Red Coyote Running and Fitness, Schlegel Bicycles and some 150 businesses across greater Oklahoma City arguably never would have had the corporate identities and marketing successes they have, if not for one unique Oklahoma firm.
S Design Inc. has left its indelible mark on each, principal Sarah Sears said.
Take Red Coyote. The owners, who came to S Design for naming and logo help, initially wanted to call their store “Red River Running.” “It was yucky and there were way too many ‘Red River somethings,'” Sears said.
Today, the store, distinguished by its fun red coyote logo, ranks among the top three running stores in the city.
Meanwhile, after S Design convinced competitive cyclist and former Olympian Steve Schlegel to rename his “My Bike Store” after himself, sales soared, she said.
What the branding and marketing communications firm provides is more complicated than a logo, Sears said. “We help with naming, obtaining trademarks, positioning and developing and executing strategic marketing plans,” she said.
“We understand businesses and different types of businesses,” she said.
Sears started the firm in 1994, two years after she earned a bachelor's in design — including graphic design and illustration — from the University of Kansas. She operated as a one-woman firm for two or three years, but today has a staff of 10. Their clients, which include the Coach House and Oklahoma City Community Foundation, come equally from the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors.
For the foundation, the firm modernized a logo it had used for 10 years. “It was dated, clunky and hard to use,” Sears said. “We rebuilt the original and converted it to two-color to save money.”
S Design's most tedious project was developing a brand and strategy for the Devon Boathouse and entire Riversport district, Sears said. It was a year before the firm could present its 70-page marketing plan to all of the stakeholders involved, she said.
“The brand and standards had to represent a place, community programming and sponsors,” she said, “and maintain a consistency across building signage, T-shirts and more.”
And S Design's own unique logo?
An “S.” “The idea behind it is simple,” Sears said. Its shape is based on the letter form on a letterpress machine, she said.
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