Our team, led by Grover Sanschagrin, has been hard at work moving our product forward, but we wanted to share some background information on our new look and the process behind the changes.
In 2020, PhotoShelter is celebrating our 15th anniversary, and this moment presented a unique opportunity to take a hard look at the company we are and the one we aspire to be.
At the beginning of this year, we set out to reinvent PhotoShelter with an ambitious, customer-driven series of new product launches and capabilities. Our team has been hard at work making our products even more valuable for photographers and creative brands, from design improvements, new portfolio templates, and SEO enhancements for photographers, to collaboration tools, workflow integrations, enterprise capabilities, and artificial intelligence for creative teams. While all of our lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19, social distance, and social unrest, we’ve remained committed to our 2020 plans and have used them to motivate us through this period of crisis.
As our products evolve, so does our identity. Alongside these new innovations, we’ve updated our branding, graphics and brand framework, as well.
PhotoShelter’s iconic “P Cube” logo has been in place for nearly a decade. Its design and the message it imparts has been about safety, security, and containment – a platform to store your image files.
Professional photographers trust this safe haven with their most valuable images. PhotoShelter has become not only a place for photographers to keep their images but a service to manage, organize, distribute, display and sell them. Internally, we refer to these capabilities as “Core” and it is the heart of our business.
Brands, too, have come to trust us with their photos, videos, logos and more. Our digital asset management tool, Libris by PhotoShelter, has grown to support over 1,200 visually-driven brands, sports teams, universities and creative organizations across industries over the past five years.
This sense of trust is a core pillar of our business – but we know you trust us to do more than store your creative work. You trust us to give it life, to move it quickly so it can make an impact in the world.
So we asked ourselves, how can we create a new visual identity that reflects how you truly see us?
“Brand Architecture” is a fancy way of saying, “Who are you?” One way to find out who you are is by asking others what they think about you. We had the opportunity to work with Sullivan NYC, a top brand strategy agency, to ask longtime customers and members, new clients, prospects, and our staff to help us develop a 360 view of our company and our products.
We heard a lot of valuable insights in these sessions, some wonderfully encouraging and some that hit close to the bone. You shared amazing stories about how we have helped you thrive, how essential we are to your creative lives, and how our company values were felt and appreciated, both externally and internally. Shout out to the person who called us an “icon” – you made our whole team’s day.
But one thing we heard repeatedly was that our brand didn’t represent the creative community as well as it could…oh, and as much as we called our product for brands, “Libris,” you all called it “PhotoShelter.”
We took all of these research sessions and findings and developed a few scenarios for how best to move forward. The path we chose is a “Master Brand Strategy” – one brand name that unites it all.
Our brand, PhotoShelter, is proven, reliable and unique. It means something to our members, our clients and our team. What we realized is that we didn’t need to reinvent the brand. We needed to take hold of who we are, invest in our values and personality…and “sunset” the Libris brand name.
So, what does this mean for you – our members and clients? Simply, our company is called PhotoShelter. We have two main products, PhotoShelter for Photographers (individual image-makers) and PhotoShelter for Brands (brands, teams and organizations) – one product built for photographers to power their image businesses, and one for brand creative teams to manage and deploy their visual media – with a shared mission to transform the way creative people work.
Our agency partners at Sullivan helped guide our way with message points, unique product attributes and the language we could rely on to tell our story. Authentic, unique and relevant. They helped us develop our new positioning line – “The Power of a Moment” – as the keystone to hold it all together. “The Power of a Moment” is not about us. It’s about you – our members and clients.
You fill our servers with images that change the way the world sees an issue, pictures that inspire and lead to deep reflection, pure aesthetic joy, breaking news, the winning shot, the 9th inning home run, the stories that launch brands, and the campaigns that move products. These are the “moments” that matter – and we’ve built our product to help unlock their potential.
We strive to empower creative workflow and to help you share visual stories that make a meaningful impact. We’re not just a “shelter.” We are a gateway that helps you transform raw creativity into expression and engagement.
Throughout this process, we’ve uncovered our “Brand Personality.” The words are simple: “All In, Dynamic and Heartfelt.” When we heard them, we felt them right away. The team at PhotoShelter brings these traits to work every day. It’s how we treat one another and how we behave with our members and clients. Every day. Every person. All the time.
The final question was, how do we translate our position and personality to our brand, design elements and marketing communications? Our internal design team, led by Creative Director Todd Owyoung, advocated for the work to be done in-house. This made a lot of sense. We are a team of creative souls – writers, photographers, comedians, musicians, and designers – who love our company and our customers. Taking the work in-house was an easy decision. Nobody knows us better than those who work together to build our future every day.
Anyone who has been through a brand redesign knows how painful this process can be, so I won’t get into it in great depth. Mood boards, mockups, design reviews, solutions that fizzle in the air, ideas out of left-field and strokes of genius. Ultimately, we decided to build off the core and “reimagine versus reinvent.” What seems like an easy decision is the result of a thousand little choices that led to the outcome.
The “P Cube” (our name for the old logo) has served PhotoShelter well. Today, it has evolved into “The Loop.” We softened our edges, went full-spectrum color, and gave it some character, depth and dimension. We made it both a complete loop and a window into a moment. The mark symbolizes more than just a shelter. It’s a portal and a viewpoint to share visual stories, just like we are.
We believe this is more than a cosmetic change; it’s foundational. The Loop brings together both of our product lines under one brand, connecting two complementary services and unifying our company at the intersection point between artists, image-makers and the creative teams who tell visual stories for the brands they represent.
One mark. One company. One name. With individual product lines built to serve the visual communications needs of our members and clients. PhotoShelter for Photographers and PhotoShelter for Brands. Under one umbrella company name, PhotoShelter Inc.
Throughout this process, you have been our inspiration. Thank you for motivating us to be All In, Heartfelt and Dynamic.
We hope you like our new look. And from now on, just call us PhotoShelter. We know you already do!
Thank you for coming to my TedTalk. 🙂