One Brand To Unite Them All
Let me introduce you to Logan Simpson, a very unique design and planning firm spread across 6 offices and 5 states. Seeing as 2015 was the firm’s 25th anniversary, the time had come to rebrand and give the company a more modern and appropriate look & feel. Something that would honor the company’s roots and retain it’s noble aesthetic & visual recognition while infusing a reinvigorated attitude that mirrored their updated vision statement and directive moving into the next 25 years. The firm had exponentially expanded since it’s start in both physical size and suite of services…the brand needed to illustrate that maturity and diversity as well as create new interest in what was to come.
So the big checkpoints for this project were crafting a new logo, upgrading the graphic standards and templates for printed & digital collateral, styling new business cards and stationary, bringing in a completely new website, giving the physical offices a face-lift through newly styled wall art, and theming and coordinating the 25th anniversary celebration. It was a true overhaul, retrofitting a knowledgeable and proven practice with new parts, interiors, and a some fresh coats of candy paint.
With the needs established, attention shifted to one of the bigger questions: How do we re-unify such an increasingly diverse firm? You see, Logan Simpson had grown from only 3 people to over 120 professionals that spanned across landscape architecture, community planning, environmental consulting & permitting, visual resource management, cultural & archaeological services, and biological preservation. It was a much broader cross-section of specialists than it was back in the earlier days. Based on my experience with the firm and all the conversations and notes taken though, I felt that the direction of the firm was really not far off from it’s original heading. It had just matured and widened to encapsulate so many more things.
To find the unifying element here it required nothing more than to look down at our feet. That’s right, our Earth.
All the service lines felt like various artisans, all tapping into our planet’s deep array of textures and materials, plants and animals, both past and future. Painters, if you will, all working alongside each other on that canvas we call Earth (oh, poetry).
So then came one of the best parts for me, the designing of the logo. I can’t tell you how many versions I worked through but I started giving them nicknames after awhile for fun. Some versions would be met with resounding approval while others would be immediately dismissed by the reviewing group. (This is good though, finding direction is the name of the game) The most appealing versions would get tested on various collateral mock-ups to test their mettle one step further. I also took some time to experiment with a few logo versions that could be broken apart, much like tangrams, to reform again in unique imagery that spoke to the firm’s specialties.
After much back-and-forth on whether to consolidate the three shapes of the logo into one or maintain three individual forms, a final decision was made to keep it closer to the original outline. Once this was settled, it was only a matter of time before the final logo breached the fog.
The collective figures would be known as the Stewards of the Earth.
Each symbol representative of a different basic mineral or texture of the Earth. The harder and more angular aesthetic of rock and boulder, the smooth and irregular curves of flowing water, and the wild, life-giving nature of soil. Now each figure in the logo wasn’t just a rough sketched silhouette. They each had a unique character that helped them establish an identity while still being subtle enough in the design that they strongly resembled the original logo when used as the established triplicate form.
The title of the firm was also officially consolidated at this point from “Logan Simpson Design Inc.” to a shortened hyper-word “L O G A N S I M P S O N”. This was for two reasons: to both show a strong merging of their forces into one voice and also drop the “Design Inc.” to eliminate the lean towards design-only services.
With the logo established and everyone on board with a cleaned up, modern, and more purposeful aesthetic, I started threading the style into areas like printed materials, website, wall art, and various others.
Stop by and check out the site for yourself!
Celebrations came to a wonderful fever pitch during the firm’s 25th anniversary party, complete with Sonoran desert infused foods, native wildflower mix handouts, bean bag tournaments, locally-sourced spirits, live music, and a visit from some amazing feathered friends courtesy of Wild At Heart. Helping plan and theme the event was a pure labor of love and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. It really showcased the wide range of knowledge the firm has to offer and with the new brand to back it, leads them confidently into the next 25 years.
Wait, this thing won an award?
That it did! The Logan Simpson rebrand effort clinched the 2016 SMPS marketing award for “Best Corporate Identity”.