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The Circle of Trust Archive

The Circle of Trust is the paid subscriber content for listeners of the Adventures In Design podcast. Containing over 300+ episodes and 500 hours of design, illustration, printing and business tips n tricks. Hear every episode in it’s entirety! The Circle of Trust has the full Adventures In Design audio catalog, featuring every episode with bonus content added or you can choose to go straight to the bonus content. Every topic possible on following your creative passion as a hobby or career has been covered in this collection and we’re not even close to finishing the conversation adding another 200 episodes in 2016. 

Filtering by Category: The Logo Show

786 - 2018 World Cup Best Worst Logos The Logo Show

Mark Brickey


The logo show reviews the success and failures of logos and branding in a no holds barred design critique. 

Branding Reviewed On The Logo Show June 2018

  • Billy rebrands a team. 
  • 2018 World Cup Best Worst Logos
  • GoDaddy loses their daddy. 
  • IHOP gets into burgers and tampons. 
  • Nike rips off The US Naval Academy.
  • F1 racing laps a 3M logo.
  • Denver Nuggets release a great logo that may expire too soon. 
  • Warner Media gives a designer a five-minute branding job. 
  • Poor DC just can't ever get anything right.

The Bad

The Good

Billy's Rebrand

Branding News

691 - Dan Stiles Box Of Intrigue - The 8th Tube of Christmas by The Logo Show

Mark Brickey


Remember a time when you were younger and the holidays were a time of magic, mystery all based on a leap of faith? The 8th Tube of Christmas, the Dan Stiles Box Of Intrigue will make you feel like a kid a Christmas one more time because no one knows what's inside, not even Dan Stiles.

The Logo Show reaches it's final appearance in 2017 remembering a couple of branding pioneers that have passed. We say goodbye to Rich Roat of House Industries and branding legend Ivan Chermay. What can we learn from these fantastic careers, does it shine a light on our design futures? Billy takes a stab at redesigning UPS by adding in the eagle but making sure to leave the brown alone. We look at a couple of listener request rebrands and we meet our new logo show star Megan 'The Producer" Learn. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 3.46.24 PM.png

659 - The Logo Show with Dan Stiles and Billy Baumann

David Defeo


Prost! This month it's Oktoberfest on The Logo Show so Dan Stiles, Billy Baumann, and Mark Brickey all put on their lederhosen to look at logos found across the wide world of beer from the most obscure craft breweries to the macro brewers we've known since our dad's asked us to grab them a can. With the success of Miller Lite's retro rebrand, the boys focus in on the masterfully crafted marketing campaign that moved the needle so much for Miller that other brands followed suit shortly afterward. We've also lined up some classic old cans, some roundeles, some suggestions from Circle Of Trust Members, and everything in between to break down what is and isn't working. Dan, Billy, and Mark pool their experience of over sixty collective years in the design industry to break down how branding affects the viewer and what makes a logo stand apart from the rest. Tighten up your line weight, establish a visual hierarchy, and start gleaming the cube (or in this case can) harder than ever before and take your work to the next level as you listen to The Logo Show. Circle Of Trust Members stay tuned for the next installment of Billy On The Beat with Josh Emerich as they talk about his work in beer branding and more!

629 - The Logo Show with Dan Stiles and Billy Baumann

David Defeo

Coffee has exploded onto every single street corner and strip mall of this great nation ever since Starbucks paved the way for its broader appreciation by the masses. With demand at an all time high, the supply that rises along with it will fortunately and sometimes, unfortunately, take on all shapes and sizes. Luckily Dan Stiles, Billy Baumann, and Mark Brickey are here with another installment of The Logo Show and have been percolated a few ideas that could visually raise the bar on the branding associated with this caffeinated craze. Mismatched line weights, oversized serifs, and visual tropes abound as they comb through dozens of logos that go from good to bad to holy shit that coffee bean has a soul patch and a headband. When so many companies are selling such similar products, design is left to do a lot of the heavy lifting that properly conveys what distinguishes each business to prosumers around the world. Get ready for a big sip of branding with quick witted critiques so hot it just might burn your tongue. Circle Of Trust Members also get to hear the very first Billy On The Beat where he interviews Design Scout and their involvement in rebranding the Chicago coffeehouse Fairgrounds.

Talking Points

  • A new day and age for premium priced coffees and a peek at next month's category. 
  • Do Walmart level products need Saul Bass level design?
  • The suit on the inside, everyone trying to leave their mark, and priming the pump. 
  • Billy pitches his redesigns Philz Coffee and pitches it to Dan and Mark. 
  • Fonts, Typefaces, and Stiles on styles. 
  • Making hot too hot so that hot looks like medium. 
  • Illustrator Rough or Organic Rough and aesthetics outside the market norm. 
  • Well handled typography with matching weight for small caps and Star Trek A point problems. 
  • Good is great, intriguing line weights, and giving off the appropriate vibes. 
  • New concepts to old approaches, unbalanced Baristads, and snob free claims. 
  • A designer's love for ampersands, branding elements to play with, and some severe letter spacing issues. 

Circle Of Trust Talking Points

  • What type on a slightly curved path does for your logo mark and limiting your font families. 
  • The dot com logo treatment of our era and establishing a visual hierarchy. 
  •  Critiquing vintage looking logos that more or less don't want you in the stores they reside over. 
  • Salvaging other terrible attempts at logo design for Cellar Door and more. 
  • Taking a couple lumps on a one hour, coffee themed logo project that brought Mark out of retirement. 
  • Marching line weights with secondary fonts for unity, non-logos, and organic distressing. 
  • Nine colors of green and mistletoe muddying the waters of a good logo. 
  • Things to look for in a font (errrrr.. typeface) (Sorry Dan). 
  • Deeply flawed execution and the eye of the beholder. 

Billy On The Beat Talking Points

  • Meet Design Scout and their roster of clients. 
  • All cool things all the time and revamping stagnant design aesthetics. 
  • Identity systems, interior design, and adding the missing elements of the company itself. 
  • Sourcing the physical objects that would match the new look of Fairgrounds and other collaborations that bring a space to life. 
  • Bringing a holistic experience that lifts up the logo and expands upon it. 
  • Oh Fuck! moments, happy accidents in production, and trusting vendors that work outside your control.

This is where it all started. Take some time with Dan Stiles, David Smith, and Mark Brickey as they break apart some of the larger rebrands that went down during 2015.

Four solid designers take a look at all the rebrands companies underwent in 2017. From sports, to restaurants, to the phallic branding of Trump's presidential campaign.

These companies play second fiddle to the dominant companies in their market. How does design play a role in holding brands like Burger King, Pepsi, and Adidas back?

613 - The Logo Show with Dan Stiles and Billy Baumann

David Defeo

The Logo Show focuses its pinpoint laser gaze on baseball's National League and its history of sports team branding. With a reach extending back well before desktop publishing and a future evolving before our eyes, America's favorite past time can offer a unique insight into the lasting principles behind an effective design. Dan Stiles, Billy Baumann, and Mark Brickey explore everything from the central branding of each team, to vintage to programs, to alternate mascots that seem to come out of left field in relation to a team's look. As we explore each National League franchise the boys discuss the effect technology has on design, the difficulty in simplicity, and what is next in a future with fewer design limitations. Hot spots and intentional wonkiness lead the way through a vibrant visual history that can make you a better designer today with expert tips and tricks from the logomark masters we have on the show.  

Talking Points

  • The whipping boy of the design world. 
  • Journeys-esque logos and the phat era Phil won't back down from. 
  • Analyzing America's past time. 
  • Historic branding, finials, and the intentional wonk. 
  • The beauty in going for it in the age of refinement. 
  • Mixing and matching Cubs branding.
  • The "Can you draw this pirate?" Test that became a logo. 
  • Does your logo need to represent the industry it's in?
  • Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
  • Essential typographic finesse that the computer lets a lot of people skip over. 
  • Put a circle on it.
  • That glove that does the heavy lifting. 
  • What are modern designers afraid of?
  • Searching for a unique shape that makes a killer die cut sticker. 

Circle Of Trust Talking Points

  • That baseball gray, Color Rush Football, and the rules of restrictions. 
  • Mr. Redlegs vs. Mr. Met, fashionable mustaches, and sleeveless uniforms that are anything but the look of baseball. 
  • Simplifying the National League logo and getting rid of its turkey feet topper. 
  • Distilling a logo down to its essence and determining how much information is necessary. 
  • How much should you dumb it down?
  • Negative space and the type you forgot about. 
  • Starting with one color before all the smoke and mirrors. 
  • Going to grayscale to value check your work. 
  • Deliberate complication to validate that your job as a designer and convey value. 
  • NASA begins measuring tree canopies, the team of engineers involved with design and the International Space Station. 
  • Bad guys with better designs. 
  • Do the old rules still apply today?
  • Aging out of design, new maximalism, and long lasting principles of design that transcend technology. 

In a Circle Of Trust Exclusive Release Dan and Billy spend some time together going over the evolution of the DC Comics logo and touch on some poignant themes found in today's episode as well.

Dan Stiles is the design mentor you wish you had. He's smart, talented, and knows how to handle clients. Mark and Dan take your calls and answer your questions in a Breaking News for the history books.

Need more sports logo and less Billy? We got you covered with the March Madness Edition of The Logo Show with Dan Stiles and Nathan Goldman. More hot spots, more mascots, and more strokes.

546 - The Logo Show with Dan Stiles, Dustin Noden, and John LaCroix

David Defeo

If you thought last year sucked then just wait until you see what Dan Stiles, Dustin Noden of Lincoln Design Co., and creative director John LaCroix have to say about the major rebrands from 2016. No one is safe from the watchful eye and sense of style these three designers have honed over the years on countless projects from companies big and small. Through their critiques and opinions you'll learn to apply the same skills to your own work and rise above the mediocrity being pumped into the world every year. From The Metropolitan Museum of Art to Nascar to Instagram you won't want to miss the twenty seven rebrands we have selected for these creative professionals togo over with a fine toothed comb. Is everyone going too thin? Has the logo evolved enough? Why the hell won't Taco Bell just put their B under their T? The Logo Show takes on an entire year of updated and all new logomarks that are going through a more thorough check than Winona Ryder leaving a retail store!

Talking Points

  • Moving up from clipart to an actual logo. 
  • Have you stripped the logo down too much?
  • Giving a nod to what your mark represents.
  • Making the logo a family. 
  • Touchy Qs, washed out mountains, and visual hierarchy. 
  • Swashes that read very differently. 
  • Going away from the MLB logo and hacking type. 
  • Are you stabbing or cutting?
  • Stoking your audience with a logo. 
  • The kids at the bowling alley that used all up all the crayons. 
  • The fauxpas of stretch type. 
  • Reversing everything to improve nothing. 
  • White stroking your logo and moving away from bold. 
  • Is thin considered sophisticated?
  • What does a two hundred page brand book say about that steezy W? 
  • Version 10 Logomarks that make it out the door and clients that want to see mild, medium, and hot. 
  • Risk Adverse Sea Level Dudes who don't know visual culture but have to take your logo up the flagpole. 
  • Trashy Trailer Park Panthers wishing they were Cougars. 
  • Going from kick ass to a stylized shield that doesn't excite your audience. 
  • Did Fortune lose their fortune?
  • Finding a typeface that is close enough and losing your proprietary look. 
  • Balance through being established. 
  • Using on screen inks and problematic color scheme choices. 
  • Brand equity over time and overcoming difficulty. 
  • Retro Lollapalooza 1.0 logos. 
  • Drawing icons in chalk to see how good they are. 
  • Having the guts to stay with what's new. 
  • Crazy, iconic K's and vertical type that won't scale. 
  • Refracting light and tapping in on nostalgia. 
  • A feel good off brand logo that relies on red.
  • Imagining how to execute your mark.
  • The problem with four color logos. 
  • Geometric shapes that aren't pleasing and pushing and pulling the forms until it is. 
  • Ligature Nightmares and beating your gimmick to death.
  • Repeating type tricks to build a uniform look. 
  • Collegiate looks and older attitudes. 
  • The challenge of NASCAR and being a human montage of logos. 
  • Doing the right thing in the corporate world. 
  • Brighter, friendlier, and thinner.
  • Enough to get noticed but not enough to make a difference. 
  • Bird necks, rubber stamps, and propaganda looks. 
  • Dropping the ball at the execution and stopping at a good start. 
  • Reformatting the pieces of the puzzle for an updated look. 
  • Flexing on your friends and tricking out the type on a very visual word. 
  • Being ownable versus undeniable coolness. 
  • Title casing your words but the giant gaps that you've left behind. 
  • Leaning on serifs when it's important. 
  • Switching around the type and the icon to make the motion go the right way. 
  • An upgraded wing shape that breaks way from Nabisco. 
  • Gradient gimmicks that work with clients but not in practice. 
  • The importance of value and lumpy illustrator arrows. 
  • Design moves when you want to just go home. 
  • T and B's that hang all the way. 
  • Cultural windows and shit colors for branding. 
  • Has your logo lost it's sound?
  • Dropping your logo to one color and losing your type when you have an iconic mark. 
  • Problematic, penetrating, and presidential icons. 
  • Never save the swastika and don't make anything that looks like cock and balls. 
  • Trump gets a win on AID. 
  • Cultural shifts and CEO's designing logos. 
  • Makes that don't make sense and leave users guessing what you've done.
  • Overcoming the difficulty behind adjusting reds and blues without going to Methane's website
  • Thin outer strokes and why you never draw the name.
  • The biggest sport in the world done by the biggest brand in the world. 
  • Overthinking the details. 


Last year's Grand Or Bland review was just as good as what you just heard. If you need more, this is the place to start!

Leah Faust knows how to take branding to the next level and in this episode she lets us behind the curtain of adding value to the logos that you design.

Take The Logo SHow with a whole new spin where the underdogs go up against their biggest rival with Billy, Dan, and Mark weighing in.

The Best Of The Circle Of Trust Year Two: Grand Or Bland: The 2015 Branding Review with Dan Stiles and David Smith

David Defeo

The Best Of The Circle Of Trust Year Two: 13/20
AID 317

Today we talk nothing but design, more specifically, nothing but branding design. We review 20 major brands that in 2015 updated their public identity. Dan Stiles sits in as our color commentator, never holding back his real opinion on these re-brands and David Smith from The Blksmth Co. offers up his professional critique on what he sees that’s working or simply not working. It’s a fun design talked themed double episode where we explore why good designs go wrong, the utility aspect of good branding allowing for perfect packaging and production and how at the end of the day…. You’re only as good as your clients allow you to be!

457 - The Logo Show: A Special Live Shop Talk

David Defeo

Sitting at the intersection of branding, marketing, and entertainment we find the American tradition of Football. While there are plenty of stats and scandals to get lost in, the undercurrent of the NFL is about conveying a story of struggles, rivalries, and triumphs. In today's Live Shop Talk with Dan Kuhlken of DKNG Studios, Ben Neuhaus of Snake Oil Provisions, and special co-host Dave Kloc all join Mark Brickey on stage to see who will emerge victorious in the first annual LogoBowl. Our panel of experts run the gamut from die hard fans to fans of Die Hard who've never watched an entire game of sportsball so there will be some unexpected twists and turns where only the best designed logo will emerge. Behind the paid wall Mark invites up three Circle Of trust Members to the stage form some quick, tough love and an opportunity to share what their current struggles are. 

Talking Points

  • Scott The Suit inks a deal with AID.
  • The "Final Two Minutes" Strategy.
  • Letting go of responsibilities and putting your energy in the right spot.
  • Shifting gears into a retail heavy holiday.
  • Dave Kloc's deli humor demographic.
  • Dan and Mark make a bet. (Hint: It doesn't go well for Dan)
  • Attitude Era Pic Slide Logos.
  • Overthinking design and ruining animals that are already cool.
  • Gradients and the unstoppable color scheme.
  • KISS your team's branding.
  • Raccoons into the Horror Business.
  • What is a fleur de lis?
  • Breaking the two sword per logo rule.
  • Timelessness and simplicity for the win!
  • Cross sport comparisons on logos with Dave Kloc.
  • Outlines in sports and trying to own orange.
  • The first fail in monitor calibration.
  • Gig posters in the LA Market.
  • The latest from Snake Oil and Adventures In Diversity for the sole.
  • DKNG's process for the Explorer's Club and their next theme.
  • Nothing is worth living for after you license the Millennium Falcon.
  • Finding start up money and maintaining sponsorships.
  • Voiceover gigs at AID that came form the Jerkoff Line.
  • A taste for craft fairs and the energy it takes to do it.
  • (thanks for always reading the Talking Points)
  • The chain of command in syndication under the Los Angeles umbrella.
  • Coders as creatives and the fight for good work.
  • Making friends at AID Live.

Circle Of Trust Bonus Content No. 16 - What You Didn't Hear from The Logo Show with Dan Stiles and Billy Baumann

David Defeo

The Logo Show with Dan Stiles and Billy Baumann recently took a look at some of the Underdogs in the corporate world. Despite some technical difficulties, Mark heroically salvaged a segment recorded largely between Billy and Dan discussing the logo of the Andy Richter of comic book companies, DC. DC Comics (you decide what the DC stands for) has always been behind Marvel as the world of comic books expanded. Even with solid intellectual properties like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman they have never been able to overcome the popularity the Marvel franchises. Listen in as Dan, Billy, and Mark deconstruct the history of DC Comics logo and reveal some of the history of the company as they try to uncover what this brand needs to get right.

DC Comics
Link to Logopedia Page

Talking Points

  • The benefits of the JakPrints newsletter. Sign up here.
  • Asking for help and swallowing your pride.
  • Getting a look behind the 3:1 editing ratio of an AID Episode.
  • The rise of popularity in amateurism.
  • Billy and Dan discuss the effects of the new Instagram Algorithm.
  • The allure of retro and rejecting crispness.
  • Japanese Porn Robot Gradients.
  • Getting the old school designers to do a Skillshare Class.
  • Executing your concepts and remembering where they will show up in the world.
  • Should you have to know the history of a brand to understand their logo?
  • Making your audience suffer and keeping the customer in mind. 

410 - The Logo Show "Underdogs" with Dan Stiles and Billy Baumann

David Defeo

The Logo Show returns to cast its discerning gaze on the underdogs of the world of commerce. Dan Stiles, Billy Baumann, and Mark Brickey break down the branding problems that these permanently stuck in second place companies can't seem to figure out with millions of dollars and loads of market research. At the heart of each logo's critique are reoccurring themes of longetivity, relativity, and the perceived value in design. How much does brand development matter and is erring towards inoffensive, vanilla design the secret to success over time or place?  These six first losers can teach us a lot about confidence in story telling and relying on craftsmanship over technology if a client really wants to leave a lasting impression on the world.

Link to Logopedia Page

Billy's recommended reading: The Breathtaking Design Strategy Pitch Deck

Talking Points

  • Remembering to enjoy the day and make something worthwhile happen.
  • Looking back on the past to improve today.
  • Technical difficulties and a look into how an AID episode gets made.
  • Choosing happiness.
  • A look at six second place logomarks.
  • Is it more important for your logo to work in the real word or solely as a mark?
  • Integrating branding across multiple platforms.
  • Tangents, x heights, and choosing the lesser of all evils.
  • The dot com orbit that dominated logos.
  • Does it matter if designers like the mark or if the public understands it?
  • Lacking confidence in your brands vision.
  • Letting your logo speak for your product.
  • Do brands even need logos?
  • Telling a story over time instead of with the times.
  • Changing tastes with skill maturation.
  • Can a timeless logo be anything other than vanilla?
  • Gestalt branding strategies.
  • Mimicking your competition or standing out from them.
  • Repeating shapes from the mark into the text.
  • Backing up your design decisions with bullshit.
  • The "Breathtaking" Design Strategy pitch deck.
  • Fighting the competition instead of making a better product.
  • Can corporate America travel back in time with their branding?
  • The inevitable trend shift of looking to the future.
  • Relying on technology or relying o craftsmanship.
  • Should your logo reflect the times?
  • Terrible design choices becoming acceptable after three decades.
  • Zagging to find the true essence of your brand.


352 - The Logo Show “March Madness - The Top 16 NCAA Team Brands Reviewed” with Dan Stiles and Nathan Goldman of DKNG Studios

Mark Brickey

Episode 352 - The Logo Show “March Madness - The Top 16 NCAA Team Brands Reviewed” with Dan Stiles and Nathan Goldman of DKNG Studios

Dan Stiles joins us every other month for the Logo Show where we review the best and worst in branding. Why do some logos look great and others fall very short? Hear Dan Stiles and friends take a good guess.

On the second episode of the Logo Show with Dan Stiles we review the top 16 NCAA men’s basketball team’s branding. Special guest Nathan Goldman of DKNG Studios joins in to help us make it through 4 rounds of 16 teams trying to make it to number one of the March Madness Logo Tournament. Circle of Trust members log in to see all of the logos mentioned.

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