Design Alabama
Design Alabama


Sherlock, Smith & Adams is Rebranded and Renamed SS&A Design Collective

Montgomery-based Sherlock, Smith & Adams was established in 1946 and has flourished for nearly a century as an architecture and engineering firm offering a range of services, and working on national and international projects in diverse industries.

When ready for a change that would bolster its long-term success, the company sought the services of Copperwing, a creative consultancy with concentration in design, data and digital communications that’s also based in Montgomery. Copperwing stepped in to rebrand the well-established company, and in the process changing the name to SS&A Design Collective.

SS&A participated in Copperwing’s Brandstorming process to build a foundation for its brand beginning with brand story and language, says Copperwing Managing Partner and Creative Director Angela Stiff. The company’s target audiences were researched and carefully considered. As with most rebranding projects, the goal was to create more clarity, relevance and impact within the client’s market.

“The Power of AND” was a concept born out of the Brandstorming process and is expressed on the firm’s newly designed website:  

As the word “and” implies, SS&A puts something more into every project—something more authentic, comprehensive, and consultative. More deliberate. More adaptive. Clients around the world have relied on our progressive, independent vision to create the structures that reflect their passion for excellence. And as we continue to grow, our expertise and knowledge keep transforming the landscape around us in fresh, exciting, and responsible ways.

“We defined core attributes that led to a logo identity in bold even-stroke lettering with ampersand stands above the letters in gold, symbolizing the great importance placed on the power of “and,” Stiff explains.

“The striking ampersand represents the collaborative relationships shared among the SS&A team, their clients, partners, and the communities they help to shape. The ampersand is a symbol of adding value. We used it to express different niche specialties and capabilities of the firm in some applications of the mark by filling the ampersand with texture and pattern.”

Coming up with a new company name was also an integral part of the rebranding process. Stiff says SS&A had already selected the abbreviated version of their name and through Copperwing’s consultation process decided on “Design Collective” as their descriptor. This name, she points out, was a better representation of how the employees work together to find creative solutions for their clients.

It was clear to Copperwing during the Brandstorming process that relationships are important to this organization, which no doubt is key to its longevity.

“Whether through internal teams, strategic partnerships or working together with clients, SS&A values their alliances and credit them with their success,” Stiff continues. “The fact that an ampersand unifies their very name, it was a natural conclusion to find power in bringing resources together — therefore, power of AND. It was truly an authentic expression of how they naturally work. Being able to recognize and give voice to clients doing great things is what makes our job fulfilling.”

A brochure is another integral part of the branding process. SS&A’s new brochure puts the company literally in the hands of its current and potential clients.

SS&A’s new website is an integral part of its overall rebranding. It’s well designed and functional, easy to use with dynamic content, readily accessible contact and location, and optimized for mobile, search and social web.

Ampersands are used to create a dramatic visual effect for this screenshot – an image of the data displayed on the screen of a computer or mobile device.

The new SS& A logo identifies the company in a bold, clear and graphically pleasing manner. It makes a strong first impression while representing the essence of the company.


Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Copperwing


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