Branding Iron Mountain Organics (Version 2)

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V2 Iron Mountain Organics Logo Presentation 081518

Danny Ryan:Hello, and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. This is Danny Ryan, and I am here with Tommy Ryan. How are you doing Tommy?


Tommy Ryan:Doing great. Getting a slow start-


Danny Ryan:A slow start?


Tommy Ryan:It’s been one of those mornings where it feels like you’re off to a slow start.


Danny Ryan:I have plenty of those, which means you’re probably two times as far ahead as I am. It’s okay. I’m on my second cup of coffee, so life is good. I wanted to have a follow-up to our conversation about Iron Mountain Organics and the logo development. This sort of has to do with, as people create their own intranets, digital workplaces, it’s a good idea to brand it. It’s a great idea to have a logo, something to represent what you’re trying to do.


For us, internally at ThreeWill, it’s the café. And for you, as you look at Iron Mountain Organics, we had the conversation last time, as far as what are you trying to do? What’s the purpose behind it? And how does that get incorporated into a logo? And I thought it was a great conversation about that. If you haven’t listened to that, I’ll definitely put a link to that as I post this up on the blog. And definitely go take a listen to that.


But we’re looking at the second version. So the creative process, usually have an initial version of some ideas that are out there. And then you start to narrow it down and for us, I think we really liked a version that had the mountains in the background. Sort of the rolling, it looks maybe more like rolling hills where Iron Mountain is. And then we had Craig. Craig is the name of the designer. Craig ended up taking that and doing some follow-up versions to that. So this conversation, just wanted to take a look at that. And I’ll post this up as well on the blog post. Sort of the next revised versions of the logo.


So, what was your initial impressions as you got this?


Tommy Ryan:My initial impressions of the logo when I saw it, it was simple. And I think, as I look back to the previous version, there were a lot of examples of directions we could take the logo. And now we’re trying to narrow that down and try to get some concepts where he’s varying a few things, but not going into new directions necessarily, to complicate the process. So we can start narrowing that cone down to what is that final step, maybe in this third round, to get the final logo.


As I looked at them, I was drawn to two out of the three. And it was like the first and the third one.


Danny Ryan:That would be option 5A and then, this one?


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:5c.


Tommy Ryan:And they’re kind of on two ends of the spectrum. One is very simple. It’s in one color and has more of an outline of the mountain.


Danny Ryan:Mm-hmm (affirmative)-


Tommy Ryan:It’s something that I was attracted to. To it’s simplicity. It’s something that could stamp well. So it was simple, and maybe too simple. And the one at the top, that first example in the second round, the colors. I like the colors. And I like that there’s more to it. It’s richer because it has the three different colors in there. Actually, four different colors. And there’s something about it that seems more outdoorsy; a Patagonia type feel to it that gives it a little more character than the more simple example that is in one color.


Danny Ryan:Yeah, my favorite was this first one.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah.


Danny Ryan:I like the colors, they’re earthy. The sky tone plus the green and the red. I think the red compliments it very well.


Tommy Ryan:Mm-hmm (affirmative)-


Danny Ryan:And I like the embellishments. The simple Know Thy Food with the-


Tommy Ryan:The lines.


Danny Ryan:The lines to the side balances it out. Yeah, I like it.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, I was attracted to that one at first and as I looked at the rest I kind of narrowed out the second and the fourth one. And then he went through and gave two examples of doing the initials and making the “M” look more like a mountain. In his comments to sending this revision, he was saying, he didn’t really like it as a compliment to any of the logos. That it really seemed to be off brand, in a sense. But he tried something horizontal and it didn’t work for him. And this was the best he could do, going in that direction. And maybe there’s some other ideas that we can tinker with to try to have that complimentary [crosstalk 00:05:43]


Danny Ryan:For some reason it was a little…like if we went with the first one and one of these, I like the colors are obviously the same. Just using a different font and a very distinguishably different font.


Tommy Ryan:Yes.


Danny Ryan:Sort of threw me off a little bit.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, I think that threw me off too.


Danny Ryan:And of course I look off to the side, because you do that with ours and I see “Ho”, like “Ho, ho, ho”, like Santa Clause.


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:So I’m like, is this the theme, the Christmas theme here? But I almost, when I looked at it, I thought, almost just using the same type. With that first one where you just had “IMO” all the same size, and maybe it being something with the blue above and the same colors, and the green. And just doing something very simple with that. And maybe having a circular one. Something circular, I think some of the first ones were circular. Just something, a circular brand. More what I’m thinking of, again, like the whole brand idea is something that would be…Because a brand is only gonna do one color, so you can use that.


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:And so, just something with “IMO” is all I’m thinking. And sticking with the same font as he has here, and it just being very strong with that.


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:And maybe it could be just one…It has to be with a Brand One color, but just using “IMO” and just using that same font. Maybe just having a circular around it to encapsulate it. Just keeping it simple.


Tommy Ryan:Right, I might mock a few things and send them.


Danny Ryan:I think that’s probably good. Write some things on paper, take some shots of it and share it with them. And it doesn’t have to have the Know Thy Food on the brand, either. You can leave that out. But just something that has the “IMO”. For that one, it would be for things that were around the farm. And so it wouldn’t have to have the whole Iron Mountain, it would just be a compliment to this.


Tommy Ryan:Right, right. Yeah, and as I’m thinking about this process and how it applies to people branding their intranet, I think when you look at it, what do you take away? What are the feelings, or the aspects of it? Simplicity is a key thing. The colors are representative of iron and organic and nature.


Danny Ryan:Very back to nature. Natural tones, very earthy tones.


Tommy Ryan:Right. And then when you’re looking at your intranet, you’re looking at: What do we want this thing to represent? To try to pull out those feelings from that emblem, that logo that you put on your intranet.


Danny Ryan:And for us, and maybe just tying this all back. With the café, our thought there was it was a place where ideas are shared. What’s a café? Number one, it’s a place where you feel comfortable, it’s a place where there’s not a whole-lot of formality, it’s a place of sharing ideas, it’s a place of passion. When you go to the café and you’re…I’m passionate about coffee, you’re passionate about tea, and enjoying some of the finer things in life. It’s about being introspective and looking at what’s going on in your life. It’s about catching up. It’s about relationships. And so the idea of a café for us was very important. What we ended up doing with the logo, is I kept it very simple. The obvious coffee cup embellishment for me is taking our crest and turning into more of a coffee cup. And it doesn’t have to be over the board. But just sort of tying it back to our original brand.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, yeah.


Danny Ryan:So, I think with this. So the things that I think influence this are simplicity. I think some of the brands…I think the Patagonia brand, if I had to sort of take some that I think go into this. And also I would say that organic…I think some of the things maybe that we were talking earlier about, where if something is branded as being organic, using those two logos to influence and remind you is a good thing. It has to stand on it’s own and it has to have it’s own personality. I think it’s fine for it to remind you of other brands that you want to be associated with. Or that have the same type of value system that you have. It’s okay, its like in a family of logos. It stands on it’s own but it belongs to that family, I think is important. It’s not like coming out and standing on its own and it doesn’t remind you of anything at all.


Tommy Ryan:Mm-hmm (affirmative)-


Danny Ryan:Yeah, I think this is great stuff. Number one, that’s gonna look great on a shirt.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, yeah, definitely. I agree.


Danny Ryan:I think that would look just awesome on a shirt. And I could also see the idea of putting that on the back of the shirt and then maybe the brand, the IMO, as being like a crest on the front. I can see that going, or just that being on the back. But I think that’s cool. You could do a lot of things with that. I like having a crest. So I would suggest that we not just drop that idea of not having it. Because this is very, it’s horizontal it’s sort of…it would go on things like shirts. But as you know, when people ask for things, there’s certain places, where on our Twitter account, or things like that, where I just use our crest.


And I think it’s been helpful for us, just to have something that stands alone by itself. And this is a bit much. For it to be your only option, I think you would also want to have a simplified version of this that you can use in different places. I think that’s been beneficial for us.


Tommy Ryan:Okay, makes sense.


Danny Ryan:And I wouldn’t make it that complicated…I would stick with the same fonts, we’re not gonna be doing that much with colors. I might, just to have some variety, maybe put it in to a circle to see what that looks like. I think that sort of goes back to the organics stuff that we were talking about. Or look at other logos that are circular.


Tommy Ryan:Right, right.


Danny Ryan:And I think it’d be great, I think you’re there. You also don’t overthink these things.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah. Because you can create something fairly simple. Similar, that’s going down another track. I think you have to take a track and see it to completion.


Danny Ryan:And this will last for years. And over time you might try something new. We’ve had two logos over the course of…probably more than that. Remember the original Venn diagram?


Tommy Ryan:Venn diagram, yeah. [crosstalk 00:13:52]


Danny Ryan:The only problem with that, is it looked like the radioactive symbol. People don’t like looking at that for some reason. Fortunately, that didn’t take off. And I don’t have too many things around the office here that’s the Venn diagram.


So we’re in our third iteration, and so this is also something over time…I think it’s very strong and will last many years. There’s no reason to change off of it.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah.


Danny Ryan:And now that you’ve got this, it’s about building the community out of this. And you also want to have ways that people can take this and like I said with the shirts, and said with just different things. I could see the circular, the smaller brand, maybe being on like a key set, or something that reminds people of this. And I could also see it on…the idea that we were talking about before with recipes, I could see this maybe being on something that was a kitchen utensil. Something that you’re using for cooking. Or even if you have a small version of the brand that you could put into a piece of wood, or something like that.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah.


Danny Ryan:I can see it on like a trivet, or something like that. Something that is used in cooking, in preparing what you got from Iron Mountain Foods.


Tommy Ryan:Right, yeah. Yeah, yeah.


Danny Ryan:I can see something coming out of that. But first I would say t-shirts and then get the brand, and see where you want to go with it from there. And see what other things are out there where you would want to put this. And again, it’s people wanting…The idea behind this is know thy food. And getting back to understanding where things come from. And sign me up.


Tommy Ryan:Cool.


Danny Ryan:I have to share this as a last story, because I heard it yesterday. But Connor, you know Connor is back in school. And for those who don’t know, Connor is my youngest child and he goes to a local school here. And they were going through extracurricular activities and there’s lots of things you can sign up for. And he wanted to do the seed garden.


Tommy Ryan:He did? Awesome!


Danny Ryan:And it’s more than just a seed…Actually they have like a little mini farm that they…that he’s going to be involved in doing. And out of all the things that were out there, all the sports and whatnot, he wanted to do the seed garden.


Tommy Ryan:Nice.


Danny Ryan:So I think you had a very positive influence on him.


Tommy Ryan:Cool, very cool.


Danny Ryan:He would love to have an Iron Mountain Organics [crosstalk 00:16:33] shirt to wear to school. So sign him up for that. [crosstalk 00:16:35] And again, the key with this is creating a movement. It’s creating something that people can join. And this is definitely something that people will get excited about and it’s real. And what you put in your mouth has an impact on your life.


Tommy Ryan:It does.


Danny Ryan:And so, this is something that can have a real impact on you. And just knowing your background, and your story, and what you went through with cancer. About how you can make choices, this is back to the whole ThreeWill idea. It’s that you can choose what you want you do. You can choose what you decide to eat. And it’s just a next evolution of what you’re doing in your life, and I just love it.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, cool. I’m excited.


Danny Ryan:But you can’t leave quite yet. We still have a lot to do here. [crosstalk 00:17:26]


Tommy Ryan:I’ve got plenty of years here.


Danny Ryan:We’ve got a lot to do here…don’t leave me quite yet.


Tommy Ryan:We’re just planting seeds right now.


Danny Ryan:We’re just planting seeds. I’ve got my own seeds that I’m planting but we’re still a while off. But I love it, I mean I think this is exactly what you should do with your second career, is to get it going and get it up and running and it’s nothing…You can take steps in the right direction.


Tommy Ryan:And it’s been fun. This first year of doing this has been bringing vegetables to clients. And it’s amazing, the experience that creates. That bond that you have by sharing food.


Danny Ryan:Uh-huh (affirmative)-


Tommy Ryan:That’s hand grown. And where some people they say, “I’m not into vegetables, but my daughter is gardening and struggling with getting some things to go and she’d love to have some vegetables.” And then one person said “I just switched to being on no meat, no alcohol, and mainly vegetables from Sunday to Friday.” And basically they’re just trying to have a healthier life. They like meat, they like alcohol but they know it’s good for them to put more vegetables on their plate.


Danny Ryan:They’re drunk from Friday morning until Saturday (laughter). But, yeah, it’s a step in the right direction.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, yeah. So it’s great to be a part of people’s lives, outside of work, where you can make that a part of the experience that you have with your clients. That it’s more than just the work that you’re doing and you bring in interests that are outside of that. And you’re bringing the whole person into the conversation. And I’ve grown with that over the years, because coming from chemical engineering, and a very engineering mentality, I thought it was all about the work. It was all about the quality and what you actually did. And the relationship was, not even secondary. It wasn’t in the thought. It was more like, well, if I do good work that’s what counts. And you just find that the relationship is the most important thing. And part of that relationship is the quality of what you do, and caring about what you do. But it’s caring about the person first.


And I think having this ability to give people food, and kind of talk to the important things in life in terms of health. I mean health is such a critical part of having a full life, and to bring that into the conversation by just bringing a bag of vegetables and handing it to them and saying “Would you like these?”, creates a different conversation. A different environment. And I’m looking forward to, over the years, learning how to do this better. And sharing with people as they go along the way. That’s very rewarding.


Danny Ryan:I love the green beans and the Thai peppers.


Tommy Ryan:We’ve got more of those.


Danny Ryan:Well, thank you. This has been great. And good job Craig, appreciate the hard work you’re putting into this. And it’s really coming together. Again, I’m looking forward to the shirt here. It’s gonna look really wonderful. This is great stuff. I hope everyone’s enjoyed doing this.


Just thinking about how you apply your corporate brand over to your digital workplace or intranet and really thinking about this. I think some of the takeaways from this as well, is you’re trying to create a movement inside your organization. And what does that look like? And what does it stand for? And what are you trying to convey as part of what you’re doing? And I think each organization, right now, I’ll say this and I’ll put a button on this is.


Pete and I are working on our ThreeWill digital workplace. And we started the whole thing off with: What are our values? What is it that we care about? And I want that to sort of encompass what we’re doing and how we are as an organization. There’s so many times in which I’ve come into these situations with clients and it’s just sort of like, “I want what everybody else wants, whatever that is”. And I can understand that. And there’s some basics that need to happen there. But you also want to look at where you are as an organization. What’s unique about your organization. Who are you? What do you value? What’s different? And incorporate that into what you’re doing.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah. And we’re trying so hard to help companies with that. Where we’re approaching it based on the business cases or the use cases that drive that internet and try to get away from the features. Don’t jump into the features right away. Think about what impact you want to make with this intranet. And what’s really core and important to your organization. And then we can still getting into the technology piece. But a lot of hard work goes into that. You really need to think hard about what are the key tenants of being successful with your intranet.


Danny Ryan:Well thank you everybody for listening. Have a wonderful day, and talk to you soon.


Tommy Ryan:Bye.


Additional Credits

Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

Danny RyanBranding Iron Mountain Organics (Version 2)

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