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This Optometrist Was Super Picky When Designing Her Logo … and Now It’s Paying Off

Her North Dakota practice created a more modern look than clients were used to.




ONE OF THE FIRST things Dr. Jessica Keller realized as she was planning Elite Eye Care, which opened in Bismarck, ND, in 2017, was how important branding was going to be to promoting her business to patients. “Most major businesses are remembered not only by their name but by a branding picture, and I wanted to incorporate that into my clinic,” she says.

The starting point was the logo — and she was picky. “I went through a few companies until I found an image that was unique for my area… and was versatile.” That versatility has allowed the logo to serve as a springboard for a comprehensive branding effort that looks sharp and chic but still feels warm and fun. Keller can use the visual components of the logo either as a standalone image or a background image to tie in with branding on an array of items including business cards, letterhead, envelopes, signs, cleaning cases/cloths, mirrors, flyers, emails, advertising, website, social media, promotional products and more.

“The creator incorporated eyewear as well as a non-traditional heart in the logo; it’s just something different that again makes it stand out.” It actually comes in two different versions — one with a more square appearance and a second circular image.

“This gives me a little more freedom to add my brand to lots of different items by choosing which option fits and looks the best,” says Keller.

While she designed the store pretty much on her own, when it came to the branding Keller sought help from a clinic consulting firm, as well as a branding company. The two companies not only helped her devise specific visuals but also gave her ideas on how to display and promote the brand.


Elite Eye Care’s core demographic is families. Keller felt that by creating a more modern look than they were used to, she was able to send the message that Elite can provide “a modern and trendy, as well as caring, eye health and eyewear experience.” She advises ECPs to scope out the other brands in your area and find something that will set you apart. “Once you have settled on a design and general theme, find as many ways to incorporate that into your clinic as possible.”

The clinic’s branding appears on an impressive array of items including business cards, letterhead, envelopes, signs, cleaning cases/cloths, mirrors, flyers, emails, advertising, promotional products and more.


Keller tried several brand consultants before settling on one that was right for her.


Keller can use the visual components of the logo either as a standalone image or as a background image on any branded item.


A clinic consulting firm and a branding company not only helped Keller devise visuals, but also offered assistance in how to display her brand most effectively.

After years covering some of the farther flung corners of the world of business journalism, Heath has more recently focused on covering the efforts of independent eyecare professionals to negotiate a fast-changing industry landscape. Contact him at




Safilo’s “American Eyes” Video Celebrates Elasta and Emozioni starring ECPs Peter Tacia and Heidi Dancer

For the third year in a row, Safilo has looked to trusted eyecare professionals to star in its American Eyes campaign for its Elasta and Emozioni collections.Their latest testimonials are from Peter Tacia, O.D. and Heidi Dancer, optician, of Alma, MI, talking about two best-selling collections: Elasta and Emozioni.

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This Memphis Practice Uses Its Branding to ‘Frame’ Its Carefully Curated Eyewear

Because they believe frames are ‘art worn on the face.’




Branding Partner
The practice works with local marketing partner Inferno to design and manufacture all branded materials.

BOLD AND REPRESENTATIVE OF the highest standards,” is how Robbie Johnson Weinberg characterizes the branding at Eclectic Eye in Memphis, TN, which she opened with her husband, Michael Weinberg, OD, in 2002. Eclectic Eye’s advertising features the slogan “Put your style on display,” an idea that ties in with their belief that eyewear is art worn on the face. Hence the brush strokes that feature prominently in their branding: “The paint frames the model or product in each image, combining art and eyewear,” Johnson Weinberg says.

“Our brand is inspired by what we do,” she says. The logo incorporates both a visual representation of an eye, as well as the letter “E” to represent the name. The typeface is light, clean and modern to draw attention back to the logo and give the green color full impact. The Weinbergs are great supporters of the arts, and “didn’t want the logo to be too constructed, but rather, expressive.”

The palette was largely inspired by their location in Midtown Memphis, a hub for the city’s art scene. Eclectic Eye works with local marketing partner Inferno to design and manufacture all branded materials. The logo is featured prominently on top of the building’s tower. Deciding this was a great place to add impact, Inferno painted it a bold green and topped it with a sign.

The basic graphic principles are applied to all promotional materials/events, be it a trunk or art show, social media post, digital ad, blog, signage, collaterals or the monthly “Eyelights” newsletter.

The Weinbergs re-evaluate the brand imagery every year. The idea is to establish a core look that leaves room for creativity.

“Don’t be afraid to be bold,” advises Johnson Weinberg. “Finding the right brand image is often about finding ways to visually and conceptually express your unique taste and voice.”

Stroke of genius
In digital ads, brush strokes push the notion of eyewear as art.


On Message
The basic graphics are applied to all promotional materials/events, be it a trunk or art show, social media, signage, collaterals or the monthly “Eyelights” newsletter.


Outsider Art
Eclectic Eyes’ exteriors reflect the Midtown neighborhood, a hub for Memphis’ art scene.

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Living in the Future Thanks to the Indie Branding Effort at Lab Rabbit Optics in Chicago

At a one-man Chicago optical, Coyote DeGroot has crafted a brand that’s clear, austere and just a little luxurious: Lab Rabbit Optics.




COYOTE DEGROOT, OWNER OF Lab Rabbit Optics, is enthusiastic when asked to discuss the home-grown branding effort at his Chicago optical. So his initial description of it — “simple, maybe even boring” — is a little unexpected. His clarification is just as enigmatic: “I want you to feel like you’re living 8-10 months in the future: ahead of the curve, but not about to alienate your friends at the corner pub. I constantly strive for increased understanding and visual clarity.”

Lab Rabbit Optics owner Coyote DeGroot wants you to feel ‘like you’re living 8-10 months in the future: ahead of the curve, but not about to alienate your friends at the corner pub.’

The name of the business (an allusion to its owner: “almost half my life has been spent in a lab,” he says, “cutting lenses and jamming tunes on the stereo”) and its visual analog — the brand’s central motif is a rabbit in silhouette superimposed with two pairs of frames — are both simple and loaded with the many associations that animal carries, from vitality and creativity to a certain madcap quality. It’s a great lesson in the totemic power of a well-chosen logo.

DeGroot is not particularly interested in catering to some particular “set” or demographic. His “fairly austere” look appeals to his customers, he says, because they “abhor flashy, eccentric looks in lieu of more versatile, understated designs with clever details.”


Lab Rabbit’s look is defined as much by what it eschews as what it contains: DeGroot doesn’t believe in point-of-purchase materials, brochures or catalogs. Photos of models are “disingenuous,” he says. “I prefer photos that focus strictly on the eyewear or activities within the shop. I personally photograph my frames, design my signage, and create all web and social media content. People who know me also follow my private social media accounts, where they can enjoy a more ‘raw’ view into my weird world.” Non-eyewear-related influences include “techno music, magazines of all sorts, overpriced restaurants.”

The branded material itself includes lens-cleaning solution, business cards, matchboxes, buttons and tote bags, most of them rendered in two-tone color schemes with a common font that extends to the neon sign in the optical’s display window.

DeGroot is a walking embodiment of indie optical retail — no staff, no outside investors, and entirely self-funded. He’s the only person the customer deals with from start to finish (this includes cutting all lenses). In keeping with this, he does the general layout and design of his branding himself, “but I leave the manufacturing of all products to the professionals.”

To his fellow ECPs pondering a branding boost, DeGroot offers some typically cryptic advice, seemingly part admonishment to keep things simple, part encouragement to stir things up: “Just remember that whatever you’re doing is a lot less sexy than you think it is.”

Branded material includes lens solution, business cards, matchboxes, buttons, tote bags and more.

Among the promotional freebies at Lab Rabbit Optics, the matchboxes have been a surprise hit, owner Coyote DeGroot reports: “I don’t quite understand the matchbox thing, but it’s been a huge success… My non-customers — my friends, the mailman, etc. — snatch up those matches like they were stockpiling for the apocalypse. For some older folks, they reminisce about collecting matchbooks from their favorite taverns, back in the day. I always do my best to give my products an understated, luxurious feel…but I suspect that nostalgia is the main driver for the matchboxes’ popularity.”

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Best of Eyecare

New Orleans’ Based Eyewear Brand Captures the Spirit of a Mardi Gras KREWE

New Orleans-based KREWE channels the city’s warmth and spirit of aspiration.




America,” Tennessee Williams once said, “has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.” KREWE, an independent eyewear brand based in the latter’s French Quarter, purveys its New Orleans-inspired frames from two distinctive opticals in the city and one in New York, so we’re guessing the playwright would be a fan.

Under the direction of founder Stirling Barrett, KREWE’s eyewear designs embrace the “individuality and self-expression” of his hometown. Like the eyewear, its branding relies on subtle design nuances and distinctive use of colors and mixed materials, something Barrett feels is “a direct reflection of our city” and aims “to reshape the way people view New Orleans’ creative identity and what can be done from a city that isn’t a fashion hub.”

Barrett describes KREWE’s esthetic as “aspirational.” The brand is named for the community organizations that take part in Mardi Gras parades, and seeks to evoke their “spirit of creative collaboration.” Frames are named for New Orleans’ streets.


The brand draws on colors and patterns “inspired by the warm climate of New Orleans, the city’s growth and decay, and its lush plant life: white, black, gold and an accent color of cactus green. The most specific visual elements are our frames themselves and our product photography,” says Barrett, who trained as a photographer. KREWE uses Akzidenz-Grotesk and Baskerville as its primary and secondary fonts in all communication.

The brand is undergoing a collateral overhaul, with plans for stationery, totes, business cards, pins, and branded multi-frame jewel cases. First-generation packaging included a matte black embossed case inside a box depicting New Orleans imagery such as a vintage Mardi Gras photo.

KREWE’s new store in Uptown New Orleans has large windows that allow for an abundance of light and a space for tropical plants to thrive. The center of the store serves as a focal point with a long, green terrazzo bar. The idea is that the space is as “thoughtful and intentional as every KREWE frame,” Barrett says.

Barrett stresses, however, that KREWE’s branding is “evolving to be less about the direct history of our city, and more about the lifestyle that keeps us here.”

Spirit of New Orleans

KREWE’s interiors and eyewear aim to capture the ‘individuality and self-expression’ of New Orleans, says founder Stirling Barrett.

In the Studio

Founder Stirling Barrett leads KREWE’s team of designers.



On the Road

KREWE’s Tiny House mobile optical, pictured in Austin, TX.

Another Tiny House, this one pictured in Houston, TX.

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