SoulDog Creative Logo and Brand Design
Building a brand with soul
Marika Moffitt is an extraordinary pet photographer, but she’s much, much more than that. She’s a coach. An entrepreneur. Someone always striving to lead, to give back, and to lift others.
And although her brand—Dirtie Dog Photography—had served her well for years, it started to become too small, too limiting for someone with such a grand vision. Marika wants to empower women to tell the stories of their “soul dogs” through photo, video, and audio. She wants to create deeper connections with story-driven artwork. And she wants these stories and experiences to inspire and build community.
It was time for a brand with additional depth and meaning. She already knew the name: SoulDog Creative. But she wanted help creating the rest of the SoulDog story.
We’ve admired Marika’s work from the moment Chalkbox owner Josh met her in 2017. Over the years, she had seen a great deal of our work, too, and she knew a handful of our other clients. We were honored that she trusted us with a project so close to her heart.
At the outset, we took a deeper dive into Marika’s vision and mission. We knew she wanted to elevate the company beyond photography and empower women while building connections, but the true scope is even more impressive. This new brand is meant to encompass education, coaching, leadership, organizing, even public speaking. Additionally, she isn’t looking to compete directly with pet photographers; because her ideal client is a very small slice of the overall market, Marika plans to help other photographers grow their businesses with pet owners who aren’t the right fit for SoulDog.
We did look at “competitors” throughout the region, but we couldn’t find anyone doing the same thing as Marika. She is focused on community-building and sharing, bringing her own vulnerability to the table to help clients feel welcome—from those early in their journey to people grieving after losing a pet. We had a clear opportunity to differentiate SoulDog as a deeper experience. And because many pet-related companies utilize common themes such as paw prints and cartoon-style logos, we knew we also needed to go deeper as designers.
As we began the creative process, we were careful not to get too cute—but on the other hand, it was important to keep things joyful, rather than somber or too serious. We sketched almost to exhaustion, avoiding clichés and things that felt familiar.
Marika collaborated with us every step of the way, participating in lively conversations and actively working to help find the right direction. She was particularly interested in color; while many photographers utilize black/gray/white for their brands, Marika likes to refer to “SoulDog light,” a glow that makes everything magical. As an experienced visual artist whose own work is beautiful, vibrant, and filled with emotion, she provided invaluable input.
Bold, personal, accessible
The SoulDog Creative icon is assured and refined, but open and inviting. With a leaping, ethereal dog set against the moon and stars, it implies an upward trajectory that captures a crucial moment in a bigger story. The colors are soft yet strong, with sunrise and nighttime gradients symbolizing the entire journey we share with our pets—while providing a device through which Marika can share her own SoulDog story and engage with clients on a personal level.
The branding evokes a sense of freedom and wildness, bringing to mind the playful joy inherent in dogs. It is an invitation for people to become part of a community in which they can forge stronger bonds with one another and revel in the gifts our dogs so selflessly share with us.
‘I felt a flutter’’
“When I saw this design, I felt a flutter in my stomach,” Marika wrote on Facebook after the project was complete. “Surely, they couldn’t have created something that so vividly embodies what I feel about dogs. But they did. And when I saw it, I felt it all. … I felt SoulDog.”