I was first contacted about designing a logo for Geiser, Bowman & McLafferty, LLC this past summer. GBMLaw is an Ohio based law firm that was going to be rebranding itself under their new name at the start of 2017.
When I first spoke with my contact at the firm, she was pretty set on ideas for the logo. It was important that the new logo retained some of the old logo feel. This meant keeping a blue color palette as well as integrating an outline of the state of Ohio into the logo design. Like many states, the state of Ohio is a rather awkward shape to work with. Out of context, it isn’t necessarily recognizable and while it is rather compact, it’s not an even square shape. Working the shape of Ohio into the logo was probably my biggest challenge.
I worked up a bunch of different logo concepts, all blue, and all incorporating Ohio. When I think of a law firm, I think of a serif font. It seems official and a little more serious than sans serif. But, sans serif fonts are clean and modern. Since this was a name change and a logo reworking, I wanted to try to experiment with both serif and sans serif and see what GBMLaw ended up choosing.
As you can see, given the parameters, I was still able to come up with a variety of solutions to the problem. I experimented with the placement of the Ohio, even placing it behind some of the text in the second concept. I also experimented with integrating lines into the design. The fifth concept has the state of Ohio within a circle which gave it more of an icon feel and solved the issue of the odd shape of the state.
After reviewing the concepts, GBMLaw decided to go with the fifth concept. At that point, I fine tuned the logo and created a second version with the partners' names below, as well as a couple of "formerly..." variants that could be used temporarily during the name change.
In addition, I designed business cards, envelopes, letterhead, and web tracker ads that all tied into the initial logo design. The end result is a clean look for this rebrand and an easily identifiable logo that really stands out among competition.