August 5, 2010
Medved Running and Walking Outfitters is a small family owned retail business in Pittsford New York, near Rochester. After meeting with the owner, Dan Medved, two things stood out in his assessment of his business and philosophy.
Number One The current identity was not working. While the current logo might have been hot stuff in 1983, the gradient, colors, running figures (equipped with headbands), and even the name were confusing and outdated. The hierarchy of the current identity was leading potential customers away from the store because they assumed it was some sort of medical supply store.
Number Two Not only did the current identity system confuse customers, but it had no connection to Dan’s description of what Medved Running and Walking Outfitters was all about. During our conversation, he emphasizes the store’s family history and the comfortable, non-intimidating atmosphere the store provides customers through friendly, knowledgeable staff. He insisted that customers of all skill levels of all activities (running, swimming, snowshowing, hiking, etc.) can walk through the doors and find exactly what they need, simply because the staff knew exactly what they needed and pays attention to customers of all skill levels. A marathon runner and a grandmother with arch support problems could be shopping side by side and both feel comfortable in the service, merchandise and overall atmosphere. The current identity is not comfortable. It does not appeal to the marathon runner or the grandmother, and that was a problem.
While sketching, I was keeping a few words in mind – family, active, comfortable, modern – to help establish a new look for Medved right from the beginning.
After sketching my initial ideas, two ideas stood out and I began to develop them further on the computer. The first was the negative space found in a standard uppercase, serif M. I wanted to find a mark, a symbol that could eventually stand alone and eliminate the confusion Medved was bringing to the table. I felt this shape was modern, active and sporty. In otherwords I could see it on shirts replacing the Under Armor and Adidas marks or even the Nike swoosh. I continued to develop it with alternate typefaces and even tried using a texture to fill in the shape.
The second idea I pursued was the bear. After researching the meaning of the name, I discovered that Medved is the Ukranian word for bear, and given the family significance of the business felt it was also appropriate.
Still not sure which direction to go, I continued to develop both concepts with a final typeface selection and color choices.
I even went as far as developing business cards for both concepts.
At the same time I was trying to develop a tagline to support each concepts.
The Short List In the Long Run, Here for You, Here for You in the Long Run, Go Outside, Be Outside, Performance.Endurance.Style, Enjoy the Run, Enjoy the Outdoors, Runs in the Family, For Your Outdoor Lifestyle, Be Active, A Good Fit
Taking my concepts and the list of tagline concepts above, I finally made the decision to commit to the concept of comfort and family and felt that the bear fit Medved’s broad customer base much better. In the end I paired it with the tagline Runs in the Family. I also decided that shortening the name from Medved Running and Walking Outfitters to just Medved Outfitters was appropriate. Having made the right decision, I knew it was time to refine the bear because frankly I was tired of people confusing it for a wolf! The end result is the final mark and concept I presented to Dan Medved.