Ironway Outdoors Logo

logo design

A single-color application of the Ironway Outdoors logo.

Ironway Outdoors is a land management company; they help property owners develop their land for a variety of uses, including hunting, fishing, agriculture, and birdwatching. They also assist with conservation projects in the Northern Michigan region, participate in community outreach and education efforts, and offer consultation services for prospective land buyers.

The company has a strong commitment to improving the quality of the region’s land and wildlife, both for the enjoyment of their customers and for future generations.

I collaborated with Kevin & Jeff of Greenlight Marketing to develop a number of initial logo concepts. At that time, Ironway Outdoors dealt primarily with whitetail deer habitat, as well as bird hunting habitat, so many of these initial concepts involved the plants used in feed plots (like turnips, carrots and clover), and types of trees favored by turkeys, pheasants, and grouse (like oak and hickory), in addition to depictions of the animals themselves.

Various development sketches from the Ironway Outdoors logo project; the precursor to the final pinecone design can be seen on the left, in the background.

I also included several hand-drawn type options (not shown here) inspired by uncial letterforms, which I felt evoked deer antlers, and a few other outdoor/wildlife-inspired motifs, such as the pinecone, to round out the offering.

Preparing the several-page document of initial sketches, before sending them to Greenlight for review.

Once Greenlight had reviewed my initial presentation, they asked that I include one additional concept, shown at bottom-center in the image below. This direction utilized a shield or crest, also reminiscent of a shovel blade, while the leaves at the top suggest a beet or carrot.

Three logo sketches, shown-head-on, on a white background.
Kevin & Jeff from Greenlight eventually whittled my collection of sketches down to these three, and presented them to the client.

Initially, the client chose the bottom-center option shown above; they felt it was least specific, spoke to legacy and dependability, and better encompassed their relatively broad service offering. We sent over some color options for them to review….and then the client’s business picked up. We agreed to keep the logo project in a holding pattern until things became more manageable.

When we all came back to the table, the client had made a few changes to their business model (now being more tree-oriented), and had also begun to prefer the pinecone mark. I was secretly thrilled, as the pinecone had been a personal favorite.

They had not yet implemented our previous work, so it was an easy adjustment to make.

The full-color, vertical lockup of the Ironway Outdoors Logo, including date of establishment, as it would appear debossed into stationary.