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Intuitive Design

Intuitive design and branding, not online cookie-cutter.

Logo & Branding Expertise A-Z

I was approached to design branding for a new ethanol plant that was being built by a cooperative of 415 farmers. In our initial meeting I learned that ethanol was a clean, renewable fuel that was to be produced at this facility from corn.

 Intuitively I saw the strength of many growers partnering together to create a resource that is beneficial both to the planet and each other.

The dome shaped cornfield represents not only the renewable raw material but also individuals working together to create something larger than them. The strong BUSHMILLS font was chosen to depict steadfastness and longevity. Clean fuel and clean water is represented in the blue droplet with the color vibrating truth. Safety to the environment is represented by the white outline that encompasses/protects all of the elements.

Dirks-Blem Funeral Service Logo

In meeting with the two new owners of Dirks-Blem I learned the funeral service had been caring for the community since 1913, providing professional services with a personal touch through generations. I also learned that wheat, doves and wreaths were overused in the funeral industry. I posed the question “if you had one word to describe your business what would it to be?”. They gave me two – integrity and infinity.

We designed the D and B to emphasize the new partnership with each other as well as the communities they serve. The D is created within the negative space of the B giving a sense of movement and weightlessness. Together, the logo symbolizes infinity, moving forward and celebrating the journey of life.

The feather was designed to symbolize the caring and ease working with Dirks-Blem, Heaven and that loved ones are in a better place, free of pain. The new DB logo celebrates life and joy.

When Goggled, Hanakia Zedek has his own reference in Wikipedia – impressive. He has been involved in the Psycho-Spiritual, Metaphysical, Esoteric, Philosophical, and Martial Arts for over 40 years, 30 of those teaching professionally.

In meeting, I could see the massive Tsunami he was creating with his work. I also saw Hanakia as a larger than life figure whose very texture and essence needed to be revealed on the surface for individuals to log on to and his future clients.

Graphically, I chose a rich black, the color of unlimited possibilities and Magic. Gold metallic and/or orange was chosen for power, creativity and rebirth. Helvetica title fonts used in children’s early reading books were picked to bring his clients back to their youth before beliefs were instilled.

We also shot videos on a cold winter’s day at the Minnesota River to get the true essence of nature, his Shamanism and power. Hanakia chose to engage in a conversation with the viewer rather than a condescending authority lesson. This we felt projected deeper into what his audience both needed and desired.

Hanakia IS the brand.

Henslin Auctions Inc. contacted me to create a new logo for branding their traditional and growing on-line auction business. At our consultation, I learned it was a multi-generational business that helped clients with every detail from the beginning listing to the end cleanup. I was told my client wanted a symbolic logo and red was the corporate color.

The color red in Feng Shui represents fame and abundance, which I used to their advantage. As an Elemental, I See red as representing fire much like the voice of an auctioneer firing-up or motivating a crowd. I saw how this family business helped their clients feel ease at their personal sales so I created a gentle chrome transition behind their name. Chrome also represented the large equipment they sometimes sold.

I symbolized the teamwork of their multi-generations in a powerful H. It also represents the families coming together to create a strong business. The overall shape perspective represents their traditional and growing on-line auction success.

Tanya had originally connected to create branding for her very successful massage and Yoga business. The business was located in a town of 1,300 residents so this made it quite a remarkable feat. In our initial discussion I learned Tanya was also an author and spiritual retreat facilitator. Both her beauty and determination resonated in how she expressed herself and her attire.

 Although a tree is used quite frequently in energy logos, I saw the resonance perfect for all aspects of Tanya and her business. The massage part of her business was represented creatively in the trunk figure and releasing leaves. Her Spiritual facilitator work was expressed from the grounding roots to the expanding treetop. Tree pose is a popular Yoga asana so it was a perfect fit again.

For the original massage website, we combined multiple images in the top slider to reflect her different business aspects. A rich purple and ice blue were chosen as the online main colors to represent insight and truth.

The resonance of her successful massage business was carried through in her new mentoring business. The spring green on her original website was replaced ice blue to vibrate growth and expansion.

Working with a photographer who also creates intuitively, she captured Tanya’s caring nature, beauty and true essence.

My client Tom knows the flavor of a five-star steak and how to raise one. Four generations of his family had been in the cattle business and he was now branching out under the Medallion name to provide high-end steakhouses a cut above the rest. We met at his corporate headquarters where his passion for raising beef became apparent very quickly.

He explained to me his care of cattle and the extra measures taken to ensure that both they and the environment were protected. As a Seer Designer I stepped back and saw his resonating pride and determination and knew it needed to be expressed graphically.

Although the majority of his cattle were raised in environmentally sustainable barns in order to produce stress-free tender beef, Medallion also grass fed Black Angus for the organic buyer. I used rich black to emphasize both his prize Black Angus and the soil that grew crops to produce them. The perfect Medallion color was gold for obvious reasons.

Tom had herded cattle on horseback all his life, which I saw as a unique part of the brand and an important texture to highlight. Later when he branched out under the Revier Cattle Company brand in retail and online beef sales, the rich American Cowboy history provided the perfect essence in imagery, marketing materials and the new logos.

Tom’s care of both cattle and the environment are what Legends are made of.

I was approached to develop branding for an up and coming new architectural firm. The owner wanted to use orange that I See as a creative and youthful color, which he was. I also saw that my client was very detail oriented so both creativity and precision resonated from this new company.

 Negen is a unique palindrome so the overall shape of the logo is a rectangle representing balance and dependability. Orange also represents thinking differently, unconventionally or from a new perspective. This made the color perfect for the company.

The open stacked E not only represents the attention to detail and architectural shapes, in numerology, three symbolizes optimism, visionaries, spontaneity and energy.

 A strong black bar highlighting the partners with a light font on their services balances the logo and resonates the company.

The City of Olivia aka The Corn Capital was using a variety of mismatched icons. I was asked to design a new logo that would have multiple applications from letterheads to the water tower with the goal of bringing together their branding. It was hinted a cob of corn would be nice but not necessary.

Stepping back and Seeing Olivia, I saw a strong sense of pride at being The Corn Capital that was celebrated with an annual festival. It was also a diverse community ranging from newborns to very elderly residents.

To highlight Olivia I chose a familiar serif font with the shape of the letter i calling forth ownership. This was a perfect for the city’s community pride. To emphasize the longevity of the city, I used a retro script for the byline and a woodcut illustration of the corncob. An ellipse, the symbol of unity, in yellow vibrates confidence and a healthy community with its diverse population represented as multiple rule widths.

Established in the 60’s, Olivia Liquor Store hired me to create a fresh new branding look. Seeing the business, I knew the new logo would also spark changes to the interior of the establishment.

A sense of connection came forward not only in my client’s products but also in the fact it was located in a small community and not a big box store. To accentuate the connectedness, I created an arched Olivia on a green ellipse. To highlight my client’s products I used illustrations of beverage sources with a gradated color outline around the logo representing the final product – wine, beer and spirits.

The shade of red wine behind Liquor Store represents stability, a subtle reminder to enjoy but drink responsibly.

1 + 1 = 1 was the theme we developed for branding the merger between an independent Hospital to three privately owned clinics. The four entities are represented in the logos leaves; join together to create one health care system or flower. In this design, I See the color green as healing, growth and life with pink representing caring or love. Branding was done on all print, media and web.

The vibration of the logo continued for the new state-of-the-art medical center. Unlike other sterile hospitals, RC Hospital & Clinics incorporated several patient and visitor healing gardens into their landscape. A subtle healthy garden design was developed that resonated to the viewer on all billboards, ads, support materials, capital campaign and website.

I designed interior signage, exterior signage and the large donor wall pulling in elements of the hospital architecture and the County’s topography.

When I first met Rod, he was training seed sales reps across the United States. His success in the industry was unmatched unlike his support materials. Rod was a Rock Star in the seed selling business he just needed to graphically resonate that.

The first thing was a new logo. I saw my client’s business becoming global with unlimited growth both personally and for his clients. I also sensed family was important as the business is named after his son.

I chose a traditional business font in a green gradation with RC at 90 degrees representing growth and the potential. A World illustration was used, and later updated, to represent future possibilities. COMPANY reverse in a blue bar vibrates truth, an important aspect in training and sales. The overall shape of the logo is a rectangle for steadfastness and power.

In designing RC Thomas’ support materials, I used a compass and other powerful adventurous imagery to resonate with sales reps who tend to be independent. Color variations were used for the different training programs and CD jackets. Just as a sales presentation can move fast with a lot of adrenaline, my design work and deadlines needed to be the same.

Thurston Genetics licenses new and unique corn in-breds/hybrids to retail seed companies. I was hired by its founder to create a logo and branding for his growing company. After meeting with him I sensed the company needed a stand-alone icon that could be used with and without the business name.

The initials were chosen to do this using a strong black T for both the strength of the company and rich soil where seed is planted. The bottom point directs the viewer to the start of the plant, the genetics in the seed. The green G symbolizes the growth upward of both the corn plant itself and company.

In 1997 I was hired to design a logo for a new seed company. I was told Wensman Seed Company (Wensman) was on the forefront of the fast developing seed genetic technology. Little did I know, it would develop into a 20+ year creative relationship.

At that time, Wensman was ahead of the competition so I chose to emphasize this with a bold all cap serif font. The intent was that once the Wensman name was recognizable, it could stand-alone. The company’s goal was to produce high yielding, quality seed so this commitment was reinforced with the kernel positioned above the scientific/technology grid. The light blue grid represents the future growth as well as truth.

A byline “Seed Technology for Your Success” was sometimes used, again stating the company’s commitment to both technology and it’s customers.

From top management to employees, honesty and integrity are two qualities I See resonating through Wensman. To represent this to their customers, I chose the strength of a deep blue for many of the marketing materials. This was a compliment to their golden seed and final high yield harvest. We created a fresh new marketing campaign yearly to highlight the advancements in Wensman’s seed technology.


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Toni Baumgartner