Arc’teryx Logo

Arc’teryx Logo Takes Flight And Soars

I talk a lot about how branding goes far beyond just a slick looking logo design. For me, I see a complete image as part of a useful marketing tool. One such example is a company based in British Columbia, Canada.

Originally named Rock Solid, which is a pretty good name for a company that made and sold climbing gear, the business was founded in 1989 in North Vancouver. They have since become a well-known outdoor clothing and sporting goods company.

The name was changed in 1990 by the then-principal Jeremy Guard. His new name was Arc’teryx. I’ll explain more about the name and the Arc’teryx Logo in a moment but I want to explain the purpose of the name change first. The company founder Dave Lane picked Rock Solid as it gave the climbing products some strength indicating where one would use the gear (on rocks, rock climbing) and that there was some stability to the line (they’re solid, as a rock).

The switch to Arc’teryx is a reference to the first reptile known to have developed feathers for flight. Known as the Archaeopteryx, Guard chopped it down to Arc’teryx. He did this in an attempt to reflect the company’s “vision of creating disruptive evolutionary innovation” with their products.

The word ‘evolutionary’ is key to this story.

The Arc’teryx Logo chosen to appear along with the newly altered company name of Arc’teryx was a skeleton of the “Berlin specimen” of the bird. It also happens to be the most complete skeleton of the Archaeopteryx that has been discovered to date.

Primarily, this creature was the evolutionary beginning of the birds of flight we know of today that range in many thousands of different species. The company name brands Arc’teryx as the launching pad of bigger and better things to come.

And they did.

Lane and Guard used a heat laminate technology, called thermolamination, which aided them in designing and marketing a Vapor harness. It ended up being a revolutionary addition to the world of rock climbing and became the most popular item with the Arc’teryx name.

The Vapor technology led to more innovation and additional products as the company continued to evolve. In fact, it is the laminated equipment created with this process that the company continues to be known for.

Usually, when you create an item that catches the imagination – and attention – of an industry, bigger players in the field start to notice and acquisitions are made. From 2001 to 2005 Arc’teryx was purchased by the Solomon Group (owned by Adidas) and Amer Sports.

The product line continues to follow an evolutionary path which includes clothing. It all started when two climbers saw a need and jumped at it. They even have a Design Centre in a place where active designers, materials experts, pattern makers and product developers work together in a hive think-tank to create new and innovative active lifestyle products.

I like where this company has gone and found that the brand image fits very well with the way in which it has evolved. In other words, this bird has taken flight and continued to spread its wings.