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Rock/Creek's New Brand Identity Receives 1st Place in AIGA Competition

Chattanooga-based brick-and-mortar and internet retailer Rock/Creek along with design firm Widgets & Stone announce victory at the 2008 American Institute of Graphic Arts TEN Show in the Brand Identity category.

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Rock/Creek and Widgets & Stone announce victory at the 2008 American Institute of Graphic Arts TEN Show.

Coming out on top with a Gold Medal, Widgets & Stone won the Brand Identity category with Rock/Creek. Under Design Director Paul Rustand, designers Matt Greenwell, Brad Dicharry, and Joseph Shipp of Widgets & Stone came up with the current “Rock/Creek” brand that has proven to be successful. Caleb Ludwick served as Strategist/Writer on the project, Mark McKnight contributed photography, and Steve West contributed to production.

The American Institute of Graphic Arts, or AIGA, is the nationally-recognized professional association for design. AIGA describes itself as “the place design professionals turn to first to exchange ideas and information, participate in critical analysis and research and advance education and ethical practice. AIGA sets the national agenda for the role of design in its economic, social, political, cultural and creative contexts.”

AIGA Tennessee for the past three years has held a competition for all AIGA members in the state called the TEN Show. This friendly competition allows designers and creators to come together to exchange ideas and show off their work. All entries in the TEN Show must follow strict guidelines including: describing the client, the challenge presented to them, the solution to the challenge, and the results of the project, all in 500 words or less.

Among the many AIGA members, Widgets & Stone, a Chattanoooga-based design firm, entered their branding work for Rock/Creek as one of this year’s projects. The two companies have been working diligently for over two years to launch a comprehensive re-branding campaign that has positioned Rock/Creek’s brick-and-mortar stores as well as its e-commerce Web site for future growth within the outdoor retail industry. The challenge presented to Widgets & Stone was to develop a brand that conveys Rock/Creek’s status as a company with over 20 years of brick and mortar experience, a company that has inspired customers to take adventures both on and off the trail. Rock/Creek focuses on getting its customers into the outdoors safely and comfortably. Widgets & Stone emphasized Rock/Creek not only as a retail company that sells apparel and equipment, but also as a company that focuses on the human experiences that surround these products.

Mark McKnight, Marketing Director at Rock/Creek, praises the project: “All of the feedback we’ve had on the identity has been positive. The reaction within our vendor community has been the biggest source of validation for me personally— we have been told by several vendors that there simply are no other specialty retailers doing anything like this.”

Paul Rustand expresses his satisfaction with the project as well: “For Widgets & Stone the Rock/Creek brand development project was wonderful on many levels. It was an honor and a privilege to be able to work with the great individuals who lead such an established and successful local business. The scope of the project —- to redesign everything from the logo to the signage to the advertising to the packaging -— is what every design studio seeks. In addition to their forward-thinking approach to the brand identity, Rock/Creek had an impeccable grasp of their target demographics, which proved invaluable to the design process. And last -— but certainly not least -— the mutual respect that we experienced throughout the course of the project between client and designer was fantastic.”

For more about AIGA’s TEN Show, visit

Photos of the Rock/Creek entry are available courtesy the Memphis AIGA chapter:

About Rock/Creek:

Rock/Creek, member of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, is an independent specialty outdoor retailer with over two decades of experience in the Southeast. Along with its online shops, and, Rock/Creek provides quality outdoor clothing and gear for a host of activities including kayaking, rock climbing, camping, hiking, trail running, and adventure racing. Rock/Creek is committed to making a positive impact on the environment. For this reason, it uses outdoor retail as a platform to encourage outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship and to improve public access to the backcountry. Rock/Creek supports worthy nonprofits such as the Southeastern Climbers’ Coalition and the Wilderness Trail Running Association. Upcoming events include the Scenic City Trail Marathon & Half Marathon, to take place on Raccoon Mountain in Chattanooga, TN. For more information, visit:

For more information about Rock/Creek, visit

About Widgets & Stone:

Widgets & Stone is committed to using design to serve the needs of clients – while exploring the many ways the design process can inspire individuals and enlighten communities. As a full service studio, Widgets & Stone sees a project from conception to production. For over 12 years the firm has created a wide variety of design work: logos/trademarks, brand development, company materials, web sites, print promotions, books and packaging.

For more information about Widgets & Stone visit