The Delicate Art Of Updating A Club Logo When Your Namesake Is An Icon Of The Woody Boating World.

Dave Bortner holding up the old logo and new one!

A huge thanks to Rabbit, for sending in this wonderful story about changing a Brand. Wow, have I been here before, this is a very difficult task, and from the look of it. NAILED IT! Thanks to Bruce Bildsten and the entire Lands-O-Lakes chapter for sharing this.

Oh boy!

The delicate art of updating a club logo when your namesake is an icon of the woody boating world.

You may have heard about our boat club in Minnesota (and a touch of Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas.) A few years ago we hosted that ACBS International on Gull Lake that had everyone buzzing (at least, until our friends in Michigan did Boat The Blue.) Yeah, the same club with the President with the loud shorts: Dave Bortner. Well, I’m on the board of that club. And like Matt, I work in the advertising business. So, when our fearless leader with the pastel shorts and the rest of the board said it was time for a new logo, naturally it fell to me to make it happen.

Old Logo

The official name of our club is the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society. And since it was such a mouthful, we had to abbreviate it to BSLOL. The problem is in the new world of social media, those letters mean something very different: Something about bull dung, laugh out loud. And besides THAT unfortunate development, the logo itself was feeling more than a little tired.

The primary impetus for the change was clarity in communication. Our goal was to create a new logo that was as classic and beautiful as our boats, yet simple and easy to read. We also wanted to emphasize the portion of our name that would be easily understandable to those not in the club. Besides its unintended new meaning in social media, he emphasis on the acronym BSLOL in our identity required a whole lot of explaining on the dock of boat shows.

New Logo Mark in One Color – LOVE the idea of how to treat the name on the boat!

For the purpose of our logo, we simplified the name of the club to The Land-o-Lakes Classic Boat Club. It’s a term that clearly identifies our region. Of course, it’s more important than ever to the board to honor the legacy of Bob Speltz. That’s why the new design places the Bob Speltz name in the highest place of honor:

Bob Speltz – An Icon in our small world.

Along the hull of the real runabout, the focus of the new design. You’ll also notice the ACBS burgee proudly flying on the bow.

A wonderful way to incorporate the ACBS logo. Perfect without being two logos.

No, the new identity isn’t ground-breaking. But it’s timeless, clear and simple. We also stuck with classic red white and blue, instead of trying to match Dave’s shorts. Since I’m a writer, not a designer, I had to bribe one of my designers with a cruise (in one of Dave’s boats) and dinner on Lake Minnetonka. Thank you, Sarah McNerney!

Fantastic letterhead

And I think it worked. We immediately made a big batch of new T-shirts which instantly sold out. More swag is on the way.

Lets go! Photo Texx

14 replies
  1. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    That is perfect! Well done. I still remember the first time I saw and immediately bought Bob’s first book the year it was published. Thought I had found gold!! Nice way to continue to honor him!

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Great looking logo!

    The subtle changes speak loudly in today’s ever changing hobby.

  3. Page Heyward
    Page Heyward says:

    BRAVO!!! Beautiful job on the logo and all the supporting collateral! Now it’s time for t-shirts and embroidery and a really nice canvas boat bag! 🙂

  4. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Matt, Did you remove the pink and pastel green flowers from Dave’s shorts with Photoshop?

  5. Dave Bortner
    Dave Bortner says:

    Our chapter is so fortunate to have many, many talented members who give of their time and talents generously, and, due, I think, to the creative/advertising hub of the twin cities, not a few “ad geeks”! We’re lucky to have someone of “Rabbit’s” caliber doing this for us! Needless to say, we couldn’t afford what this result would cost if we had to invest the market value of doing it! Captain’s hats off to Rabbit and Sarah!

  6. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I dunno, I’m thinking butter. I’ve got every Speltz book and love them. Imagine having the sense to write and collect all that literature. But, for a school teacher, I thought his writing was lacking. Maybe I’m mistaken about his being a teacher. Hopefully, I haven’t touched a “third rail” and my comments aren’t considered BS, lol.

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Wilson, I believe you knew Bob Speltz better than almost anyone..(still with us anyway!) .why not write up a WB story about you and Bob? He faced real challenges in life but compiled the definitive history of a big part of our hobby.

    John in Va

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