Haley Richter Photography Branding

An organic hand lettered logo for a photography freelancer in Philly

Haley Richter is a talented freelance photographer that specializes in wedding and lifestyle photography in Ardmore, PN. She reached out to me to create a bold new hand-lettered logo with a human touch that would give off a high end and yet down to earth feeling.

Website Mockup

May 2016


Haley Richter


Time Spent: 35 hrs
Research: 6hrs
Drawing: 13hrs
Digitalization: 11hrs
Presentation: 5hrs

Project Duties:
Hand Lettering
Art Direction

Case Study

Below is an outline of my process from start to finish. Here you will be able to dig deeper into my design decisions and see for yourself how I ended up with the final result.

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Mood Board/ Art Direction

We began the production process by having one week dedicated to art direction to ensure that the graphic I developed would perfectly align with Haley’s goals for her business. I put together a Pinterest Mood Board with various script styles of logos and hand lettering to help form a picture in Haley’s mind of the potential of her future branding.

We had a brief art direction meeting and decided that I was going to explore 2 styles; the first would be a thin mono-weight script lettering like the Just Be Yourself sample from our Mood Board and the second would be a thin calligraphy style like the Dream Less Work Harder sample.

We needed to create a design that would work well both stacked and horizontal so Haley could have a version of her logo that would look consistent when used in any format. This meant trying out different ways of having “Photography” both hand-lettered and as a supporting san serif typeface.

For the final digitalized graphic, Haley wanted an organic handmade look where the lines would be smooth but not overly computerized. This meant having a high-resolution raster version of the logo for the web that would include my original drawing and a vector version of the design that would be live traced in Illustrator for print. Then I would include a third version that would have a subtle layer of texture to give the piece more of a vintage look.



I jumped right in the sketching process with various small thumbnails to help me figure out the right layout for this project where the style would work well in both a stacked and horizontal format.

As you can see from my notes above, some designs ended up getting eliminated because they were too overly decorative with supporting lines, dots, and ligatures. So it was a challenge to find just the right balance of type and flourishes. Every line needed a purpose.

One of the aspects of the logo that I spent the most time on was the style of the capital H in Haley’s name. Since this would be the first letter you see I wanted it to have a unique build to attract people to the design itself.


Wordmark Drawings

I explored my two favorite compositions and began to add style and weight to my work. It was more important to decide on how the design looked stacked first so the winning style could be more easily replicated for when the work mark needed to be written in a horizontal format.

I ultimately ended up with two final concepts, where the one of the left was more simple with mono-weight lettering and the one on the right that had more of a calligraphy style with feminine curves.

After some demographic research into Haley’s business, I decided that the calligraphy style on the right would be the best way to attract Haley’s mostly female based audience that was looking for portrait and wedding photography. Although the mono-weight lettering was more adventurous looking it didn’t properly represent the whimsical glow of Haley’s work.



I began to digitalize the stacked version in Photoshop using my new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to keep this design as hand made looking as possible.

I wanted to make sure that I gave the piece’s weight some attention so the brand could give off just that bold and elegant flow Haley was looking for.

I started with a subtle thin to thick ratio for the script lettering, and then I began to add even more weight to see which would be the right solution. The design on the left ended up looking too delicate and young, so I went with the thicker version since it gave off more of a mature, vibrant vibe.

Then once I had the stacked version complete I began to work on the horizontal version where the word “Photography” would better match the same style as Haley’s name. This way the piece would be as flat as possible when used as the header of Haley’s website giving her beautiful photos more real estate on the page.

I made subtle changes to the ligatures from the original stacked version to better align with the new orientation and removed the curved decorations so the primary focus would remain on the words themselves.

Then as a final touch, I put a subtle layer of texture of both versions as a cherry on top for this design.

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