I recently turned up at a campsite in one of our vans and someone commented on what a cool company name and logo we have. That happens occasionally and, because we are very proud of it, we certainly love hearing those comments. The conversation then often leads on to questions about how the Peak Mountaineering logo came about and that’s a longer story. But, as I’m now sitting in that very van with time on my hands, here it is….
A logo is much more than an image
A long time ago I bought a t-shirt with a view of mountains and a swirly sun picture printed on the back. I loved the feel and fun nature of the picture and the way the sun was depicted. It effortlessly conjured up the reasons I love mountains. The t-shirt got worn a lot. It got old, faded and threadbare, but it was always my favourite.
When we decided to start a company I knew a strong logo was vital. I also didn’t really know where to start in creating one. I went to see a designer and took along some inspirational items that I thought might inform the design – the t-shirt was one of them. The designer got me to lay out the items and write some key words describing my vision for the company. Fun, professional, inspirational and a variety of other words went on the list. As he listened I saw him keep glancing from me to the t-shirt.
Three days later he emailed some logo ideas and the first one that flashed up on my monitor was just what I was looking for. There before me was the bones of the Peak Mountaineering logo. After some tweaking of colours we ended up with what we have today. I was sure it would work, but sent it to everyone I knew to get their opinion. Fortunately they all loved it too. The logo was born. It says everything I want it to and I think it is a perfect fit for our business. The inspirational t-shirt is now hanging in an oak frame in our office (see main blog photo). An everyday reminder of the journey.
I was told that ‘customers either remember it or they don’t’
The company also needed a name. I’d bounced loads of ideas around and, although lots were good, none were perfect. As a worldwide mountaineering company we wanted the name to reflect that. We are also based in the Peak District and run many of our courses here. I felt that should be clear too. Finally, we work with lots of group types. I was close to sealing the deal several times but wasn’t quite sure. A week after seeing the logo ideas a group of us were making a dash for home after a winter climbing weekend in Scotland.
We were passing the time with chat about all kinds of things before the conversation turned to the company I was trying to form. Ideas flowed and there were some good (and some ridiculous!) suggestions. Suddenly, the legendary Keith Todd shouted out Peak Mountaineering. The car went quiet, glances were exchanged and time seemed to slow. The Toddster had nailed it.
A company logo is a point of identification
As soon as I got home I emailed the name to our designer and that very evening he sent the finished logo. After playing with a few fonts and tweaking a few sizes he’d most certainly got there. The evolution of our logo was the work of a few talented people and the inspiration that came from a climbing trip and a very cool garment. It’s perfect and we know it……but please don’t stop telling us how good it is!