Behind the Design: Creating A Mark Infused with Meaning

May 15, 2017 Behind the Design: Creating A Mark Infused with Meaning

GodwinGroup 80th Anniversary Logo

In 2017, GodwinGroup reached 80 years in business. Imagine, spending every day (and many sleepless nights), helping businesses through times of uncertainty, prosperity, change and disruption with ideas big enough to defy the effects of the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the digital revolution, and everything in between?

That’s what we’ve been doing since 1937.

To reflect on this milestone, we’re looking back on eight incredible decades of creative problem-solving. And, we’re responding like any design-minded bunch would: With a mark.

Strong on style and steeped in meaning, it’s easy to see why our 80-Year mark is becoming part of our history in its own right.

In this post, we’re going behind the design, revealing what it means, and how it came to be.

“For a company to exist for 80 years, you have to believe in something,” says Jimbo Harwell, GodwinGroup’s Director of Design and creator of our 80-Year Mark. He wanted the mark to do more than just say we are 80; he also wanted it to show why.

8O Three Circles

“When I look at the number 80, I see three circles,” he says.

As someone with a great interest in the life and work of the legendary designers Charles and Ray Eames, those circles reminded Harwell of a chart Eames penned with his own hand.

Charles Eames Design Process Diagram
Charles Eames Design Process Diagram © Eames Office

Using GodwinGroup’s brand standards, and only perfect circles, Harwell re-interpreted Eames’ sketch as this simplified graphic.

Eames Office Philosphy by GodwinGroup

As the chart explains, each circle represents a set of needs. One, the needs of our clients. Another, the needs of our office. A third, the needs of society as a whole.

According to Charles Eames, where these circles overlap is where we “can work with conviction and enthusiasm.”

We couldn’t agree more. The philosophy that sustained one of the most iconic design offices of our time is one that resonates just as deeply with our own team. The clients we serve do work that enhances people’s lives, and sometimes, even saves them. Healthcare, education, food, travel, economic development and the arts — some of our most active areas of work support vital facets of society. That’s what has kept us going for eight extraordinary decades.

The mark in its final form feels simultaneously retro and futuristic — just what the moment calls out for.

80th Anniversary Mark Design Process
Open Sketchbook: This steady progression of shapes reveals the path to our final mark (far right)

The circle motif in our 80-Year mark inspired an entire design language that GodwinGroup will use as we showcase historic work and images throughout the year.

Phillip Shirley 80
George Godwin, Sr. Poster

Lessons from a logo? If you’re meeting the needs of your clients, your office, and society as a whole, you will have discovered a key to rewarding work and lasting relevance.

And when you reach your next milestone, we’ll be here to help you celebrate, with wholehearted excitement, creative intensity — and a mark infused with meaning.

GodwinGroup 80 Since 1937