Here’s a great example of the branding power Trademark can bring to a small business. Quantitative Sampling Technologies (QST) is a new company that makes highly specialized equipment for tracking salmon as they swim upstream. As a start-up business targeting a narrow market, they knew it was crucial to start things off on the right foot. So, they came to Trademark. Our first meeting with QST was very early in the formation of the company. They had a very clean slate with regard to their visual identity — they had no logo, and no brand-standards. As usual, before any pencils met paper, Trademark’s designers took great lengths to thoroughly understand the company. What exactly does QST do? Who are the people behind the company, and what’s important to them? Who are QST’s customers, and what makes them tick? This kind of research is crucial — without it we’d be designing in a vacuum.
Here are some hand-sketches that came out of the earliest phases of the design process:
The logo design process is layered, and sequential. As we showed with State and Lemp, a logo doesn’t simply emerge from thin air — it takes hours of research, brainstorming, sketching, refinement, customer-review, and further refinement before the logo can satisfy both designer and customer alike. Here are some of the designs that were investigated along the way:
Just like a painter doesn’t finish a painting with a single brushstroke, a logo isn’t completed with a single draft. It’s carefully polished until it’s exactly what the customer wants. In QST’s case, the process yielded a beautiful logo that is both informative and visually appealing. A finished Trademark logo comes with a spec-sheet that includes Pantone colors, font choices, and two-color versions of the logo:
Once the logo was approved, Trademark incorporated it throughout a full suite of collateral. We designed business cards, brochures, letterhead, envelopes, trade-show banners, and stencils — everything QST’s salespeople would need to represent the company in a professional and stylish way. Here’s some of the completed collateral:
Next, Trademark went to work on QST’s products themselves. For the Qube, we designed a separate logo for the device that incorporates visual elements from the primary logo. We created an interesting and attractive graphic for the device itself, and gave the interface panel a facelift. This allowed QST to achieve a custom look using off-the-shelf components. The finished devices look great:
We also designed a corresponding logo for the Q-Form software, and applied that to the CD label. The Q-Form logo was designed to interact well with the primary QST logo, and the Qube logo seamlessly:
QST is a small start-up business trying to break into a competitive and specialized market — but they came to Trademark. They invested in the quality of their design work and the depth of their branding, and dramatically improved their chances for success because of it. Yes, the up-front costs of high-quality design can be high, but they’re insignificant compared to the costs of a second-rate logo and terrible brand integration. Remember: you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure it’s a good one. Is your business ready for the Trademark touch?