Logo & Branding

The light that attracts the moths... that elusive quality that lifts one brand above the rest... what is that? Songwriter Jimmy Webb wrote about catching "lightning in a bottle"—"one little miracle that has to succeed." But in the world of branding and marketing does it really take a miracle to stand out from the crowd?

When we look at individual logos and logo collections in design books and online these days, the factor that stands out is... similarity. In any given year, the current design trend can be seen across the broad swath of logos and brand marks. We see the same fonts within the same crests, badges, emblems, and in the same configurations. It's almost as if all of the logos were created by the same designer, on the same day, for the same brand. Flat and minimalist designs have dominated in recent years, and in many cases there is little that visually distinguishes one brand from another. If sameness is in, how do you stand out?

It doesn't take a miracle. It takes departure from the ordinary, effective messaging, and a sense of aesthetic purpose. A logo or branding element should convey the identity of the brand, not whatever trend the designer is following.

A Brief Case Study

I recently did a logo redesign for Duryea Moving & Storage in Denton, Texas. Their old logo was pixelated, blurry, and not so easy to read. My objective was to create a new logo that more crisply and readily reflected the company's identity. Duryea has been in business for over 35 years and is one of the most well-respected and highly reviewed moving companies in Texas. They are an interstate agent of Wheaton World Wide Moving, so their new logo needed to incorporate the parent company's colors.

I started by rendering the company name in various fonts until it stood out in one particular font—or, actually—leapt out, reflecting the brand's strength and longevity. Next, I wanted the design to convey a subtle visual message: "we move our clients up in the world." An arrow pointing straight upward was overly obvious and just didn't work. After some experimentation I took a cue from their old logo, turned the bottom banner showing the company's home city into an arrow, and tilted the entire logo upward: with experience, care, and capable hands—we move our clients up in the world.

I felt the new logo was a colorful and bold representation of Duryea's core competencies and they agreed. It can be used online, in print, even emblazoned on their fleet of moving trucks. After giving me the opportunity to build their new website around the logo redesign the client is happy, the parent company is happy, and all involved are enjoying watching a steady rise in search engine rankings. If you're trying to catch lightning in a bottle these days, search engine rankings are where the rubber meets the road.

My job is to put your unique identity into your logo and branding. At the end of the day that's what lifts your brand out of the white noise and into the vista (and allows me to add a successful project to my portfolio). What is it that sets your company apart from others in your field? What is it that draws customers to your competitors? How can your company become the light that draws the moths?

It's your story to tell, and I can help you tell it. I can't help thinking big, but I sweat the details.

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