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Great Gray Trust Co.

Through some mutual friends at Madison Dearborn Partners, we were asked to board the swiftly sailing ship that is now Great Gray Trust Co as they departed from the docks at Wilmington Trust / M&T Bank. By “swiftly sailing” we mean there was a bit of urgency to further vet the new name, develop a unique brand identity and get launch materials, document design and an initial website off the ground. Luckily this close-knit team was ready and willing to move quickly... and true-to-their name, full of trust for our team! Which is always half the battle. So proud to see this team take flight! Gray, sure. But they are most definitely GREAT.





The Great Gray is an owl, actually documented as the world’s largest species of owl by length. We were initially steered away from the owl as a visual, as it seemed too obvious and not exactly relevant to the category. But after a closer look, a sort of geometric / deconstructed approach emerged as this abstracted thing of beauty! It was an early concept and clear winner.



Other owls we hatched up… but who never flew as high as our hero mark.

PMS: 432 C / 433 U

CMYK: 70 / 55 / 44 / 59

RGB: 47 / 57 / 66

HEX: #2F3942

PMS: Cool Gray 6C / Cool Gray 6U

CMYK: 33 / 24 / 20 / 2

RGB: 167 / 169 / 180

HEX: #A7A9B4 

PMS: Cool Gray 2C / Cool Gray 2U

CMYK: 14 / 10 / 8 / 0

RGB: 208 / 209 / 219



Yes of course GRAY, for the name but also because it beautifully represents the brand values of resiliency and perseverance. Beyond the gray, though, the team needed and wanted lots of great color to help brighten up various materials and info. And other important brand personas were partnership, development and growth! We loved bringing a palette this light, bright and friendly to life for this team.



It’s not always possible, but when the right design allows, we love to pull an element out of a logo to become its own graphic device. For Great Gray, isolating one of the shapes that makes up the owl’s wing and enlarging it, or repeating it as a pattern, etc. became a wonderful way to broaden the visual system.



We worked closely with the Great Gray team to get a launch site up quickly but with maximum impact. Their content + our design / build = a simple, hard-working site that was ready for launch on Day 1.

"From the very first kickoff call with Rabe, not only did they understand our business and our future objectives, but they were actively engaged as a member of our launch team. Creating a new brand, color palette, and innovative take on the retirement industry required months of hard work, collaboration, and strategic communication to embody our marketing team’s vision. We could not be happier with Great Gray’s branding and website and constantly get favorable feedback from our prospects and customers." 

TJ Givens

Director of Marketing & Communications
Great Gray Trust Company

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