Brand Identity Development

Your Brand Is The Foundation Upon Which Your Business Exists in the Minds of Your Customers. A brand is constructed through multiple layers and traits—not unlike a human. Characteristics like personality, values, story and promise are just a few of the building blocks that a well-developed company will use to connect with its stakeholders and grow. GrahamSpencer is committed to helping our clients establish, nurture and sustain relationships with their audiences through an holistic approach to brand development that is based in art, strategy and process. At GrahamSpencer, we have spent more than three decades perfecting the research-based method in which  we approach brand design, naming and growth. We call that method GSearch. GSearch is a respected, time-tested strategic platform on which we’ve built many, many client brands (and their logos) since 1987. Our clients’ businesses, institutions’ and organizations’ identities need to be on solid strategic footing and GSearch is the method we most often use to create that certainty. 


A Rose by any Other Name Would be a Missed Opportunity. Years ago a local business could implement a name that rated higher in a phone book’s alphabetical listings to gain traction – which is one reason why owners so often defaulted to names like “A-1 Heat Treating.” That methodology doesn’t work as well today due to map technology on web and mobile searches showing a wider array of competition and reviews capable of influencing consumers’  decisions. Regardless of your business’s, institution’s or organization’s size, its name needs to be memorable, communicate a clear vision that helps inform the entire brand experience and it must avoid being so generic that the name struggles to gain traction on digital searches. When developing brand names, the team at GrahamSpencer strives to create options that are at once “ownable” and applicable in the real world. And we work hard to create options that are direct and authentic, as was the case with Prairie Street Brewing Co, a client that needed to walk away from its original Rockford Brewing Co name for trademark interference reasons – and The HELM Group, whose many divisions were named after the business categories they served. 

Helm Branding on Work Vehicle

Identity & Graphic Design

A Great Logo Will Deliver Value for Decades. The identity is the visual/audio manifestation of a brand. It’s how a brand communicates itself to internal and external audiences. Ideally, a brand’s logo, colors, fonts, voice/tone and imagery integrate cohesively to communicate a unique and clear message within its industry. GrahamSpencer has helped develop timeless identities for over 30 years and continues to evolve within our ever-changing landscape. 

For Rock River Valley Blood Center, whose previous logo depicted a giant drop of blood hovering over a river, we humanized the concept and made it about the organization’s donors – the most important part of its business model. The identity features a simple humanistic icon, the organization’s name and the impactful tagline “Straight From the Heart” – a reference to the generous donors who save lives with their generosity. The trio of logo, name and tagline are called an “identity lockup.” Big Grove Brewing Co of Iowa City and Solon, Iowa set another fine example of a beautiful icon married with graceful, customized typography helping add nuance to the name and story behind the business. GrahamSpencer’s proprietary marketing research methodology, GSearch, helped fuel the mythical “hop tree” brand identity concept, a more expansive brand position, new menus, elements of the exterior and interior design, packaging design, merchandising concepts, and more.