I love logos. I have always been drawn to them. I can't fully explain it. Something about how simple they are, yet they often tell complex stories. They carry meaning.
As a kid I dreamed about designing logos and uniforms for professional football teams. I re-branded NFL teams. I designed my own league (more on that later). I took every graphic design class I could take in high school. But, as I was preparing to graduate I decided to follow another gifting: teaching. I taught U.S. history and coached baseball and football for almost ten years before a simple gift from my youngest brother reawakened my passion for design.
The gift was a book by David Airey called "Logo Design Love." It's pages are full of case studies and practical advice for building brand identities and starting a career in identity design. I have always loved logos. I didn't know brand identities existed. Not like that. I couldn't put the book down. I couldn't read enough. I couldn't stop pouring over the images. My brain was exploding. I started Brand Mountain Design a few months later. I didn't know exactly what I was doing but I knew I was hungry. Hungry to learn anything and everything I could about branding and marketing.
Fast forward three years: I have designed over 40 meaningful identities for clients across the US and Canada. I am doing what I love. I now also teach Branding and Marketing at Sprague High School where I get to pass my lifelong love of logos and branding on to a new generation of brand strategists and designers. My story is still being written but I hope that some day it might inspire someone else to stop waiting and start doing what they love.
Remember that league I mentioned? The one I designed as a kid? Here it is in all of it's cringy glory. Most of the teams were from cities that could never support a professional franchise and the uniforms were at the very least "inspired" by existing college and pro teams...some were straight up stolen (see USPS, Jayco and the oddly familiar Patriot in the bottom right corner)! NERD ALERT: I created fake players, drew stadiums and team planes and designed magazine covers promoting the league's stars. That young uniform nerd is alive and well in me to this day (I am currently working on a hypothetical re-brand of every NFL team that I think could use one...just for fun).
Even to this day, my favorite things to sketch are logos and uniforms. Designing identities for sports teams is something I could do all day every day...forever. I don't know what heaven looks like...but I imagine people are sitting around designing logos and uniforms which then materialize out of thin air. My favorite thing I have ever made is the identity that I was fortunate enough to design for my alma mater, Sprague High School (where I currently teach branding and marketing). More specifically, the football uniforms that helped launch the re-branded identity. There is nothing like seeing something you conceptualized in your mind, sketched on paper and rendered on the computer made into a physical product. I wore that helmet everywhere when it first dropped. I would have slept in it if I could have. Maybe I will.
I like the metaphor. It speaks to a planned ascent. It alludes to challenges that require motivation, persistence and flexibility. It demands team work and a shared vision to achieve a common goal. Finally, it pays tribute to the beautiful forests, rivers, lakes and mountains that I have loved all of my life growing up in the Pacific Northwest.
The primary company logo features a stylized "B" combined with an "M" to form the shape of a mountain.
The voice and tone of the company is centered on mountain and climbing themes, making use of terms like "ascent", "base camp", and "summit" to extend the metaphor of the brand.