Forging our new brand identity

Brand Strategy
At long last, we answer your most burning question: who is Joe Smith?!
By 
Joe Smith
July 18, 2023
Brand Strategy
At long last, we answer your most burning question: who is Joe Smith?!
By 
Joe Smith
July 18, 2023

One of the first things people wonder when they work with us is when can they meet “Joe”. We have to regrettably inform them, never, because Joe doesn’t actually exist. Nor is Joe Smith a reference to the founder of Mormonism, or the journeyman power forward who played for 12 different NBA teams. The origins of our name are a bit more symbolic.

What's in a name?

The “Smith” in Joe Smith is a nod to the craft of blacksmithing. This creation of objects that are at once useful, artful, and enduring, always felt like a fitting metaphor for work we do—but you know, with PowerPoints and PDFs instead of flaming metal.

This metaphor is the central inspiration for our new visual identity—a look and feel littered with forms and colors that evoke the art of bending metal. If your brain didn’t make that connection until you read this…then, perfect.

We developed this identity (with a little help from our friend Andreas Pederson) with great care and caution of not being too heavy-handed with our inspiration. We didn’t want to hit the audience over the head with hammers and anvils but to be evocative of the firm-but-flexible nature of blacksmithing.

Our signature element (the filament) evokes an iron rod being heated and bent into shapes that are powerful yet malleable and enduring.  
Our color palette is inspired by the gradations of metal as it heats up, from a cool grey to a blazing yellow.
Our secondary design element (scribbles) evokes the exploratory, sometimes messy work that Artful Problem Solving requires.  

Our logo got a makeover to make it more compact and in a weight that plays nicely with other elements – just like we do.

But wait, who is Joe Smith?!

Oh, and as for “Joe.” Add that to the “Smith” and you get a name for our brand that is both human, unassuming and unremarkable. A constant reminder that our work is not about us, but the people we partner with.

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Got a brand problem?
Got a customer problem?
Got a culture problem?
Got an identity problem?
Got a recruiting problem?
Got a messaging problem?
Got an all-of-the-above problem?

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