We’ve recently been reviewing the items contained in Oxide’s online portfolio, looking to showcase our most effective work. Along the way, we’ve encountered some great projects on which we never shared the deeper story. One of those projects is Boss Studios.

Back in fall of 2007, Oxide was approached by a group of three entrepreneurs looking to open a new salon suites business. The difference in their business would be a focus on taking care of the needs of the owner-operators of the suites, first and foremost. In their words, it would be “high-end, upscale salon suites that cater to the needs of hair stylists, aestheticians, nail technicians, and massage therapists.” They needed a name and a logo that captured their essence.

Boss Studios logo designed by Oxide Design Co.Boss Studios logo designed by Oxide Design Co.

At Oxide, we approach corporate and product naming very much like we approach logo and identity design. We do a great deal of background research, work with the client to define who they are and what makes them tick, and then work to find a solution that most accurately and effectively expresses their brand.

Boss Studios naming brainstormingBoss Studios naming brainstorming

Working with huge sketching sheets, online dictionaries, various printed reference books, and numerous translation tools, we began the naming process. The idea was to capture a sense of high fashion, combined with an unmatched level of service, all in the context of the audience being comprised of independent businesswomen in the styling industry. (From day one, the client’s strategy was to appeal exclusively to the people renting the suites, with the thought that they’d sell themselves to the end consumer.) The process involved hundreds of brainstorm concepts from good to downright terrible, a few dozen refined ideas, a handful of top contenders, and finally the selection of the final name. (My favorite from the set: “Deluxe Lawn & Garden Maintenance Co.” – might open my own salon with that name someday.) In the end, the client selected “Boss Studios” because they thought it best captured that idea that “you’re the one in charge.”

Boss Studios logo thumbnail sketchesBoss Studios logo thumbnail sketches

Working from the foundation of the name, our logo design process follows a similar set of steps. Hundreds of thumbnail sketches, culled to a set of viable options, a refined set of two or three logos presented to the client, and close collaboration to make tweaks and a final selection. In this case, we were looking to capture the “high fashion” piece of their brand in the aesthetics of the logo, and the “be your own boss” concept in the content of the logo. The additional defining factor that caused the best logos to rise to the top was the inclusion of some visual sense of flowing hair.


Unused concepts for the Boss Studios logoUnused concepts for the Boss Studios logo


After the refinement and collaboration process, the client selected the sophisticated “B” option, based on its connection to the world of fashion through the use of an understated monogram. They also liked how the subtle flourish on the letterform looks like a perfect curl of hair. The logo continues to serve them well even today, and shows perfectly in the gorgeous interior signage they had installed at the salon.

Boss Studios interior signageBoss Studios interior signage

View the project page for Boss Studios.