The decision to re-name an established company is not one that any business owner takes lightly. But for FUEL client Gamut Productions, it was a natural outcome of the company’s determination to keep a sharp focus on the evolving photo reproduction industry it has served for the past 10 years.
Doug and Julie Blumer, co-owners of the company formerly known as Color Pro Digital, have anticipated and reacted to their industry’s changing nature throughout their careers. “Both of us came from photo lab backgrounds,” says Julie. “When the industry began to show signs that traditional photo printing was going to be replaced with digital, we decided to move forward and start our own digital imaging business.” Doug started the business in their home in 1998, and they officially launched Color Pro Digital in Hiawatha, Iowa, in 1999. “At the time there were no other photo labs in the area that were strictly digital,” Julie recalls.
With the company’s emphasis on personal service, attention to every aspect of its reproduction projects, and willingness to embrace the latest innovations in media and technology, Doug and Julie built a loyal and varied clientele. Today the business prints photos or other graphic digital files ranging in size from 4×5 inches to the mammoth 100-foot pieces that are used primarily for event exhibits or corporate trade shows. “We also work in the art community producing high-quality Giclée prints that artists are able to sell,” explains Julie. “The original art is digitally scanned and then printed on watercolor paper or canvas. We work mainly with artists on this service, but we also have publishers and corporate clients who use this.” The firm also offers high-quality photo retouching and restoration services.
The descriptive name Color Pro Digital served the upstart company well for many years, says Julie. “But as the company grew we wanted a name and look that represented what we had become and also could incorporate whatever the future might bring. We knew we needed professional help to accomplish what we were looking for,” she continues, “and we were very familiar with FUEL and their work, as they were a client of ours and we had seen what they had accomplished for other businesses.” Realizing the importance of making an impact at this critical juncture in the life of their company, the Blumers asked FUEL’s team of designers to create a forward-looking new name and visual identity for Color Pro Digital.
“They took the time to understand our business and its personality, so it was no surprise that their first proposals were right on the mark,” Julie says. What emerged from FUEL’s collaborative design process was a word that is concise, but full of possibility, “Gamut,” which formed the basis for the company name Gamut Productions.
FUEL lead designer Bill Bollman reveals that the design team generated a number of ideas for names that would encompass the identity and skill sets of the evolving business. “When the design team came up with the word ‘gamut’, we all agreed that this was it,” he says. “It was short, memorable and embodied exactly what their abilities are in terms of managing color, working within the range — or gamut — of the technical capabilities of their equipment to maximize and exceed what others can do.”
— Bill Bollman
Gamut’s excellence in the field of color reproduction also drove the choice of colors used in the company’s new business cards and letterhead. “The brilliance of what they produce is something we could not compete with in a set of business papers,” explains Bollman. “So we chose to work with grey scale, which is the starting point for understanding how color works.” The logo and family of materials designed by FUEL captured the company’s identity in a way that resonated with the Blumers’ sense of who they were and wanted to be. “The understated elegance of the design represented the personality of the business and was also very identifiable,” Julie states. Perhaps most importantly, Gamut’s new identity expresses the quality and resourcefulness that have distinguished the company since its inception. “Whether it’s using revolutionary materials for a trade show display or capturing the elaborate details of an artist’s canvas, we’ve crusaded to redefine conventions and deliver stunning images of the highest caliber,” Julie stresses. “This same pioneering spirit led us to our latest transformation, confident that the name Gamut Productions illustrates the extensive range of our capabilities and our ability to meet our customers’ diverse needs.”
Bill Bollman is FUEL’s Creative Director. Before co-founding FUEL in 2001, he worked for Horizon Communications, JW Morton and Basler Design Group. Bill studied Illustration at Hawkeye Tech in Waterloo, Iowa. An expert in the “old ways” of hands-on print production, these skills influence his work in the digital world to this day. His work throughout his career has been featured in international publications including Graphis, How International Design, Communication Arts, and The One Book as well as numerous design annuals and reference books.