was prepping for my Branding event tonight (ohmygoshimsonervous) and it was literally like something just exposed LIGHT to my thoughts.  So here we go..
One of my favorite places to be educated on marketing and branding is Forty Agency.  This article basically created twenty "brand archetypes" which is the idea that..
"brands are a basic human social concept, and that the same patterns and ideas tend to REPEAT themselves over time, such that what we now consider 'brands' are roughly equivalent to archetypal characters in literature, religion, folklore, etc."
In other words, think of your brand as characters.  There's a trait or behavior that if turned into a 'person' would look a little like this... 

These are the 20 universal brand archetypes that Forty Agency created:

MAVERICK (Rebel, Outlaw, Rogue)
    •    Brands: Harley Davidson, Virgin, MTV, Rimmel, Steve Madden, Urban Outfitters, Orbit
    •    People: Henry David Thoreau, Sid Vicious, George Washington
    •    Goal/method: To achieve freedom from the establishment through defiance, disobedience, and nonconformity.

EVERYMAN (Good Old Boy, Girl Next Door, Average Joe)
    •    Brands: Miller High Life, Sonic, Walmart, Lowe’s, Walgreens, Southwest, Visa, Covergirl, Hollister
    •    People: Jack Black, Homer Simpson, Tom Hanks, Princess Diana
    •    Goal/method: To bond with others by being humble, hard-working, and friendly

INNOCENT (Saint, Goody-Two-Shoes, Angel)
    •    Brands: IKEA, Google, Apple, Dove, Lysol, Master Card, Aveda
    •    People: Mr. Rogers, Gandhi, Boy Scouts, Oprah
    •    Goal/method: To achieve a simple, pure life by always doing the right thing

ENTERTAINER (Clown, Jester, Performer)
    •    Brands: Budweiser, Fanta, Jack in the Box, Hulu,, Taco Bell, Doritos
    •    People: Robin Williams, Bob Hope, Jeff Foxworthy
    •    Goal/method: To make friends (and avoid making enemies) through humor and fun

VILLAIN (Bad Guy, Monster, Vampire)
    •    Brands: Megadeth, Hot Topic, LA Ink
    •    People: Marilyn Manson, Darth Vader, Dr. Horrible
    •    Goal/method: To satisfy internal drives or passions through whatever means necessary

INTELLECTUAL (Sage, Genius, Expert)
    •    Brands:, CNN, Gallup, MIT, Harvard, CIA, Bloomberg
    •    People: Stephen Hawking, Marie Curie, Ken Jennings
    •    Goal/method: To find the truth through research, objectivity, and diligence

SENSUALIST (Hedonist, Pleasure Seeker)
    •    Brands: Victoria’s Secret, BMW, Godiva, Versace, Food Network, Nivea, Sephora
    •    People: Madonna, Paula Deen, Dracula
    •    Goal/method: To pursue perfect enjoyment through physical experiences

 SERVANT (Martyr, Slave, Monk)
    •    Brands: Red Cross, Amnesty International, Peace Corps, Humane Society, Police Department
    •    People: Mother Theresa, Pat Tillman
    •    Goal/method: To lose yourself through service to others

TRADITIONALIST (Conservative, Old School, Miser)
    •    Brands: Old Spice, Wendy’s, Procter & Gamble, Wells Fargo, Folger’s, GAP
    •    People: Norman Rockwell, Ronald Reagan
    •    Goal/method: To restore the world through a return to old-fashioned values

NURTURER (Mom, Mother Earth, Healer)
    •    Brands: Campbell’s, Pampers, Volvo, Johnson & Johnson, Loreal, Allstate
    •    People: June Cleaver, Paula Deen
    •    Goal/method: To help others feel loved by providing for their needs and wants

CONNECTOR (Networker, Politician, Talker)
    •    Brands: AT&T, Verizon, Facebook, Linkedin
    •    People: Oprah, Donald Trump
    •    Goal/method: To make things happen by knowing the right people

ARTIST (Creative, Creator, Craftsman)
    •    Brands: hp, Adobe, Lego, Home Depot, Michael’s, Black and Decker, HGTV
    •    People: Beethoven, Salvador Dali, William Shakespeare, Bob Villa
    •    Goal/method: To create something of enduring beauty and value

PHILOSOPHER (Sage, Prophet, Guru)
    •    Brands: Scientology, Calvin Klein, Nikon
    •    People: Plato, Deepak Chopra, Paulo Coelho
    •    Goal/method: To help people understand the world by seeing things from a different perspective.

DREAMER (Magician, Sorcerer, Wizard)
    •    Brands: Disney, Axe, Rock Band
    •    People: Tim Burton, Carlos Castaneda, Steven Spielberg, Harry Potter
    •    Goal/method: To help people achieve supernatural experiences by promoting faith and wonder (transformation).

MOTIVATOR (Mentor, Preacher, Promoter)
    •    Brands: Truth, (RED), Electronic Frontier Foundation,
    •    People: Tony Robbins, Barack Obama, Richard Simmons
    •    Goal/method: To achieve amazing goals by getting people excited about a cause

RULER (King, Leader, Father)
    •    Brands: Microsoft, Rolex, Gillette, The New York Times, Jack Daniel’s
    •    People: Steve Jobs, Franklin Roosevelt, Moses
    •    Goal/method: To lead people to a common destination through confidence, determination, and influence

EXPLORER (Seeker, Wanderer)
    •    Brands: North Face, Pier One, Jeep, Greyhound, Subaru, Starbucks
    •    People: Christopher Columbus, Jacques Cousteau, Steve Irwin
    •    Goal/method: To learn what’s constant in life by always changing your environment

DEFENDER (Knight, Superhero, Warrior)
    •    Brands: U.S. Army, Greenpeace, Marlboro, Dial, Band aid
    •    People: Batman, George S. Patton, John Wayne
    •    Goal/method: To protect others from harm through bravery and service

THRILL-SEEKER (Gambler, Swashbuckler, Adventurer)
    •    Brands: X Games, Mountain Dew, Chrysler Crossfire, Carnival Cruise Ships, New Zealand, Camelback
    •    People: Richard Branson, Ben Saunders, Errol Flynn
    •    Goal/method: To achieve great rewards through great risks

ACHIEVER (Athlete, Hot Shot, Strongman)
    •    Brands: Nike, Ford, Home Depot, Adidas, Under Armor
    •    People: Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods
    •    Goal/method: To prove yourself through amazing physical acts

I don't know if it's the point of where I'm at in my business, but I LOVE and crave these descriptions.  They sort of simplify my thoughts.  Which leads me to the three I immediately connected with:


And you know we're going to talk more in depth about this later.  But for now, I would love to hear which one(s) stood out to you?!? As a business or even individual.  I feel like it will tell me a lot about you :)

An Imaginale Design Experience: Brittany Oswald

Meet Brittany..

I've mentioned her before and the great photographer that she is. In fact, you will find that picture up there on her "About Me" section on her website... but not for long.

You see, this pretty lady has been re-branding her entire business and guess who had the honor of taking her promo pics?

(I'm wearing a black glove, if you're looking THAT closely :)

Itsa me, mario! But around here in Imaginale land, we don't just take pictures. Brittany trusted me not only as a photographer, but as a stylist as well. As part of her re-branding, she wanted her photos to portray her new look -- this included a mini make over ;)

Brittany has THE straightest and softest hair. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! I decided to give her some soft, loose curls to add volume and layers to her hair. We started off by adding some volumizing foam and shaking her hair to lift the roots up and drying it with a round brush. Then you section the hair off....

.. and start the curling process. The best way to do this is by using a VERY hot curling iron and wrapping the ends around it without using a clamp. In this case, I own an iron that doesn't actually have a clamp. Yes, I'm wearing a black glove -- err, actually a mitten -- so I can hold the hair against the hot iron without burning myself. Believe it or not, I don't own GLOVES!!! But somehow I manage to own mittens. I dunno.

Make sure to clip the already-curled sections together while you're finishing up the rest so they don't get weighed down. And voila!

All we needed now was an outfit. And while Brittany has always pulled off t-shirt and jeans beautifully, she felt it was time to add a little more flair to it. Nothing drastic... just small details to pull the look together.

Bam!! Just gorgeous! Enough subtle hints without changing who Brittany is.

Brittany has such refined beauty and THE best laugh.

And let me tell you, directing Brittany is a photographer's dream. I don't know how much of it is her being a photographer too, but even down to how she placed her hands was perfection.

Oh, you know I had to bring the sassy out.

I have to refrain my words because I'm sure Brittany is probably blushing :) Sorry girl, but you were on fire!!

But this wouldn't be a Brittany shoot without some of these moments.....

Hahaha, I love you girl :)

You think it ends here, but oh nooooo. You see, these were for her business. A slightly tamed version, if you will. But what if a girl wants to get all dressed up? Something that pushes her out of her typical element? Well, that's part of what Brittany's trip was for and I was going to make sure I delivered. I'll be sharing those next week!

Wishing you a slightly untamed Friday ;)

Ideas for Branding Your Photography

How cool is that cork ball chandelier?! Guess where it's from.


Not surprised, huh? I took that photo in Vegas, admiring the brilliance of the Anthropologie branding. I mean, people make photoshoots inspired off of this store, they design cards and stationary with Anthropologie as the driving force.

I bet if you asked 10 regular Anthropologie shoppers to choose 3 words to describe the store -- over half would have very similar descriptions. Why? Because their branding is consistent.

I decided to venture into a small project in furthering my photography brand. My packages. I needed more than a burned CD and delivered prints. I wanted my clients to see me in my delivery and not just my photos.

So I went shopping...

Without a plan, really. Armed with just a sticky note with 4 stores I scribbled down, I decided to just wing it. I ended up buying the following at Michaels and one of the BEST paper boutiques I've ever gone to: Mystic Paper.

Ugh, talk about overwhelming. I think graphic designers - or designers in general - have the HARDEST time designing for themselves. My mind thinks about a million directions and styles and "just winging it" is the dumbest plan.

Fortunately, I stuck to a color scheme (coral -- who is surprised?!) and forced myself to only buy "embellishments." I loooved Mystic Paper, but it would be so easy to turn my branding from Imaginale to Old Lady Scrapbooking if I wasn't careful with my purchases. Talk about paisley overload.

I got the greeting cards at Michaels and I loved how they had an opening on the front cover. I used the stickers I bought for my client's initials. They were typewriter stickers which is consistent with the way I label their names on the photos.


Then I cut one of the flowers from the ribbon and played around with a leaf embellishment..

I also purchased a label maker for my CD's and carried out the same style. Typewriter font + my logo (in coral). I love combining modern lines with curves -- resembles my love of mixing fashion with feminine details.

And look! NOT planned at all, but their names on the CD fit perfectly behind the slot of the card!

I decided to move the flower and leaf on the envelope cover instead of the card cover so it wouldn't be squished inside. Then I wrapped the striped twine around and I was in love!!

I taped the ribbon with my special tape..

...and finished it off with a vintage stamp sticker.

Yes. That's what I was looking for.

Mind you, this is only a start. Obviously my goal is to continue developing and expanding my branding, but more than anything -- to be consistent. For people to know when it's my work and take home my love of detail.

Now, the challenge is going to be what I do when I have a male model or male high school senior. Clearly he will probably not enjoy a pretty little flower on his package ;) Or you know, maybe he will? :D

What steps have you taken to ignite your branding?

Re-Design for the Blog


In a matter of one day I have renewed my blog design. A little tweak here and there, but the header is the biggest change (so far). I felt for quite some time that there was a huge disconnect between my old blog header and my website. And being as impulsive as I am, I HAD to do it last night.

I met with Alex of AVE Styles yesterday go over our recent fashion shoot (which you need to be on the edge of your seat for!!), and she gave me great feedback seeing as how she works for a designer herself :) She pointed out that my old blog header appeared more masculine, and the only part that really confirmed that it was MY blog was my logo. Tsk tsk. That's not good! It's actually quite ironic considering how FAR from masculine I am (and my brand).

This is my old header....

It's from a photo I took in Spain that I love, mixed with some graphics I created. Yeah, I love the photo -- but the color scheme, content of the image, and layout does NOT reflect my website.

I've known it for quite some time but didn't want to just slap something together. Alex suggested "in the mean time" to take pieces from my website so it literally translates over to my blog. So last night after bible study -- I was on a mission.

First I tried the chalk board....

Too plain. Jose suggested adding photos, but I didn't want to add photos of my clients on my header. Why? Because I have such a variety of clients that I don't want to restrict my brand to a particular client OR overwhelm it with everything that represents me.

So then I played with design elements from my website....

Now I'm liking where this is going. But this doesn't even show that I'm a photographer! However, I knew going in the right direction.

Finally, I decided that the part of the chalkboard I didn't like for my header was the wooden frame. I decided to eliminate the frame and use the black-board as the background. Then I added the coral strip because it's consistent with my blogging (and I LOVE that color!). After that I knew I wanted to use the small flower that I have on my website as an accent. All I needed now was my logo, a little more flair, and I got there!

Actually that photo is from an Outfit Chronicles post that I haven't posted because I JUST had Jose take this picture 3 days ago. Talk about updated!

I thought my "slogan" really reflected the content of my blog. My "in between" has so much to do with my life in between being a photographer and designer. This includes me being a wife, explorer, my creative ramblings, and moving to a new city. I wanted more than anything for my header to reflect my feminine, fashion, and storytelling brand. I love mixing curves (logo + flowers + part of slogan) with very clean and straight lines (coral bar + part of slogan).

Anyway! That was my rapid thought process. I was pretty determined and I knew what I wanted. This isn't to say that it is my final revision on my blog. Oh no, no, no! The header revision is simply a step to dust off my blog. I'll continue to add the flair that I envision in the future, but my priority was to at least have it reflect my website and be consistent in the mean time. Kinda like adding paintings and frames to your wall but knowing that one day you actually want to PAINT the wall. You start with baby steps :)

Share your thoughts!! I'd love to know what you think! Does this reflect Imaginale Design? Do you like the color scheme? Hey, it's Friday!!