Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New! PlateSafe Locks branding & website

Today I'm proud to announce the launch of our latest new branding and website, PlateSafe Locks, a new security device created by one of our favorite clients, Shawn Mahaney of RestoreATag. Shawn, literally the world's best antique license plate restorer, developed these U.S. patented, tamper-resistant locks to address the growing problem of license plate theft, which has risen by an astounding 36 percent in the United States.

PlateSafe Locks can be used on any vehicle, including antiques. They are also useful around the home, at work, or in any commercial application where items are secured by mounting screws or bolts.

PlateSafe Locks are sold online at and and will be available in other retail outlets soon.

Shawn has made RestoreATag such a tremendous success. I look forward to seeing his PlateSafe Locks in auto parts and home improvement stores across the country. 

Congratulations, Shawn, and thanks for your business!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New! Branding and web design for

Is there anything I love more than dogs? No. I love dogs more than anything, especially my dog, Moose. He's the love of my life (and that doesn't take anything away from my boyfriend, btw).

When Dr. Susie Homire contacted me about branding and web design for her dog behavior consulting company, Lead Your Pack, I was delighted. Finally! A chance to work with dogs. Creating her logo and look and feel were truly an act of love. In fact, that was the goal: show that love of all canines is at the heart of Susie's work.

Frustrated and frightened dog owners come to Susie looking for strategies to relieve their dogs' aggression toward other people or dogs, fear, home destruction, and more. Susie works closely with the owners to develop the just-right solutions to their dogs' particular issues. She teaches them to lead their pack with confidence, love, and understanding, whether they have one dog or 10.

I was happy to sneak a pug in this design - it's not my pug, but it's the next best thing. And he's yawning no less - my dog spends a third of his life yawning, a third sleeping, and a third begging for food. Maybe I ought to call Susie Homire. :-)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New! Branding and website for Julia Farwell-Clay

As a devout knitter, nothing is more fun than designing for a knitwear designer. This is especially the case for Julia Farwell-Clay. I've loved her work since she first hit the scene with her innovative, inherently wearable sweater patterns. Julia designed my favorite cardigan, the Hiro - I loved making it and I love wearing it. I'm knitting another of her sweaters right now. Julia just rocks.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Julia to create a fresh, fun brand that expresses her unique design sensibility. The website literally puts her terrific patterns front and center and makes it easy for knitters to both explore her work and purchase her patterns.

The website uses a WordPress content management system, which makes it easy for Julia to maintain the site herself and to blog, too.

If you're looking to make an amazing sweater, check out Or contact Julie & Company today to give your company a new look or a new website.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Only blue

Few elections in life end with a unanimous vote. People come to their ballot box with different experiences, childhoods, and educations. But if you ask a man to vote for his favorite color, you are bound to get the same response: BLUE.

I make this observation after almost two decades in business. As an expert logo designer, I've never had a man tell me his favorite color is violet, fuchsia, or orange. Or even azure, beryl, sapphire, or cerulean for that matter. He likes blue and he wants his logo to be blue, too.

To prove my point, check out just some of the world's most famous blue logos. Behind each one of them, I'm willing to bet there's a dude whose favorite color is blue.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Prince William ceases and desists using its new logo, drawing board ahead

From the Washington Post, June 6, 2013, by Tom Jackman

Prince William County’s new two-blue-square logo is being pulled down from county letterhead and signs, county clothes and county vehicles after the Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday it wasn’t ready for prime time, yet. Supervisor John Jenkins (D-Neabsco) said the public hadn’t had a chance to weigh in on the logo, and “I didn’t want to see us bring some kind of logo out here that had no meaning to the people of Prince William County.”

Supervisor Peter Candland (R-Gainesville) said the logo should articulate the identity of the county, not just be a symbol. “This logo was meant to mean something,” Candland said.

So the board, in addition to issuing a “cease, desist and rescind” directive to county staff, ordered up a work session for July 16, to decide the next step in rebranding the county.

County communications director Jason Grant said the logo was developed as part of a process to unify Prince William’s marketing approach. A design firm in Michigan, familiar to Prince William economic development official Brent Heavner who previously worked in Michigan, was enlisted to come up with a design, and agreed to do it for $750, Grant said. Board members wondered Tuesday why a local company couldn’t have been involved.

Grant said the design was shown to all the supervisors except Jenkins, and that most approved. But Jenkins felt the board should have voted on it and allowed the public to participate in the process. He was surprised to see it starting to turn up all over the county without a board vote or a public hearing. “The approval process,” Jenkins said, “just bothers the dickens out of me.”

Jenkins’ directive to suspend use of the logo was based in part on the public’s “overall dislike for the design of the proposed logo.” As proof, he cited a Washington Post online poll from these very environs, where 70 percent of the 400-plus respondents voted, “It’s bad. Start over.” Seventeen percent voted, “It’s OK,” and 13 percent voted for, “I like it. It’s a keeper.”

Candland said the mission of the logo was to represent Prince William County to the world.
“We spent $750,” Candland said, “to develop a logo that represents hopefully hundreds of millions of dollars in Prince William County. I think we’re selling ourselves short.”

Candland said county uniforms were being changed, county decals were being changed, and this was “a much broader change than was ever portrayed to me.” The logo was intended to replace individual agency logos with one county-wide logo. “I don’t think the logo was properly vetted,” Candland said. “For a Michigan firm to develop the face of our economic development department is troubling to me.”

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Think you need an icon with your logo?

Many business people think that a logo can only be successful if it has an icon, such as the Nike swoosh, the little Tivo guy, the Mercedes modified peace sign, or the NBC peacock.

However, the world's best-known and most beloved brands don't use an icon. Check out the small sampling below and you'll see what we mean. A text-only logo done in an interesting and memorable way is a terrific way to brand your business.

If you're looking to brand or rebrand your business, contact Julie & Company today at 301-330-9353 or so we can create an effective logo for you.

Ax the acronyms!

When it comes to company names, I am adamant: NO acronyms. Why? Because they are impossible to remember and impossible to brand.

Maybe I'm more sensitive to this problem because I grew up in the Washington area which is awash in acronyms. Over 140,000 people here work for Federal agencies, - DoD, CIA, FBI, FDA, FEMA, etc. - so many that George Washington University has put together a glossary! These agencies compound the problem by creating more and more acronyms within their organizations. Life is just one big can of alphabet soup. 

So if you're choosing a corporate or product name, skip the acronym. No one will remember which three letters you've chosen. Ever. Is it MBA  or MAB or AMB? Only the business owner knows for sure.

Another reason to avoid acronyms? Other organizations already have your three letters no matter which three letters they are. For example, take ATG. A quick Google search shows that ATG stands for:

  • ATG Stores
  • Oracle's Art Technology Group
  • ATG Rehab
  • Advanced Techology Group
  • Applied Technology Group
  • ATG Credit
  • ATG E-Commerce Platform
  • ATG Electronics
  • ATG Records
  • Attorney's Title Guaranty Fund
  • Attorney General of Washington State
  • And so on
This makes ATG - or any other acronym - impossible to brand. Branding is all about uniqueness. If your company name is the same as a gazillion other companies' names, you're not unique - and your company is difficult if not impossible to brand.

So do the right thing: ax the acronyms!