Johnston Brand Identity

Giving a great company
the brand it deserves

Heading Eemphasis Ellipses Created with Sketch.

The company knew who it was. But its brand didn’t say so.

Johnston Paper was a strong, well-respected regional food service and cleaning solution supplier. But its sophistication and scale went well beyond the traditional associations its name communicated, and the traditional visual identity it carried.

What’s in a name?

Through the course of an innovation center project for Johnston Paper, the Chase team uncovered the real opportunity—questioning the positioning, visual identity, and actual name of the company, then proposing to shift the entire brand to better represent the consultative, strategic, and innovative company they really were. Here’s what we learned.

Lose the “Paper”.

Johnston Paper is about more than paper, but their identity isn’t. By standing strong on their well-earned name with changeable modifiers to differentiate themselves to customer and market segments, Johnston can be itself while still being specific to its audiences.

Make sense of the business units.

Johnston represents a mind-boggling range of products and services that are essential to businesses of all sizes. But for its customers to engage with and purchase their offerings, they first need to make them understandable. So, we’ll need to create simple, intuitive groupings of its business units—food service and cleaning solutions—and all the product categories under each, refining their language and hierarchy along the way.

Visual makeover.

With that solved, we’ll turn to the visual possibilities for the evolved Johnston brand. A wide sweep of in-context studies generate a visual identity that is strong, flexible, functional, and easily translated across Johnston’s entire business portfolio. And a robust set of guidelines ensures that it continues that way.

“By using ChaseDesign to help us get to the next level, our business is exploding right now, right as we speak.”

Mike May

President and Owner, Johnston Solutions Inc.

The power of seeing a trusted partner in a new light.

The new brand was an immediate success, reintroducing customers and the general public to a vital and modernized Johnston and helping to cultivate new relationships with customers and evolve existing ones. It now lives across every Johnston touchpoint—signage, website, trucks, collateral, a complete innovation center, and more—a powerful and cohesive demonstration of the professional dedication and intelligence they have brought to their customers since day one.