Branding: Cara Totman Photography

Cara Totman’s work has been catching my eye for years. Her photos have always stood out to me as having this magical atmosphere about them, capturing light and shadow in a way that elevates every one of her subjects and makes them sparkle. Whether it’s an engagement shoot, a wedding party, an intimate portrait, or a lush landscape, there’s this consistent mood in Cara’s photos that never fails to intrigue me.

Photo by Cara Totman Photography

Photo by Cara Totman Photography

So I was thrilled when she got in touch to work on some branding; designing for artists that inspire me is the very most satisfying!!! And, I was just so happy to finally meet Cara IRL! Turns out she is just as magical as her photos.

Cara wanted her logo and branding to embody a vintage, ethereal style, and wasn’t afraid to get a little quirky. She loves retro surf poster typography, and is very inspired by Oaxacan culture and art, where she recently spent time taking some seriously incredible film photos. My goal was to make sure we came up with something that complemented and spoke to the consistent style and atmosphere of Cara’s work.

Taking all that inspiration into account, we arrived at a logo that we both agreed was very her:

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Cara is particularly good at capturing the female form, and it is a subject that speaks to many of the avenues she pursues with her business. I also think Cara is exceptionally good at inspiring a sort of radiant confidence in her subjects, no matter the context, and I wanted to convey that here. The woman in the logo is inspired by an actual photo by Cara, and when framed by stylize flora and vintage typography, the result is that retro, mystical, playful feeling we were going for.

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The fun part was expanding this logo into its larger branding. Secondary logos and marks came naturally, a feminine and earthy palette was pulled from themes in her photography, and the brand pattern was actually the crowning piece, where a fleet of ladies joins our logo woman, to create several little repeat scenes. I’m a little obsessed.

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This was a dream project for me, and I’m so excited to see it shine alongside Cara’s work as she begins her 2019 wedding season, holds super fun and empowering events like Celestial Sessions, and continues to flex her creative muscles in capturing the beauty of every day moments. Thanks Cara!

Branding: The Belmont Inn

Maine is the New England state I’ve unfortunately spent the least amount of my time in. Who knows why; everyone is always raving about the beaches and the forests and the quaint towns with their lobster rolls. This is probably a side-effect of being a child of Cape Cod; summer vacations rarely strayed far off Route 6 growing up. We did go to Kennebunkport once! If I were to spend some time in Maine though, the town of Camden would be first on my list to visit; and I’m pleased to say I will be doing so in July!

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This came about by way of The Belmont Inn, a historic bed and breakfast which is under new ownership this year - a perfect time for a brand refresh! I was so excited when the proud new innkeeper, Kim, reached out wanting to give the Inn’s look a facelift. The elaborate Victorian script and lilac illustrations she had inherited were feeling a little dusty.

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The Belmont Inn is a big, gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian home tucked away among bursting gardens on a quiet street just a stroll away from the ocean, and I wanted to make the logo all about that iconic structure. Kim agreed. Making the Inn the face of the brand seemed obvious; it was the image that welcomes vacationers first to their home-away-from-home, and what they anticipate returning to summer after summer. So, I made a little drawing of the Inn and it quickly became the logo.

Kim didn’t want to lose the nautical culture and tradition of the location as well, so we complemented the logo with seaworthy blues, whites, and greys, as well as a fun sailboat pattern that really brought the branding together.

This is best seen in the Inn’s print suite, where the logo, pattern, and pallet come together and really shine on business cards, letterhead, a postcard, and note cards. The envelope is actually my favorite part, with sailboats peeking through in the lining.

I can’t wait to see The Belmont Inn’s new branding be put to work this season, welcoming new travelers from around the world. Including Jake and I, when we venture out to coastal Maine at the end of July!

Some logo outtakes for your consideration: still love that fly fishing gal!

Branding: Keeler Concepts by Design

Branding for an interior design firm was a first for me, so I was thrilled when Brittany and Robyn of Keeler Concepts by Design in Chatham, New York got in touch. I genuinely loved the style and designs of their spaces, as well as the process behind each project: every room begins with hand drawn plans that reveal thoughtful, informed design and an artistic eye. The branding process is always easiest when I am excited about the client, and I was immediately tempted to ask the mother-daughter team to have a go at my outdated kitchen. I just loved their work.

Photo courtesy of Keeler Concepts by Design

Photo courtesy of Keeler Concepts by Design

Robyn Keeler’s kitchen and bathroom designs have been featured in Better Homes, Women’s Day, and more, and she is well sought after in the Berkshires, Hudson Valley, and beyond. We wanted to create a logo and brand that spoke to that high quality, but also conveyed the warm, intimate feeling characteristic of her spaces, totally refreshing their look. I noticed that it was keen attention to details that really made these spaces deeply personal, and wanted to bring that into the branding.

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The logo was built from pattern details I pulled from a piece of antique wallpaper, cleaning them up and arranging them around a wordmark. I love the elegance of the arrangement balanced with a boldness - the brand has a definite presence while remaining very stylish.

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Bringing in secondary marks, pallet, pattern, and texture, I wanted to keep things very bright and clean; I love the contrast of nude pink with a deep, rich turquoise for this. Complemented by an earthy green and white marble details, this branding speaks to many of the elements of interior design while remaining very versatile.

I love the way the business cards came out in particular: clean, stylish, and professional!

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This brand was a pleasure to work on, and I am so excited to see Robyn and Brittany put it into action. I’m thrilled we could collaborate towards branding that well represents such beautiful and intelligent interior design work.

A few logo design outtakes too, always like to show a little of my own process behind the final results:

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Branding: The Gilded Oyster

When Quinn’s Fine Jewelry closed its doors in my hometown of Wilbraham, everyone was sad. No more little green boxes under the Christmas tree! My father was perhaps the saddest, as Denise Quinn, the owner, had made anniversaries and birthdays very simple for him for years - he knew to always check my mom’s wish list for the perfect sparkly gift.

So Dad was awfully pleased when I told him Denise had gotten in touch with me about some branding - for her new shop on Cape Cod! After relocating to Falmouth, she and her husband Brian had the itch to have a storefront once again, this time embracing the heritage, culture, and aesthetic of the Cape that they love so much. They settled on the name The Gilded Oyster, in reference to an all-time favorite golden oyster piece her son had created. I rejoiced: gold foil EVERYTHING, please.

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Denise wanted the logo focused on the oyster for which the shop was named. I played with that symbol in a few different ways, including adorning a little mermaid illustration with an oyster necklace (I had to try it), but the design Denise chose combined one of my all-time favorite script fonts with a simple line drawing. It reflects the elegant, natural designs characteristic of the shop’s jewelry collections, and nods to that timeless Cape Cod nautical aesthetic.

Developing the branding and website was just as fun, and allowed me to gild to my heart’s content. Denise was after a calm, beachy look and feel and loved the combination of sea glass aqua with gold, so we brought that in to most all elements of her shop.

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My favorite piece was the business card - gold foil oyster! The sign for the front of the shop is going to look just like these; it’s in production now and I cannot wait to see how it comes out.

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I love the way all these pieces came together to bring a fresh, classy brand to Main Street in Falmouth. Now I just need to get over the bridge to check out the shop - Denise opened the doors just before Christmas! This was so much fun to work on, and I’m excited to see the Gilded Oyster flourish when visitors make their way to the shore this summer - my dad included.

Oh, and a couple logo outtakes!

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Anyone want a mermaid logo???

Branding: Kelly & Co.

Spring is the best time for a brand refresh. Last fall I worked on a new logo for Kelly & Co., a favorite local maker of linen clothing and home goods, and recently I've been working with Erin to expand the new look on to tags, packaging details, and more. I'm loving the way everything is coming together!

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First we created some small and large sew-in tags for Erin's clothing items, as well as napkins, dish towels, and linen coffee filters. Then we went a bit larger with wrappers to package up the coffee filters, and hang tags for wearable favorites like the Everyday Dress and Pinafore Apron. I love the way the flax branch drawing from the logo looks as a pattern, and we ended up carrying that look through all of the branding. The soft neutral shade works well against Erin's variety of brightly colored linens. 

I was lucky enough to receive a handmade Pinafore Apron and dish towel in the mail last week! The apron will see plenty of use in the kitchen, studio, and garden this summer. The linen Erin works with is durable and practical but so elegant and lightweight too. 

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Looking forward to developing this brand further; it's always a pleasure to work with Kelly & Co.!