Tools of the Trade
Developing a Brand for Your Farm
Having a semi truck labeled is required by law in Iowa so when the Gleason family from Audubon needed identification for their semi, it was an opportunity to discuss their farm’s identity.
Following graduation from Iowa State University, Chad and Meg Gleason joined his family’s farming operation near Audubon. Chad farms with his dad, Doug, and his brother, Dustin. Meg is a graphic designer, freelancing from home. She designs for local businesses and works with social stationery clients on projects like birth announcements and wedding invitations.
Meg worked with their family to design a logo they are now also considering for T-shirts and caps.
“As farmers today are being challenged, we should use any tools we can to communicate who we are,” Chad says. “We asked Meg to include all aspects of our farm in our logo, if possible. She did a great job, including ideas we hadn’t even thought of. For instance, all of our cattle are in buildings. It is interesting that the “G” in our logo resembles the hoop roof protecting our cattle. We are very family and neighbor-oriented. The three lines running parallel in the ‘G’ reflect how we work together.”
Communication & Trust
Meg’s advice for farmers considering a logo: “Spend time thinking about what you want to communicate about your farm, your business and your family. A successful logo is aesthetically simple but communicates much. When working with a designer, focus more on the concept instead of what objects or pictures you want included. Graphic designers are educated in visual communication, so leave the visual side to them.”
Do Your Research
When looking for a designer, use local resources. Meg says, “Keep an eye out for logos you like. If something catches your eye, ask what designer or design firm the business works with. Don’t be afraid to ask to see a designer’s portfolio before you start working with him or her on your project. You’ll want to be sure his/her unique style will fit the logo you are looking for.”