Terry Lewis approached me in June 2014 about helping with her company’s communication needs.
Terry, who years ago taught geography to my stepdaughter at Hershey Middle School, now owned a business called Success Starts Here. What began as her private tutoring of students had evolved into the growing field of organizational health consulting.
She needed a new website to serve as a brochure for her business, and Terry welcomed the idea of incorporating a blog to help share her insights with current and prospective clients and to provide fresh content for search engines.
As a name, Success Starts Here was so unspecific as to be applicable to any industry and therefore difficult to brand. Without too much prodding from me, Terry related that she was open to adopting a different name as part of this process.
Thus, The Lewis Co. was born. And while it doesn’t say what Terry does, the new name unmistakably links her to her business.
Given her deep community ties and her infectiously upbeat personality, Terry should be front and center, particularly in a business such as hers that depends so heavily on relationships.
Insights I elicited from Terry became the basis from which my long-time design collaborator Tim Baker of Baker Design developed a world-class logo for The Lewis Co.
The logo amplifies her company’s story, which is to say Terry’s story. Besides presenting Terry with multiple iterations of her logo, we shared with her Tim’s rationale for its various elements.
Terry called the explanations “tender and beautiful.” With her permission, I can share some of them here:
THE L (for Lewis): An ardent yoga practitioner, Terry had told me that she loves anything Zen-like, such as the three rocks that form a sort of pyramid. Tim made a strong, graphic ‘L’ out of the pyramid shape. As Tim explained, “the pyramid has all kinds of obvious stability, monetary and upward mobility meanings” of significance to the companies she advises.
THE C (for company): The Lewis Co. offers science-based employee assessments that remove bias from hiring and other personnel decisions. The pie chart C of the logo symbolizes how the results of those assessments can be represented to clients.
Geometrically, the same size portion of the circle that’s missing on the right (to create a C) is the exact size that’s on the bottom left of the circle. This helps to visually complete the C without touching the edges and interfering with the readability of the L.
THE COLORS: Based on Terry’s direction, Tim came up with an “earthy elements palette” for the C: beginning with grassy green at the bottom and continuing clockwise to light sandy tan, blue-green ocean water, light sea foam, and deep blue sky.
The L and the logotype are a dark chocolate, an obvious connection to Hershey that also “complements the blue/green colors AND stays true to the earthy (elements) palette by introducing ‘dirt,’ ” Tim explained.
THE LOGOTYPE: The logotype echoes the “strong L” for LEWIS and “lighter C” for the downplayed “company.” As for the font itself, Tim explained that it “projected a perfect blend of strength and grace. Bold strength that projects the knowledge and confidence of her craft, while a couple of elegant serifs take the edge off and let you know that you’re working with a professional female without looking too ‘girly.’ ”
Terry called her logo a “home run.” However, it took multiple conversations, talent, hard work and a lot of practice swings before we knocked it out of the park.