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Brand identity design is more than just a logo; it involves distilling the personality of a brand into a set of visuals that let potential customers know what they're getting in to at first glance. Before your great products, services, and care, a customer will encounter the brand visuals, and you want to make sure they say the right things about what your brand does.

Think of it like an outfit - it's what's inside that counts, but what you wear can let people know what kind of person you are at a glance. A 3-piece suit and an athletic uniform say different things about the people wearing them. The first person you might trust to do your banking, and the second you might trust to get you in shape. 

Your brand's identity is often the first contact people have with your brand, so it's important to get it right.

Initial brief

Ryan O'Rourke of Ironclad knew he had a good product, but needed good branding to go along with it. The brief he gave me involved lots of indie, steampunk vibes, so we decided to go with a logo that evoked the Industrial Revolution... plus coffee.


I drew dozens of sketch ideas and then chose my favorites to present to the client. He returned with feedback for me so I could continue refining the designs. Working with the client to refine the logo takes the initial sketches into a more sophisticated form. 


Now that the logo is designed, it needs accessories! We chose appropriate colors for the themes and landed on greys and purples as the core colors. I eventually also created some hand-drawn illustrations of historical Richmond, VA locations with pen and ink for a vintage style. We also added some sub-branding for several staple coffee blends and a repeating pattern. 

Package design

Since Ironclad sells its roasts, they needed packaging as well. I worked with Ryan to develop some basic package designs that he could then take and modify for different blends. He has some design knowledge, himself, so I tried to make the designs a little DIY so he could take them and run with them as the brand evolved.


Ironclad has grown a loyal following in the years since it first opened, so it has developed merchandise for its fans, including mugs with the Tolliver's Blend mascot and t-shirts with historical Richmond boxer Tom Molineaux, who graces the flagship Bare Knuckle espresso blend.


With every brand identity I design, no matter how small, I include a Brand Guide PDF that lists everything you need to know about the core visual brand. It's easy to lose sight of where you started with a good brand and end up watering it down, so this Brand Guide is important to keep your "outfit" matching and tidy. 


I'm delighted to do brand designs for brands that have a fun, colorful quality to them. I take very few brand design projects because they are very time-consuming, but I do my best to serve the branding clients that I do take! 

  • I excel at brands that are any of the following: young, family-oriented, child-oriented, feminine, educational, foodie, bold, quirky, retro, vintage, etc.

  • I do not prefer brands that are corporate in style. I will not do work for brands that are NSFW. 

  • If you have any other questions, feel free to ask at 

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