Blog

Vector Logo illustration for E1

Posted by on Jan 7, 2017 in Graphic Design, Logo Design | 0 comments

I was asked if I could help edit/create a logo for a group of Texas A&M University Galveston Maritime Academy engineering majors.  One of them is the son of a beloved photographer client of mine so of course I wanted to do anything I could to help them out!

A friend of theirs drew the eagle and then they painted it – and hung it on their wall.  They wanted to add crossed wrenches and a marine propeller to it. All they had was a photo of the wall painting of an eagle with their name E1. They wanted to use it in print and knew that they needed a proper vector logo created. It was an intricate process….. but I literally redrew the eagle from scratch in Adobe Illustrator, then the E1.  Next, we discussed what type of wrenches they were after and that they wanted them to be crossed. There are a lot of different wrenches out there!! They also sent the propeller they wanted too because honestly, what do I know about props?! They are different to airplane props I’m sure.  This was a fun challenge and I’m glad to help these young men with their awesome marine business! Best of luck Allen and crew! :)

Graphic Design Vector Logo

Let’s celebrate 2017 with a special retouching offer!

Posted by on Dec 29, 2016 in Album Design, HappyFish News, Photography Business, Post-Processing - raw and retouching | 0 comments

If you’ve known us for the past 10-20 years……… you probably know we’ve run a special offer exactly 3x tops.  We’re feeling particularly festive this year….. so here we go!

FREE retouching with any album design service ordered between December 30th through January 15th, 2017. No limit of albums ordered. Retouching must be for images used in the designed album.
PROMOCODE: happy2017

To get started CONTACT US if you’re a new client – or login to your client area and fill out the album design order form. (If you’ve forgotten the password let us know.)

Limited Time offer from HappyFish Design

Logo for Mark Shangraw Portrait Art

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Design for Marketing, Promotion & Presentation, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Photography Business | 0 comments

Mark Shangraw was looking for a new logo as he was restructuring his photography business – something more boutique, more hand crafted. After listening to the goals for this new venture I knew that they needed something with his ‘hand’ in it. After some pencil sketches I knew we needed something authentic and uniquely representing his own namesake. I asked both he and his wife to send me his name both in manuscript and cursive to compare….. and sure enough his own signature shone as ‘the one.’ It wasn’t perfect….. it was a touch filled in and hard to read. I went through some steps to clean it up, vectorize it, create slight tweaks for legibility of certain letters. While you can’t easily read his name……. it is a stylized signature logo. It won’t be used without a reference to his website etc. so nobody was concerned.  The PORTRAIT ART section was a classic serif font to lend itself to his traditional photography knowledge and roots but yet in an upscale modern way. A nice combination of creative flow and elegant timeless style.

Here’s the funny part….. this logo had long been approved when Chad showed me how popular signature logos and watermarks are becoming, apps making them and such……. I didn’t know.  Glad I designed it before I saw the other links or I would have wanted to go a completely different way maybe just because! 😉  However, an authentic signature feels real. A ‘fake one’ that someone has designed for you by an app……. or someone for hire….. has zero soul.

Had a great time designing their new logo! If you need a logo revamp, let me know! I live for this type of conceptual artwork.

logo design for photographers

Pantone’s 2017 color of the year

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Album Design, Album Printing &/or Binding Companies, Photography Business | 0 comments

Pantone has announced it’s color of 2017: Greenery 15-0343 (Hex#93b658) !

Pantone’s Executive Director says: “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we week with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

How do they pick just one color to represent a year?  Pantone states that this is a “symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and attitude.”

I think instinctually everyone not only is ready for a fresh feeling start to the New Year in December, but also has an emotional connection to color and in general the color green can represent:

  • nature
  • freshness
  • life
  • new beginnings
  • spring
  • oxygen – fresh air
  • new ideas

If you’re a photographer, how can you use green in 2017?

I’ve done a little digging……. here are some album companies that offer unique cover materials in many different styles of greens from very warm or cool / saturated or earthy khaki brown ….. finding THE ‘greenery’ green was a true day-long challenge!

The companies with the closest match are: VisionArt (limeade) seemed to hit the flavor of the color of the year – the closest, with Graphistudio coming in second. PictoBooks has a light green that feels similar too.  Interestingly, none in genuine leather.  The largest selection over all in the ‘green family’ goes to Graphistudio.

  • Remember, any swatches viewed online will vary from the real swatch in hand – and from dye lots too. Most companies offer sample swatches for sale.

Finao Cover Materials in Green

 

VisionArt cover materials in green

 

Millers cover swatches in green

 

Graphistudio cover swatches in green

 

Queensberry cover materials in green

 

WHCC green cover swatches

 

 

 

 

Picto cover swatches in green

Chicago family album design

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Album Design, Album Design for Babies, Kids & Families, Album Design for Tweens & Teens | 0 comments

This family is so unique and fun! I have designed a few albums for them for photographer Chanel Apsey of Your Reflection Your Style. These Cubs fans love their outfits, themes and settings – a sterile, museum like white background designed layout is NOT their personality.  I always custom design for every client, zero templates or automated programs for me!!  I’ll hand layout every aspect of the book and add extra design elements if the client will enjoy it – and I know these guys do! Check out this fun Chicago themed book!  If you do not want a cookie cutter album design and want to work with a graphic designer with a decade of testimonials let’s talk! :)
Album Design for Families

Album Design for Families

Album Design for Families

Album Design for Families

Album Design for Families

Album Design for Families

Album Design for Families
Album Design for Families

Album Design for Families

album design, families, teens, tweens, Chicago, layered design style

Studio Sample album for Capitale, NY

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Album Design, Album Design for Studio Portfolios/Samples, Album Printing &/or Binding Companies, Design for Marketing, Promotion & Presentation | 0 comments

Providing popular venues with a sample from your studio is a very wise idea. One such popular venue is called Capitale in New York city. It’s a stunningly opulent place for high end events that is in an old bank. Danny Weiss asked me to design a studio sample for him so that his name is in front of prospective brides! He likes to leave the cover material up to me….. we never just do ‘black’ for a venue sample – we want to stand out. Venue samples are designed way differently than an album for a wedding couple. The venue wants their unique offerings to shine first and foremost: the space, people enjoying their space, flowers, decor, dance floor, lighting……. it’s all about them. :) Also logo placement is more obvious, you would never put your studio logo on the first page and the back!!  Here are some layouts from this studio sample book.

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples
Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

Album Design for Studio Venue Samples

album design for studio venue samples

High School Senior Album for Actress

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 in Album Design, Album Design for Tweens & Teens | 0 comments

I love designing albums for high school seniors because it’s so fun reading about their hopes and dreams for their future. I love how Carey Anne photographs their hobbies and passions – in this case our subject was a theatre lover! There are many photos of her on stage, dressed up etc. Too fun! Our daughter loves the stage too, so I could almost imagine her in a few years time being in the same milestone of life. Here are a few layouts from this book.  Are you a high school senior photographer? I would love to custom design for you and your special seniors.

High School Senior Album Design

High School Senior Album Design

High School Senior Album Design

High School Senior Album Design

High School Senior Album Design

High School Senior Album Design

High School Senior Album Design

High School Senior Album Design

High School Senior Album Design

High School Senior Album Design

Album Design for High School Seniors

nature&nurture – print & web

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Design for Marketing, Promotion & Presentation, Graphic Design, Internet | 0 comments

Elizabeth Weiss was launching her new health coaching business, nature&nurture, llc and needed some important print & web pieces designed. She already had an awesome logo and wanted the rest of her materials to match the same look and feel, colors – passion for wellness.  She had a number of logo choices which we showed to friends, family – and me – and we all put in our 2 cents on which ones we liked best. I’m glad this one ‘won’ ! :)

I designed her business cards, stickers, Facebook headers and customized her WordPress blog site so she could get writing and sharing.  Once she got rolling she needed some promo pieces for nature walks too.  Her love for health is inspiring and we wish her the very best on her business venture!

Graphic Design Business CardsBusiness Card Front

Graphic Design Business CardsBusiness Card Back

Graphic Design Gift CertificateGift Certificates (details blurred out for privacy)

Graphic Design StickerStickers

Graphic Design Facebook BannerFacebook header

Graphic DesignGift Basket Sticker

Graphic Design
Nature Walk Promos – 2 different seasons

Graphic Design

Graphic Design Web Site Blogsite

WordPress Website – base theme by PanKogut 
Mock Up of our customizations shown

graphic design, website, blogsite, stickers, business cards, labels, promotional flyers, labels, gift certificates

Senior Dedication

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Album Design for Tweens & Teens, Graphic Design | 0 comments

While I’ve designed countless High School seniors’  books, grad announcements, collage storyboards and more for our clients – this might be the first ‘dedication.’  To protect for privacy I’ve blurred out the personal message and surname. Mom had requested certain things like the film strip and soft gradient faded edges.  I share this because I have a soft spot for parents and the milestones that they experience with their kids! I want to tear up just thinking about myself writing a dedication like this for my kids in the future!! Hanging on to every day we have with them at the ages that they are today. :)  Thank you Carey Anne Photography for the opportunity to get sentimental this week. :)

Graphic Design for High School Seniors

Graphic Design for High School Seniors, yearbook dedications, ads

Website Renovation Service

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Design for Marketing, Promotion & Presentation, Graphic Design, Internet | 0 comments

Every few years some photographers like to change up their website to keep it fresh. This is the second time that I have had the pleasure of helping Jenny Nourse Photography renovate their website. In this case she moved her site over to photobiz to try them out.  After helping her choose a ‘template’ offered by photobiz that would best match her identity/brand we got to work importing over copy, changing colors, putting in logo, setting up the backend outlines for pages, about us and contact page.  I formatted the text on the home page, made custom graphics for the thumbnails, and slider graphics for the slideshow.

The photobiz template gallery slider window was set and was very panoramic in format. This makes single vertical images and most horizontal images look icky and awkward. She didn’t want to just have one image per slide, so I  custom laid out individual slides for her slideshows for her categories: Families, Children, Seniors….

Some with solid colors, with or without her JP logo swirls – others with multiple image collages to show a subject shot in different clothes, poses etc. This works much better than just having one image of one person per slide and doesn’t show enough variety in the same amount of browsing time.

If you’re in Massachusetts and are looking for beautifully lit, professional portraiture – please contact Jenny Nourse Photography. They have been in the photography business for 70 years !! Three generations of creative and strong women: Grandmother Jenny, Mom Jennifer and Daughter Molly.

Graphic Design and Web Design for Photographers

Home page with slideshow automatically alternated a split screen of two images per region. The order upload dictated which was loaded first, so this had to be carefully planned. I interspersed blocks of her signature pattern to break up some of the photos as well.

Graphic Design and Web Design for Photographers

Seniors Slideshow – 2 views of same Senior put together for seamless slide

Graphic Design and Web Design for Photographers

Seniors Slideshow – with logo graphics

Graphic Design and Web Design for Photographers

Seniors Slideshow – two views of same Senior, 1 slide

Graphic Design and Web Design for Photographers

Seniors Slideshow – four views of same Senior, 1 slide
Used same background color in between to make it appear as separate photos


If you’re looking for help with your website or blog, we have created multiple websites either from scratch (old school html in Dreamweaver), from an existing services’ templates which needed set up and customization (like SquareSpace, photobiz, BluDomain, and zenfolio) or hybrid template blogsite using WordPress with other individually sourced base template styles (which also always need customizing too!!)  Each has it’s pros and cons….. for another blog post article. :)

Let’s talk!

Blogsite, Web design, Graphic Design for photographers