Brain Sinew

30 Aug 2020

As I unveiled the JR brand to its employees, I felt apprehensive. I looked across the crowd of eyes, and worried that they wouldn’t feel a connection to the brand because of my status as an outsider. Could I, as an outsider, do their company, their founder, justice? Did we share any common ground? 

Then I remembered. Sweeping.

Me, talking to the group at the brand announcement.

Learning is a guiding principle at JR Custom. JR’s founder, Jesus Raul, would have new employees sweep the floors when they first started. This wasn’t an exercise in humiliation. Rather, it was an opportunity for new employees to observe and learn.

Jesus Raul Martinez at his first shop in Wichita, Kansas

Over my year of working with JR Customs and running my diagnostics process, I observed and learned. I observed the kindnesses of the employees, their reverence for JR’s legacy, and their immense dedication to their craft. I observed the clean and organized facilities, and the way in which every service was done with precision and care. 

So I, like the employees, had done my sweeping.

This is JR.

01 Metal-made

JR chose metal to help him build one of Wichita’s leading businesses. After 46 years of growth from a one-man shop to a firm with more than 165 employees, this brand identity pays homage to the ways in which metal, literally, formed the business. The letters J and R are crafted to represent the material that built JR’s legacy.

02 Creative

JR earned a reputation for being creative. His ability to solve problems for clients depended on his talent for visualizing a unique, cost-effective solution; a quality that JR Custom maintains today. In keeping with this skill, both letters are the same shape, simply rotated 180 degrees.

03 Resilient

JR Custom strives to be malleable. They seek out the latest technology to best meet client needs, and so that they can adapt to industry demands. Each piece of metal shown in the logo is being bent to form a letter, conveying their flexibility and resilience.

Statue of JR at the headquarters building in Wichita, Kansas

“Sweeping is learning, learning by seeing.” 

Jesus Raul Martinez

Thanks to Patty and all the family members including, Jorge, Raul, Monica, and Taylor for all their help and support. 

Read Next Making lives better in Brazil.