After 20 years working for others, Guy Becker wanted to build something of his own. So, in 2017, he founded Kristopher James Company, a one-stop-shop for financial institutions to source forms and supplies. The company serves local and community banks and credit unions nationwide, with product and services that include MICR tickets, banking and tax forms, printer and scanner supplies, customized marketing materials, and performance improvement consulting.
Becker had a strong foundation to launch from. His career in financial services introduced him to a number of industry contacts, and helped him understand the needs of his future clients. But to grow his venture, he needed marketing support.
“Deluxe was the first call I made”
To attract clients, Becker needed a brand that represented experience and trust. But he wasn’t sure how to incorporate those concepts into a logo and website. So he sought outside help.
“Once I had incorporated, Deluxe was the first call I made,” Becker said. As a former employee of Deluxe, he knew their marketing expertise would be invaluable to his business. “I started working with Deluxe even before I had finalized the acquisition. I needed help with branding, a logo and how to get noticed.”
He also lacked the time to give his branding too much thought. He had just one design requirement: He wanted something bold, but that wasn’t too “artsy.”
Because he was working under tight time constraints, Becker also requested his logo and website be completed in three weeks.
A memorable — and versatile — logo
Becker discussed his company and his needs with the Deluxe logo design team. This helped the Deluxe designers understand KJC’s services and audience, and how Becker would use the logo.
“We wanted to create a graphic icon that would be memorable and representative of his service,” said Cono Fusco, creative director for logo development at Deluxe. “We chose a lettermark design. The combination of initials with the full name made the design more versatile. The icon can easily be used alone. This would be the beginning of a great brand identity.”
Key design elements of the logo include:
- A graphic drawn through the company initials that represents growth and connection
- A bounding box around the lettermark that portrays security
- Use of a sans serif font for most of the lettering that is easy to read and appeals to corporate clients
- Use of a modern script font for the word “Company” to complement the overall design
- A dark shade of blue that symbolizes confidence, strength and reliability
The new logo created by Deluxe:
A website delivered ahead of schedule
Because of the tight schedule, website design work began immediately. There was little time for redesigns and revisions, so the first draft was critical.
Becker benefited from working with the same company for his logo and website. Designers for both projects could collaborate from the beginning. That prevented one team from having to redo work to match what the other created.
Ben Gardner, the Deluxe website coordinator assigned to KJC, was provided a first draft of the business’s logo. This helped him understand the general style and design direction of KJC’s brand.
“That first peek at the logo ensured that the website was much closer to the client’s overall vision,” said Gardner. “This cooperation with the logo team saved me quite a bit of time: We delivered the final version of the website three days ahead of schedule.”
In addition to collaborating with the Deluxe logo designers, Gardner also polled other members of the website team to brainstorm how to meet Becker’s expectations.
“I asked for websites they had developed that met key elements of Guy’s criteria,” said Gardner. “I received quite a few example websites, and I pinpointed four examples that I thought did a great job of fitting Guy’s vision. I sent these over to the design team to help them visualize what we were looking for.”
The website homepage created by Deluxe:
A process so easy, “I didn’t even have to think about it”
Becker was thrilled with the results. “In this business, first impressions are important. And the first impression my clients might have of me is my website, my logo, my brand or my letterhead.”
Partnering with Deluxe enabled Becker to concentrate on getting his business off the ground.
“One of the things I think is most important in business is making it easy for customers to do business with you,” he said. “Deluxe did that for me. The whole process was so easy. It’s one of the things I appreciated most. I didn’t even have to think about it.”
Getting the word out with a new brand
Now, Becker hands out business cards and fliers adorned with his Deluxe-designed logo at trade shows. When he hosts a webinar, he directs attendees to his professionally designed website. When he follows up with an email, its signature bears his logo and branding.
“We’re using our new brand every way we can to get the word out,” said Becker.