I just got back from a transportation conference in Baltimore where it was unseasonably warm – which was good because I accidentally left my February-appropriate clothing at home in the dryer and had to wear a summery dress around all day today. But it was beautiful and warm and not too windy for a change.
But this is not a blog about my poor choices in clothing! It was a little slow in the exhibit hall this morning so I spent some time taking in all the design the Maryland construction industry has to offer. I got to thinking that a lot of what I was seeing was a little homemade and outdated.
(Don’t even get me started on that carpet.) It seems to me that aside from the really big, national firms, there’s a serious lack of serious design concepts in the identity systems of the industry. I wonder if this is due to a lack of interest in it. We’re in largely a word of mouth, referrals type of industry and I think that might be why little importance seems to be placed on well-considered identities. Or maybe they don’t know where to turn for help?
Instead of picking on any of my colleagues and clients for their odd choices of logos, I’ve decided to highlight a few of my Best in Show picks for the week. Below are a few of my favorite items that I found. There is hope for our industry! (Warning: I’ve taken some sort of awkward pics so as to conceal contact info on some of them.)
I’m going to give my Judge’s Favorite to Hardesty & Hanover for their sweet brochure highlighting their 120th anniversary. It fits nicely with their website, and I love the super classic logo. It definitely speaks to their ability to sustain their practice over that length of time.
Michael Baker, Jr has been playing with a shortening of their corporate name on all their materials. The color really stands out and “Baker” is generally what all their industry clients call them anyway. I’m a fan.
I’m not wild about the WBCM logo mark, but I do love what they did on the back with the watermark version. And to their designer’s credit, the logo mark says exactly what it’s supposed to say. I don’t personally work with them, so I don’t know if they use that watermark elsewhere, but I think it could work really nicely and subtly on many other in-house printed items for proposals and things too.
This A. D. Marble Communications card is just lovely. The logo confuses me, but the card on the whole is a stand out in our industry. But it had me fooled! This is not an industry card, really. This card represents a design and PR offshoot or affiliate of the marble company. Nicely played. The shape speaks to a piece of cut tile or marble and it plays host to several tiny materials “samples.” The green back is sort of mossy and natural feeling and, to me, that hints at the of-the-earth qualities and Eco-efficient use of marble in the home or office.
Armtec had one of the best proper logos. They specialize in sound walls and unique sound wall materials. The logo mark definitely has a 3D quality without being too obvious. The little “a” looks kind of like a speech bubble which interests me since their line of work is keeping sound out. Subtle.
PB is pretty huge and probably has a pretty huge design and printing budget, comparatively. Regardless, I like their system of not too matchy-matchy service brochures. In a world of white printer paper, it’s nice to see these super dark brochures. I think it makes the pictures really pop.
Last but not least, I liked the treatment of Brudis & Associates’ logo with the photos inside. The idea is surprisingly new to our industry and I think they pulled it off without cluttering the space up or confusing their viewers.