On the Origin of Branding

“A brand name is more than a word. It is the beginning of a conversation.” Lexicon

“The word “brand” is derived from the Old Norse brandr meaning ‘to burn.’ It refers to the practice of producers burning their mark (brand) onto their products.” A good example of this is the practice of burning one’s brand into cattle as an identifier. This mark made on each animal created a distinction in product from one rancher’s stock to the next. The better a rancher did on the cattle in meat markets the more important his mark, or his branding is to the consumer and in turn to the rancher. A wonderful example of a photograph which depicts this, is the iconic image created by Sam Abell of Montana cowboys branding cattle.

I have recently gone through a “re-branding” myself, in partnership with the wonderful people at Agency Access. We have revised the colors and font used in all of my correspondence and revised the mark which accompanies my photographic work. I have enjoyed the process and it has caused me to think deeply about how I wish to graphically represent the effort, time and expense that goes into my business. (For more on Agency Access please see the wonderful interview of Keith Gentile written by Rob Haggart on his blog A Photo Editor.)

Branding has become key to me because I wish to visually stand behind the creative work which I do.  I am grateful that I now communicate that stance clearly with a graphic that helps clients easily recognize my business as one of quality and professionalism.