On October 21, 2007, Mark Lubbers and Daniel Augustine took a big step and moved from friends to cofounders. Working from Daniel’s dining room, they launched a small web design and development firm which they called Gauge Interactive. In those early days, they designed business cards, collateral, and Flash websites. When an upstart eCommerce software called Magento came along, Mark and Daniel recognized its potential and pivoted their business to design and build eCommerce websites.
In the ten years that have followed, Gauge has grown in expertise, passion, and size. We now have twenty-one wonderfully creative, energetic team members spread across the United States. Together our team represents vast experience in eCommerce and business growth. Our client base has grown to include small and ambitious Shopify retailers all the way up to billion dollar, international enterprises running on Magento.
Ten years of business is a big landmark, and like any big landmark, it sparked some soul-searching for our leaders and team—introspection, nostalgia, looking back and looking forward. As we approached a decade of service, it was only natural to examine who we are, where we’ve been and where we are now, and where we’re going. During this time of reflection, one thing became clear: There was a stark difference between who Gauge has become, and how we were presenting ourselves through our brand identity.
So we embarked on a project to transform the face of Gauge—our brand, identity, and logo—to truly reflect the soul of Gauge. Today, we’re officially rolling out the denouement of this transformation: our new logo, identity, website, and name. We invite you, our clients, our partners, our friends and family, to experience this transformation with us.
The Soul of Gauge
Our transformation began by examining our roots. The past ten years have brought us through many challenges, changes, and market shifts. Yet from its inception, Gauge’s core vision has remained the same:
To guide our clients through eCommerce business growth
This statement is our rallying cry, the ruler by which we measure everything we do. It’s not an aspirational statement—it’s not something we hope to become or a nice-sounding idea that we’ve shoehorned our work into. It’s the articulation of an organic idea at the very root of who we are. This is the soul of Gauge.
Being a guide through growth is why our business was founded; it’s the shared value that unites us toward a common goal. When we consider new team members, technology partners, and even clients, alignment with this goal is criteria number one. Being a true guide and partner is so embedded in our DNA that it shows up in every decision, task, and conversation. It’s the bedrock on which we’ve built our business philosophy, and our new identity needed to reflect this foundation.
The Identity Gap
While we’ve gone through several logo changes in the past, those projects were simple updates. This project was the first to fundamentally shift the way we present ourselves to the world.
When designing the Gauge brand identity back in 2007, Mark and Daniel focused on our goal to create fast, reliable eCommerce websites. The initial logo and colors reflected our high-speed drive and desire for excellence, and every update was a new iteration on that idea. But that was only part of the story we needed to tell.
Our previous identity focused on one product: well-built and impeccably maintained eCommerce websites. While that’s still certainly a huge part of what we do, websites aren’t our main product, or our most valuable one. What sets Gauge apart is our offer of partnership. Our main product is our relationship and our role as your guide. That is who we really are: Guides through the challenges of a project. Guides through the complex, ever-evolving marketplace that is eCommerce. Guides who listen to you and care about your wellbeing. Guides who are there for you, every step of the way.
Each aspect of our new identity needed to reflect this idea. Here’s how we made it happen.
Our New Name: Gauge
When working on a big transformation like this, sometimes less is more. Our name isn’t really new; it’s just been refined. We simplified and dropped the “Interactive.” Why? Because it’s how everyone knows us anyway. It’s how you refer to us and how we refer to ourselves. It’s friendlier and more approachable. And while the “Interactive” was an important signifier of what we did back in the 2007 marketplace, it’s a bit dated now.
Our New Logo
Our new logo reflects the interdependent partnership we create with our clients. We can’t be successful without our clients, and they can’t be successful without us. This symbiotic relationship makes each client an integral part of our company.
As an agency, our job and calling is to walk with our clients every step of the way. Whether you need a new platform or you’re building your everyday marketing, we help you navigate treacherous terrain and accomplish your goals. And we don’t abandon anyone because the going gets tough.
Our new logo communicates this idea simply and elegantly. We have crafted our G using two parallel lines that intertwine; the logo couldn’t exist without either of them. It shows that Gauge and our client partners are better together. We support each other and shape one another’s future.
On closer examination, you’ll notice that the two lines are actually one line. This signifies that we’re moving forward together on one journey. During our partnership, your story and Gauge’s story are one, sometimes for a brief period of time and sometimes for much longer.
Our New Colors
We’ve moved from the harsh reds and blacks to softer, friendlier, and more hopeful blues and greens. These are the natural colors of organic growth, blended together just as the earth and sky blend together at the horizon. This is our way of saying that we’re in this for the long haul. We’re here for you when you need us. Your growth is our goal, and we want to walk with you to new horizons. You can trust us to do what’s right for you and your company, because our own success depends on it.
Our New Typography & Voice
Communication style is a huge part of personality for both individuals and brands. That’s why we based our typography and voice on the way we talk with our clients. Open, honest communication is the cornerstone of any successful partnership, so we want each client to feel comfortable talking with us. We want to be approachable and accessible, so our clients can get to know us and we can get to know you. Until we truly understand your brand, goals, people, and personality, we can’t guide you through growth.
Our role as your guide often includes acting as an interpreter. Expertise is not enough; we must be able to translate the ins and outs of modern eCommerce into language that’s simple and easy to understand.
We’ve changed our brand voice to reflect these ideas. Everything from our service offerings to our work pages now demonstrates our desire to serve our clients. The language is clarified and simplified, with less technical jargon and more in-depth explanations where necessary.
These ideas—personality, accessibility, approachability, and translation—are reflected in our new typography too. For our name, we chose a sans-serif typeface that’s approachable and energetic, yet straightforward and easy to understand. Our content and written communication uses a serif typeface that’s serious and modern, yet unpretentious and down-to-earth.
New Look, Same Gauge
All of these changes, and more to come, represent the new face of Gauge. But while our brand has changed, the heart and soul of Gauge has not. This transformation simply brings our foundations to the forefront.
If you’ve worked with us, we hope that you’re already intimately familiar with our dedication to guiding you to eCommerce success. And if you haven’t, we hope that you’ll give us an opportunity to work with you and your team. Either way, we’re glad you’re here to experience this journey with us.
Let’s make the story great.
— The Gauge Team