All Posts in Identity

January 28, 2016 - Comments Off on 15 in 2015

15 in 2015

Ashton Design’s 30th year in business, 2015, was marked by some of the largest, most complex and rewarding projects in our history. Whether we were in our own city revitalizing a historical theater or halfway across the globe completing an international science exhibit, we approached every project in the same way: designing solutions and experiences that were uniquely tailored to each project and its audience.


ABET Brand Launch
Identity, Print, Web, Environments


One of our largest and most extensive projects of the year  was developing the new identity and logo for ABET, a global organization that sets the standard for higher educational programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. We created a contemporary identity that mirrors its forward-thinking purpose and implemented it across the full spectrum of ABET’s brand imagery, media, and materials, as well as environmental graphics for the organization’s headquarters and corporate training facility in downtown Baltimore. We also conceptualized and designed two of their largest special events—their annual Awards Gala and Annual Symposium Conference. More


ABET Website


We transformed the existing ABET website into a streamlined and engaging experience that reflects the organization’s work in global accreditation for cutting-edge science and technology related educational programs. Bold applications of color, custom icons and defined typographic styles help to create a dynamic user-friendly site with intuitive navigation for both ABET members and first-time visitors. The website, along with the identity, were recognized with two international marketing and communication awards.
Visit the website


Konya Science Center, “Our Bodies”
Environments, Illustration


We completed our first international exhibit—“Our Bodies”—one of seven permanent galleries in the Konya Science Center—Turkey’s first interactive science center. We created stylized scientific and anatomical illustrations and a simple bilingual visual system for the exhibit graphics that create a fully immersive environment with the goal of producing an informal learning setting for kids between 4 and 9 years old. The exhibit is part of a greater complex with a LEED-certified museum that is expected to attract 1.7 million visitors a year. More


Old Ellicott City
Identity, Print, Environments


Old Ellicott City is a beautiful and thriving historic main street in the heart of Maryland. We were tasked with capturing its quirky and independent spirit with a new identity and tagline. We had the opportunity to work with historic wood type for the logo from Baltimore’s famous Globe Poster Printing Corporation, now managed by the Globe Press Studio at MICA. The tagline—“Individually Crafted”—refers both to the unique personalities that make up Old Ellicott City and to the ability for each visitor to create his/her own unique experience in this eclectic downtown. 


Harley-Davidson Museum, “Willie G Davidson: Artist, Designer, Leader, Legend”
Identity, Enviroments


This summer’s special exhibit at the Harley-Davidson Museum—“Willie G. Davidson: Artist, Designer, Leader, Legend”—celebrated the life, career and legacy of Willie G. Davidson, the man behind the iconic look, shape and feel of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Working closely with Willie G. and the museum’s curatorial staff, we created the show’s identity, layout and interpretive graphics. Running from June 13th—September 7th, the exhibit gave visitors access to one-of-a-kind vehicles, original designs, art and rare artifacts that provided an insight into his unique creative process and personal style. More


Sagamore Development Headquarters



Working with Sagamore Development and Patrick Sutton Interiors, we designed the signage for Sagamore’s new headquarters. Owned by Under Armour CEO and founder Kevin Plank and one of the firms leading Baltimore’s transformational development, Sagamore’s modern, industrial interior offices are finished with custom cold rolled steel walls, which inspired our simple yet effective signage. More recently, we were asked to collaborate with Colorado-based Finndustry, and interior designer Patrick Sutton to create a comprehensive sign package for the new hotel being established on the Fells Point Recreation Pier by Sagamore. More


The Centre



This year we had the opportunity to help revitalize Baltimore’s beautiful but long-neglected Centre Theatre and transform it into an award-winning multi-purpose space. Working with non-profit developer Jubilee Baltimore and Ziger/Snead Architects, we created Art Deco-inspired graphics and signage and the restored marquee to once again illuminate North Avenue in the Station North Arts District. The space, recipient of a ULI Baltimore Wavemaker Award, is now home to local businesses, community organizations and the joint filmmaking program of Johns Hopkins and Maryland Institute College of Art. More


Georgetown University


Georgetown University’s Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED) was in need of a more user-friendly and visually-appealing website and we were excited to help. Working in close collaboration with the school, as well as Ashton’s writing, development and strategy team, we helped to develop a new system, using current brand standards, in which potential students and teachers could easily navigate the expansive and engaging website. After its launch, we worked with Georgetown on improving their website for the English Language Programs.
Visit the site


Maryland Distillers Guild


In recent years, Maryland has experienced a resurgence in small craft distilleries, and we were excited to be asked to create the logo for the Maryland Distillers Guild (MDG), which represents and raises awareness for the growing Maryland spirit industry. The MDG logo is inspired by Maryland’s long tradition of rye distilling, taking inspiration from historic wax stamps and ornate typography but updated for its contemporary use. More


Latitude Residences
Identity, Print, Environments


In 2015 we started work on the identity and environmental design for Latitude, an innovative apartment complex in Champaign, Illinois. Home to University of Chicago students and young professionals, Latitude aims to provide an innovative and collaborative atmosphere with extensive co-working spaces and amenities reminiscent of a tech startup. 


Sunnyfields Cabinetry
Identity, Print, Web, Environments


Sunnyfields, a “new kind of home centre for the Baltimore region”, needed a new look to go with their newly opened showroom for high-end custom cabinetry and home goods. We worked closely with the client to create a logo, website, signage and various print materials, and in doing so, helped to define their brand position and marketing strategy. The result is an identity that is as elegant, unique and experience-driven as their showroom.
Visit the website


BMA African Wing


After the success of the American Wing family guide, we again teamed up with the Baltimore Museum of Art to create another kid-friendly piece for their newly expanded African Art gallery. Wanting to avoid overly themed cliches, we took a more contemporary approach to the guide by balancing bold color and typography with a collage-style layout within each spread. The result is a piece that is playful, accessible and engaging for kids. More




Arris is the newest apartment building to open in The Yards, one of the trendiest areas along the Capital Waterfront in Washington DC. We were tasked with creating interior and exterior signage that will complement this unique and dynamic building designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. As the project is nearing completion, we will soon be able to share more of our signage.


St. Paul's School Annual Fund & Annual Report


For over 20 years, we have been partnering with St. Paul’s School to create their development, fundraising and strategic plan materials. For the 2015 Annual Report, we wanted to have the message be about St. Paul’s donors and how their past contributions had enhanced the school. We had over 400 students from 1st-12th grade write personal thank you letters describing how donations had helped to improve their school experience. These hand-written messages were carried throughout the printed Annual Report and one of the 400 letters was included with each mailed report for a one-of-a-kind thank you.


KIPP DC Panthers



Inspired by European soccer club logo crests, the new identity we created for the KIPP DC College Prep Panthers takes a sophisticated  approach to school athletics graphics. The mark and seal will soon be applied to uniforms, supergraphics and the main gymnasium floor. In addition to the Panthers’ identity, we are currently working on the school’s exterior signage, donor recognition and interior graphics. More


This upcoming year, we are looking forward to partnering with our wide range of educational, cultural, and corporate clients, on projects across all design platforms. We will soon be completing a few long-term projects, including and extensive environmental graphics program for an NCAA university athletics complex and custom illustration and murals for one of the world's most highly regarded hospitals. We are also looking forward to starting many new projects, including branding and signage for an 18-story high rise, a historic market house and a 300,000 sq ft retail facility. As a small studio of designers who think across many disciplines, we love to take on the unique challenges that each project brings us and share the results of our diverse work with you.

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October 21, 2014 - Comments Off on International Accreditation Agency selects Ashton Design for Rebranding

International Accreditation Agency selects Ashton Design for Rebranding

Ashton Design was selected this summer as the design and marketing agency of record for ABET, the international leader in the accreditation of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. The project includes developing a new brand identity, brand guidelines, as well as their public website and print materials to align with the new brand strategy.

The first major benchmark in this project will be the launch of the new brand identity, logo, and core message strategy. Stakeholder engagement and brand positioning began last year by London-based consulting firm Neil Gaught & Associates, Ltd., and spearheaded by ABET’ s director of global communications, Danielle Baron. The process involved an intensive review of the organization’s historic and current mission, its position within the accreditation marketplace, and the messaging strategy.

Alexey Ikonomou, Ashton Design’s creative director, explained that ABET's approach is to reach a global audience through a forward-thinking visual identity. He added, “We are excited to be working with a global organization that’s located just around the corner from our Baltimore studio.”

Ashton Design will first be tasked with conceptualizing and developing the new identity and logo, then implementing the full spectrum of ABET’s brand imagery, media, and materials (print, web and video), including a redesigned, streamlined website, internal documents and collateral print materials, as well as environmental graphics for the organization’s headquarters and corporate training facility.

The new identity will make its public debut at ABET's annual symposium conference in April 2015.

ABET is a Baltimore-based nonprofit/non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. ABET accredits over 3,450 programs at 698 colleges and universities in 28 nations. ABET provides specialized, programmatic accreditation that evaluates an individual program of study, rather than evaluating an institution as a whole.

Ashton Design is a boutique design firm based in Baltimore, Maryland since 1985, with a close-knit team of highly creative minds in a collaborative environment. Core design disciplines include identity and logo creation, environmental graphics, web and print design. Ashton Design works with a diverse set of clients from Major League Baseball stadiums to local restaurants, as well as architecture and interior firms, commercial development projects, non-profits, retail and entertainment entities, and schools and public institutions.

September 5, 2014 - Comments Off on A Stylish Identity and website for a Pragmatic Investment Advisory Firm

A Stylish Identity and website for a Pragmatic Investment Advisory Firm

Buttonwood Financial Advisors (BFA) asked Ashton Design to create a stylish identity that reflects their firm ethos of helping clients achieve investment objectives to better their financial position. Our goal was to create a visual experience that parallels the real-life experience clients have with BFA.

Nationally recognized as a leader in environmental graphic design, Ashton Design’s full-service practice with an extensive web design portfolio helped us earn a place among the top web design companies in Baltimore. Our collaborative spirit and focus on using design to enhance our clients’ connections with their key audiences transcends design disciplines and media.




Led by Damian Gallina and Jeff Malcom, BFA is a Maryland-based investment advisory firm serving clients throughout the entire United States. Founded in 2008, the firm’s investment philosophy is derived from their emphasis on objective review of investment options and a strong desire to better their clients' financial interests. The firm has a clear message and a straightforward process in dealing with the complexities of financial planning and investment management, and BFA enlisted Ashton Design to help communicate this philosophy clearly and concisely.


The Ashton Design team began by refining the existing logotype and introducing a secondary design element in the form of a simple “B." The company's existing color palette was also refined. A dark corporate blue was paired with a family of cool grays and accented with bold white typography.

We executed a simple grid layout across all of BFA's internal and external collateral, including letterhead, investment statements, and data sheets. Branded templates were provided to the firm to allow for day-to-day editing and improved workflow.


BFA's website was created using responsive design for an optimal viewing experience on mobile and tablet devices. Ease of use, along with concise messaging and a simple visual language were paramount features of the web design. The site utilizes custom photography and video, shot by Ashton Design, that further highlights the personalized approach and philosophy of the company. All photographs and videos on the site are presented in black and white — offering a visual simplicity which reinforces the air of confidence that infuses all client interactions with the firm.



View the live Buttonwood website.