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Gotham General Carpentry

TASK: “Re-create a brand with a decade’s worth of name recognition, and erase the past when it comes to brand identity and web presence. OH! And the logo has to be a monogram that is encapsulated as one iconic form.”

A challenge I have recently encountered, is the scenario where you become popular as a designer in a specific industry. In this particular case, the industry is the general contractor and construction industry. Every client I have had the wonderful pleasure of working with, has made the same request… “Make me better than ‘such and such’ on your portfolio”. This in itself poses a challenge, because you are put in a predicament where a client wants you to best their competitor, however their competitor is still a client of yours… Therefore this is more of a morals and ideals challenge, and a psychological one at best — You can’t play favorites in this industry, and you cannot seem like a mercenary, willing to go beyond the constraints of proper business etiquette, design principles and your moral compass, for the highest bidder. Much like the principles of design, balance not only applies to form and function, but in proper business relations and execution.

The other challenge here, is the total freedom granted. While this sounds ideal, and dreamlike – having a client that is not present throughout the process can backfire on you. Their lack of involvement could lead to a full execution of concepts that could be rejected. Overall, the development of a brand needs to be an intimate one – both partners need to be adamantly involved in the concept, creation and final execution.

Nonetheless, with proper experience, you will know how to navigate these choppy waters, and make it to shore safely. That is exactly what occurred here – I had to push for communication and stand my ground firm. These clients were fantastic, understanding, and willing to let me the designer do what I do best — provide effective research results, solid preliminary concepts, and help them understand the system behind the brand identity I have created.

Deliverables to execute for client brand identity project:


When a client is not present, due to having a busy and constantly growing business, you have to take reign of the situation and essentially behave as both the client and client provider – wearing these hats will help you prepare and predict the challenges that may lie ahead. The main discovery in the previous iterations of the brand identities, was that they were missing the main elements of what a brand identity is… None of the attempts were a true brand that you can relate with visually or psychologically. In addition, these marks missed the MARK (pun intended), because there was nothing that truly made the elements identifiable, clever, or provided a stunning silhouette that would stand out, yet still reside in the intended environment without being too obnoxious or abrasive.

This is where we circle back to the genesis of this project… They are so busy, and focusing on what matters most – THE BUSINESS. There is nothing wrong with that, but you can’t have a scenario where you hire an architect to build a home, the contractors and construction crew shows up, starts building and then you show up to make revisions and adjustments… It just makes everything more complicated and will show afterthought, and will become a patchwork of sorts — people will see the the inconsistencies, the breakdown in communication and the lack of a seamless experience. These same issues are relevant to this form of design — YOUR IDENTITY NEEDS TO IDENTIFY WHO YOU ARE AND ALLOW YOU TO STAND OUT IN A VAST SEA OF COMPETITORS.


My objective is simple… I conceptualize concepts and final products that are subtle yet stunning; that are simple yet engaging… I create symmetry and my goal is always to create a microcosm for the identity I am working on. The end result I feel hit all these nails on the head; I created a logo and brand identity that worked in multiple uses and for multiple environments that allowed the identity to stand out yet fit proudly on its application — the one thing I hate, is a logotype that just feels “PLOPPED” onto its environment. I am going to take a page out of the Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv book – “When a graphic designer sits down to create a symbol for an institution or a company, one of the most basic decisions to take is whether the image should be abstract or should represent something recognizable.” — In this case I have performed my task and performed it more than well – I created an identity that is a bold G with function, works in multiple sizes, performs the way it should in its respective environments, and to boot has a clever approach to a monogram… YES, there is a G and C hidden in the G logo-form… GGC.