In honor of DesignHammer’s 20th Anniversary, we thought it would be neat to ask the DesignHammer team what they thought the DesignHammer logo represented. For this fun thought experiment, staff members were asked to analyze various parts of the logo including the block/box graphic, any thoughts they were willing to share around typography and brand colors, and finally, what they thought the name “DesignHammer” meant. Part 2 of this series will explore staff interpretations around our company's name.
Here's what the staff had to say about the name "DesignHammer":
“A hammer is the building block of any construction project. And when it comes to websites, design is the first building block. To me, this just goes to show that DesignHammer does everything. This company is the building block for any great website. From my experience working here, everyone contributes something valuable, and we use everyone to learn more and grow more as a company.”
— Madelyn Yonnetti, Graphic Designer
“Thematically, it invokes the idea of using the right tool for the right job.”
— Jay Roberts, Lead Developer
“To me, the name DesignHammer connotes two concepts that I feel we try to deliver through our work at DesignHammer:
- The marriage of form and function, creating websites that both communicate our clients' brand message and serve as tools to further their organizational goals. I think many firms focus on one or the other, but we strive to achieve both.
- We take a pragmatic, workmanlike approach to our craft (web strategy, design, and development), focusing on getting the job done.”
Stephen Pashby, Account Manager
“Honestly, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me (lol), but I've always thought it sounded cool. Maybe it suggests that we can build designs that we and/or our clients dream up, i.e. we have the tools ["hammer"] & skills to turn web ideas ["design"] into realities.”
— Tiffany Cissel, Developer
“DesignHammer was born during a different age of online branding, back when .com domain names with real words were still available, and before company names featuring generic-sounding, made-up words became more popular. This was also before the current trend of single-word names directly related to the focus of the company, be they dictionary or phonetic approximations. Back then industry leaders were the likes of "Frog Design" and "Razorfish", and so "DesignHammer" was created along that theme.”
— David Minton, Managing Partner
“Hammers have been historically used to shape and craft objects. Combine with Design and our job is to shape, craft, or breakdown design to make a new product.”
— Dave Shepley, Development Strategist
“While the actual story behind how the name ‘DesignHammer’ was chosen is pretty pedestrian, names gain meaning in use as much as in being given.
To me, DesignHammer represents our basic philosophy of web development. The two words each have their own relevance, and together they paint a picture of how we approach our work.
Design represents both the obvious factor (design of look-and-feel and usability of websites), but also our commitment to operating based on data and feedback; in effect, operating by design. Our process is always rooted in purposeful action, not just doing something ‘because.’ Whether it’s development, consulting, content creation, or even internal HR processes, we try to make sure that there is a reason we’re doing something a certain way (even if sometimes that reason is just that we’re going to give a try and then see how to improve from there).
Which brings us to ‘Hammer.’ Truthfully, we use very few hammers in our approach to web development (shocking, surely). But both our processes and our development technique often uses iteration as a strategy. Whatever our first intention may be, we are constantly evaluating where we are, what has been working well, and what hasn’t. We then make some changes that we think will help, and repeat the process. But ‘DesignIterate’ is a mouthful, and just doesn’t work.
But in the physical world, there is a similarity in our iterative process and in hammering, as one would in a forge. The initial efforts get at least a rough shape, and something for the end client to react to; further strikes of the hammer refine the shape into a more functional and pleasing finished product. And when done correctly, that finished product is stronger for all of the efforts put into it.
So, what I want DesignHammer to represent is this: we’re always working with some purpose in mind, and we’ll keep refining it until we get it right. Whether that’s your website or our process.”
— Michael Nicholson, Project Manager
“Counterintuitively to what one might think, I know for a fact that “DesignHammer” does not mean that we’re always ready to “hammer out designs” left and right, although that was my first (incorrect) impression of the name. DesignHammer is a partner agency, we aren’t a dev shop filled with code monkeys ready to do anyone’s bidding at the flip of a switch. Our development and design process is actually very careful and methodical; it is how we ensure continuous delivery of excellent web design and development solutions to our customers time and time again.”
“To this day I do not personally know what “DesignHammer” means, but if you’re seeking a quick turn-around agency who claims they can rapidly hammer out any design project you throw at them, then I have two things to say to you, 1. Be ready to sacrifice quality for speed and 2. Good luck with your search for a different vendor because that’s not exactly how we do things here at DesignHammer — Sorry!”
— Hunter Deschepper, Account Manager
“Unfortunately it doesn't mean anything. It's a unique name and was an available domain at the time. Another name we almost considered was DesignTractor :P”
— Frank Yonnetti ["DesignHammer" Co-Namer], Partner & Lead Designer