Proud to Present: a calm and peaceful brand identity for Still by Paul Sanders
Paul Sanders is one of my favourite people, and a dear friend of all of us at Ditto. We first met him back in 2011 when he’d just resigned from his prestigious role as Picture Editor at The Times to forge a career as a freelance fine art landscape photographer (thinking about it, a great deal of friendships have been formed when we’ve printed the first set of business cards for someone taking their first tentative steps into solopreneurship…). Paul quickly became a regular visitor to the Ditto studio and a wonderful friend to us all - so much so that when we relocated to North Frith Farm, Paul not only helped us to move in but was allocated his own desk! So if you’ve ever wondered who that spare desk is for… it’s Paul’s.
Paul is an inordinately talented photographer. He’s a calm and gentle soul, the sort of person who immediately makes you feel at ease. Something that I adore Paul for is his honesty - he has spoken openly about his challenges with anxiety and depression which has made him an inspiring voice within the photographic community. He is regularly featured within some of the biggest photography magazines, where he writes about both his signature style and the way in which he uses photography to improve his mental health (Paul speaks very openly about his battle with depression, something that makes him even braver still). When he told us about his new venture, I knew he’d be incredible… and when he told us that he intended to hire us to take care of his brand identity, we were honoured. Working for a friend brings with it a different kind of pressure; of course, you want to deliver your best work for any client, but when that client is such a close friend, you really, really want to do them proud. Anyway. Let me tell you the full story of Paul’s new business. It’s called Still, and it’s amazing.
Having spent the last few years running photographic workshops across the world, Paul’s name has become synonymous with his unhurried tutorship, along with the long exposure style which is the envy of many a budding photographer. Still by Paul Sanders is his new venture which brings together the very best of his talents and unique experience. Running one to one and small group workshops and retreats, Paul is offering an incredible opportunity for people to discover a better way to connect with the world around them, guiding them to live more in the present and discover gratitude. This is not just about photography, but aspiring to a more contented and happy life. Still hosts photography workshops with a mindfulness approach. From intimate group workshops to flagship one to one weekend retreats hosted in a beautifully appointed shepherds hut, workshops by Still are never about the photos, but about discovering a different perspective.
Through Still, Paul imparts an understanding of how to see, how to observe and how to connect with a world that we normally rush through. Guests will emerge feeling more positive, more aware, somehow lighter and with a sense of calm. And while guests will have their photographs as a tangible reminder of their experience, the real benefits are far more powerful: the opportunity to see the world a little differently, and the knowledge that they can regain that sense of connectedness at any time.
Perhaps surprisingly for sessions run by such an accomplished photographer, the level of photography or arsenal of equipment that guests may possess is completely unimportant. Instead, the focus is on the way in which we see our surroundings, and in turn, building an awareness of our own emotional wellbeing. In a world where we’re constantly accelerating, guests are invited to slow down, open their eyes and discover the beauty of the what's around them. It’s a chance to step off the day to day treadmill and simply be. Workshops by Still are a luxury retreat: an immersive and transformative experience which have the power to influence guests’ outlook on life for a very long time.
Colour Psychology season personality
The seasons which best represent Still are Summer and Autumn. Summer is the season which represents you best; summer personalities possess a delicacy and lightness of touch, along with the ability to bring order to chaos. Gentle and perceptive, summer personalities are uncomfortable with over statement of anything, making them quiet characters who shine softly rather than yelling about their latest achievement. Summer personalities are able to keep their cool and are rarely ruffled. Elegant, stylish and with an artistic flair, quality is key to the summer personality. Their style, creativity and love of beautiful aesthetics brings an artfulness and lightness to all that the summer personality touches. They’re obsessed by detail and work incredibly hard to make sure that every last thing is just so.
Meanwhile, Autumn personalities are highly independent and unafraid to do things their own way. They are great campaigners and have a strong sense of justice, working hard for their cause. Warm, friendly, loyal and earthy characters, they have a great love and respect for the natural world and are definitely more rural than urban souls, happiest when they’re able to fill their lungs with fresh, clean air whilst they revel in the freedom that being in nature affords them.
The balance of these two seasons creates a brand which is gentle, aspirational and refined yet with enough strength to feel grounded and enduring - something which is dependable yet beautiful..
There’s a quiet confidence to this brand which I completely adore - an understated elegance which represents Paul’s personality so perfectly. It’s an unhurried and pared back brand where everything has a place, reflecting the sense of simplicity that Paul intends to instil within his guests. It’s not flashy or busy or demanding attention - it gently welcomes people in without demanding too much attention.
We wanted to create a series of illustrations for Paul’s brand and were inspired by a project of his where he photographed flowers, capturing their silhouettes in an incredibly beautiful way. This lead us to create a series of illustrations with elegant, flowing lines that look striking when used in an abstract way. And we seem to be having something of a watercolour moment over here right now - Dan has worked his magic once again and created some really gorgeous watercolour textures that possess exactly the level of depth and flow that this brand requires. I love them!
You’ll probably have noticed from previous brand reveals that normally when working with creatives, we place their work at the heart of what we create to ensure that whatever we produce echoes their natural creative style. We broke the rules a little for Still, as what’s being sold here isn’t Paul’s photography but the workshops and retreats that he runs. So whilst we’ve been mindful of Paul’s style to make sure that the new visual style doesn’t jar with his stunning photography, we’ve looked beyond his work to create something that has the sense of calm that’s right for the business.
Paul has celebrated the launch of Still with an incredibly well-attended exhibition, and today unveiled his new website, which you can see right here. I’m so proud of what we’ve all created together, and I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Paul on this incredible new venture.