Happy Anniversary: The 15-Year Evolution of Inspira’s Fiery Logo
By Bobby Johnson
March 8, 2023
By Bobby Johnson
March 8, 2023
That’s right: happy anniversary to us. It’s Inspira’s 15th year anniversary, a celebration of how far we’ve come as a purpose-driven company looking to transform how brands and consumers find each other.
And considering only 25% of businesses make it to the 15-year mark, it’s definitely worth celebrating. We’re taking this opportunity to look back at not only the journey of the company itself, but how our logo–and our methods–have changed over the years.
Now hop into a time machine, because we’re going back to 2008. Don’t worry, we’re not staying.
In a 2020 interview with Force Brands, Inspira founder and current “Chief Inspiration Officer” Jeff Snyder explained the impetus for starting Inspira:
“I had been working at agencies for two decades and I saw them drowning in a sea of sameness. There was no clear differentiator in product or service and there was an increasing focus on the bottom line. This was affecting everything: the people, the clients, and the work. I knew I could do better.” – Jeff Snyder
The original Inspira started in 2008 with only a handful of people working above a bar, where early employees joke that their bar tab often exceeded the cost of the rent. It was a scrappy, fierce, and fiery company that built up over time to the 300+ employee place it is today.
It begins, like all things, with a typeface. When Inspira first came into being in 2008, this was our logo:
Simple, clean, and unassuming, with a lower-case humility combined with a bookish, Clarendon-esque, serif-style font that speaks to tradition. That second “i” is transformed into a match sparking the Inspira flame.
This logo, in particular the flame and the match, would become a recurring motif during the early days of Inspira. In 2011, the learning and development programs at Inspira were folded into a program called “Inspira U,” and it came with this variation of the main logo:
And, of course, the weekly shoutouts, where team members gave each other props for jobs well done, came on these little “Weekly Flames” Post-It notes.
An early “Road Trip” team-building exercise brought team-members to the local racetrack with personalized plates riffing on the original logo.
Inspira’s Joe McConville, Director of Client Engagement, remembers this first logo on squishy stress sharks that were scattered ubiquitously around the office.
From there, the Inspira logo evolved with the times, moving to a flatter style with a cleaner, geometric, sans-serif font. You’ll notice the flame has spread to the entire match, turning it into a torch to match the company’s growing size. Plus we got a capital “I” in there, which is basically like a promotion.
The next logo was a smaller shift, with a similar Futura-style font but a change in coloration. The text turned gray to match the softer yellow of the flame. The flame itself became impressionistic, more like an icon of a flame than a literal interpretation. You can see below, too, the clever use of the negative space in the flame itself to “dot” the “i.”
For 2023, however, Inspira launched an entire rebrand of not only our artwork and logos, but of our client capabilities as well.
With our fifteenth anniversary on the horizon, Inspira engaged all of its creative talent to rebrand our entire agency. It wasn’t just a fresh coat of paint, either. The artistic shift went hand-in-hand with our philosophy.
A philosophy combining data-driven insights (IQ) with an understanding of how people feel about the brands they engage with (EQ). In a press release announcing our rebrand, Jeff Snyder said:
“By incorporating our EQ x IQ philosophy into our process, our work, and our culture, it truly fosters an environment that embraces entrepreneurial thinking, fearless solutions, and purpose-driven ideas so that our teams and business partners can reach their full potential. In doing so, we continually optimize our services and successfully create stories, environments, teams, and programs that inspire, drive action, and lead to success.”
But it wasn’t just a philosophical pivot. Historically, Inspira has been focused primarily on experiential and field marketing. While those are still very much part of our capabilities and the core of what we do, we’ve also expanded into brand storytelling and integrated marketing campaigns.
With this action-driven direction, our new logo was born. It’s bright, bold, and dynamic, evoking both a classic pulp-action sensibility and a modern sharpness. The logo is optimistic, rising up as it goes. It feels like a shout.
And that’s where we are today, bright and bold and all-caps, combining emotion and data to understand what calls consumers to action. And to leverage that understanding to get your voice, and your brand, in front of the people who need it.
If you’re concerned about where the flame went (I know you are), the flame is still around, serving as its own more compact version of the Inspira logo. Like any good flame, it’s spread, and can be seen punctuating our whitepapers, serving as our social media image, and as the icon at the top of your browser anytime you visit our site.
Where will Inspira’s logo be fifteen years from now? This humble writer thinks a swarm of light-up drones circling the HQ would be pretty cool, or an enormous 3D hologram splitting the night sky. Perhaps carved into the moon? Who can say.
To learn more about Inspira’s fifteen-year journey, or to partner with us for this next leg of the trip, reach out to us today.
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