Jill and Burt Kohler called us one afternoon with good and bad news. They had built a private beauty academy from the ground up that had become a wild success. The kind of school where former students come by just to say hi. The same graduates who tell everyone that asks, without hesitation: “Go to Kohler Academy.”
It’s hard to give up a name with that kind of equity. Unless, of course, you’re being sued for trademark infringement by a plumbing outfit that happens to be one of the largest private companies in the US of A.
Even though they knew they could win, the Kohlers were too busy running a school to get tangled up in a lawsuit.** They figured it would make more sense to pour the time and energy back into the brand. So they brought us on board to help develop a new name and visual identity. After everything we had learned, we had to see this place for ourselves. So we hopped on the next flight to Arizona.
— Burt Kohler
Have you ever noticed that there are a ton of beauty salons? Think of something only mildly beautiful and chances are there are already half a dozen salons with that name. Given the Kohlers’ recent trademark trauma we knew we had to travel deep into uncharted territory to rebuild on solid ground. After spending some time at Kohler Academy, we understood that the power of what they do goes far beyond beauty.
“We knew we needed an outsider’s eyes. We knew we needed to get out of our own way. The whole process with A Hundred Monkeys was so helpful and therapeutic. It gave us something to focus on during a really difficult time. They helped guide us through the process and they connected us to the right designer, which was pivotal. I had no idea rebranding would be so much fun.”
— Jill Kohler
We knew we needed a name to evoke a serious and sophisticated academic environment to make students and parents alike feel proud. A name to capture the inspiration that comes before the creation. Penrose fit the bill. Equal parts intellect and aestheticism, Penrose brings to mind a Victorian sense of learned beauty. With the name in place, we worked with Mark Pernice of Matic in NYC to develop a visual identity that gives Penrose the bold precision of the artist’s hand at work behind the curtain.
**We guarantee that working with us is more entertaining than a court room drama.
13402 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, Arizona 85254