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New look, same creative studio

June 12 2019

Sierra Soleimani

We, a branding studio, have a fresh new brand identity ourselves. This includes an all-new Skidmore Studio logo, visual identity, and website. 

Our creative studio based in downtown Detroit is in its 60th year in business. As we approach a new decade of growth, our leadership team felt a rebrand was imperative to reflect the company’s strategic direction and positioning. Formerly an illustration-focused graphic design shop, we now operate as a “strategic creative studio” offering a range of branding services for consumer-facing companies, from brand strategy to identity design to product copywriting.

Our new visual identity focuses on simplicity and clarity. As design director Shawn McConnell said, “Our hope is that our work speaks for itself now, without our own brand getting in the way.” The new logo features minimal, dynamic typography that flexes for different contexts. McConnell describes the brand as “layout- and typography-driven.”

The rebrand was led by strategy director, Alissa Kline, who also heads the studio’s internal marketing efforts. To complete the rebrand, Kline said the team took themselves on as a client, navigating their own discovery, strategy, and creative processes.

“One central theme that emerged was just how much Skidmore has changed over the past 60 years,” Kline said. “From going direct-to-client to the explosion of digital to the recent death of our owner, Tim Smith, the challenges have been huge. Yet we’ve remained flexible and dynamic enough to weather decade after decade in an extremely demanding industry. We wanted to evolve our brand to better reflect this flexibility, this history of forward-thinking-ness that’s allowed us to survive and thrive as Skidmore Studio.”

The rebranding process brought out some critical elements for strategy discussions as well. Upon finding alignment with the vision of the company, the final aim of the rebrand was simple: Make it fun. Most of our current and dream clients are in the food and entertainment industries, where the notion of fun reigns supreme.

President and current owner Drew Patrick said, “This is a monumental year for Skidmore, and more so for our clients. We have so many exciting projects right now, and we look forward to their brand launches much more than our own. It’s important to let everyone know that while we may have a new look, the only thing that feels different is that our energy is that much higher. It’s been a really fun experience for us to use our own processes on ourselves. The rollout of our new brand has been something we’ve thought about for some time. After much reflection, we felt our 60th year would be an ideal time to reflect on our own brand.”

In addition to rebranding, we are marking our 60th year with many exciting changes, including moving the office to another downtown Detroit location later this year, growing its team with three new employees, and achieving the honor of being named one of the 2019 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch.