SLVA: Automotive Studio — Logo Designs & Work

Logo design created for SLVA: Automotive Studio.

This project was done in conjunction with Grenadier, an agency based in Boulder, Colorado. The project undertook “making over” a car customizer. The project entailed renaming his shop, developing a brand to go along with the name, as well as strategy with regard to focus on the business direction. Brown Hornet Design assisted by developing a logo that evoked the heritage of the shop owner and connected with the visual language of the market.

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Additional identity work from this project:

And here’s an image of the post-production:


And from the drawing boards:

From First Review Email …

“Not to talk all over them, but a little preamble: general focus is branding that serves as badges as well. Typography in most cases is handcrafted, with exception of F).

E) features an approach with the lion—the crest animal of the Silva Family name (lots of families use the lion, though. Also, technically speaking, the surname meaning is “wood” and was the name of the royal family of Spain, but the name’s relative ubiquity possibly translated into it being the name of a village of the royal family, etc–wikipedia… Bottom line: there’s possibly something to all that, but the fact the client doesn’t have a family history in cars and the family is sort of a regular working family, I didn’t press it much except buying the lion as an emblem like the Ferrari bought the horse (turns out traditionally, Germans were know for putting horses on their cars more until Ferrari did it) … To some extent this was something worth exploring even more… I concepted a few crests/shields and crests (I included one that I whipped up for discussion’s sake that sort of look like a soccer team’s logo or a Ferrari logos).”


Dear Client Insistent On Using An Acronym — On No Marketing Budget …

(ripped from an actual e-mail to client…)

To recap this specific issue:

Acronyms are overplayed and are (best) effective when used in highly impactful names/brands/organizations with brand equity (or other significance) built around them: IRS, CIA, USPS, UPS, FBI, etc.

Hospitals and lesser-known government agencies use acronyms/initial as shorthand to those “insiders” who know/deal with on some level (stakeholders) the organization regularly—as would politicians, board members and specific members of the community. This can work, but these entities are still very much less well known, particularly if they do not commit to the task of branding (i.e. putting money into the effort to own an acronym).

Who knew what FEMA was before 2005? … And if there is a FEMA, why is there then a MEMA (Maryland)? (Random thought)

Most importantly, when members of a particular community are unknown and the brand recognition amongst them is low, it may stand to reason that the primary usage of an acronym positions an organization distances the general public from the significance of the organization, since the name is less focused on intrinsic recognition with the public.

For example: <strong>ABC Rentals vs. Plumbing Supply Rentals.</strong> (Which name gives a sense — at a glance — of what the company’s primarily positioned to do for the prospective customer?) In this vein, one could say that using acronyms is a nickname of sorts and the public gives the most effective nicknames: FedEx (shortening of the proper name Federal Express—and rebranded as such afterwards because of the saturation with a specific position—overnight package service).

User Interface Is Visual Verbal


These days, it turns out that my son likes to watch tons of YouTube® videos of fire trucks, ambulances and first responders—oh yeah and dump trucks on my wife’s Kindle Fire®. Just peeking at him as I did on the way upstairs just hits home how important the the non-verbal is in user-interface. Knowing where to push, when to push and volume settings, etc. are learned and then understood. And that “pushing” and feedback loop is almost without limit!

And by the way, we have different user modes in computers, browsers, etc. I still don’t understand how that doesn’t exist on an iPad®. My son, like many users with little reservation, learn through just pushing buttons. This might mean they see a video or it might also mean they call 9-1-1. It would stand to reason that use of an iPad® delegated to a lesser experienced user should not have to result in settings changes or deletion of programs.