Kirby Stephens Design

A New Symbol for Telecommunications in Kentucky

The Kentucky Telecom Association (KTA) is the leading state trade association supporting and promoting the telecommunications industry in the Commonwealth.

The Kentucky Telecom Association was, until recently, known as the Kentucky Telephone Association. The name change was adopted to better define the organization’s scope. KTA decided the new name required an update of their logo as well.

Kirby Stephens Design was tasked to design the new symbol, which began with an examination of the old. We determined that not only was the logo dated,

it exemplified many of the problems typical with older visual identities that attempted to be literal— at the expense of being memorable.

The first problem was the depiction of equipment, a telephone, which dated the symbol by technology as well as style. KTA is now involved with much more than landline telephone service, including TV, Internet, Wireless and more. The second problem was the drawing of the state of Kentucky— an overused image in many older, state related organization logos. Further, the graphic depiction of the state was superfluous since the word “Kentucky” is in the name. The non-symmetrical shape of the state makes it ill-suited to a contemporary logo design. Finally, the circular typography with its small relationship to the overall symbol made the name difficult to read at small reproduction size.

Our solution relies on a more symbolic representation of telecommunications. The basic visual is a stylized globe that represents today’s global communication capabilities, capabilities utilized today by Kentucky telecom providers. The illuminated fiber optic cable represents a core delivery technology for today and years to come. The 10 “orbiting” circles represent the “association” of members, as well as satellite communication technology. Their shape and the count of 10 pays homage to the organization’s telephone history, representing a 10 digit rotary dial. The typography emphasizes “Kentucky Telecom” in a way that is very legible at small size, yet balances with the symbol.

The logo is designed with two configurations, horizontal and vertical, for more flexibility in applications. Versions with different color options allow using the logo on a light or dark background

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KSD is an award winning, full service design communication firm located in Somerset, Kentucky.

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    Somerset Kentucky 42501
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