Gentry Capital
Gentry Capital

Steve Barban created Gentry Capital in 2004, the same year IIROC allowed firms to work independently. Gentry Capital flourished and in 2016 Steve knew it was time to update his brand to reflect the success of his company. David Berman was one of his long-time clients and it made perfect sense to work with David’s company to develop and implement a branding strategy.

The first step was to interview Steve to find out everything we could about his company, his approach to wealth management, his support staff, his advisors, his clients, and his competitors. Our creative brief was extensive and extremely insightful when it came time to developing the new brand.

Our goal was to create a brand for Gentry Capital that sent a message to existing and potential clients that it was passionate, independent, exclusive and had a unique investment approach.

The design process began with the logo. It had to include the existing graphic of a horse and carriage as it held substantial equity and was a trusted icon. After researching and comparing many typefaces, we decided on the serif typeface Berthold Baskerville Medium (John Baskerville,1750’s) for the wordmark Gentry Capital. It is a refined and elegant oldstyle typeface which is both familiar and trusted – perfectly suited for the Gentry Capital brand. We paired it with a modern sans serif typeface – Gills Sans Bold (Eric Gill, 1928) – for its classical proportions and clean lines. Despite their differences, both typefaces come out of the humanist movement which occurred during the Renaissance that reflects Gentry’s philosophy that people come first.

Starting with the stationery package, our primary goal was to direct people to a web page that explained Gentry Capital’s unique investment approach – un-common sense – so we included the URL ‘’ to all the branded pieces. The package we design had a high-end feel, from the solid black inks and clear glossy foil over the logo to the warmth of the cream, linen paper stock. Due to the nature of the business, one of our mandates was to find a way to provide envelopes that you could not read what was inside them. Our solution was to create a custom die-cut for the #10 envelopes allowing us to print the inside with an opaque deep crimson ink. Customization also allowed us to design the flap to our specifications. For extra security, we had the back of the letterhead printed with solid black ink so when it was folded you could not see through the paper.

One of the biggest challenges we faced was having to work with two logos. Gentry Capital must legally have a relationship with a regulatory organization which provides it with a license to make investments. In this case it was Manulife. Not only did their logo have to be included on all the applications (business cards, letterhead, envelopes, etc.), it had to have the same prominence and be the same size as the Gentry Capital logo. The solution we came up with, and more importantly one that was approved by Manulife, was to put the Manulife logo on one side of the applications and Gentry Capital on the other side. A two-side business card also gave advisors the option to present either Gentry Capital or Manulife forward pending on the circumstances.

To ensure the brand was applied consistently, we developed a simple and easy-to-use visual standards manual and provided several variations of the logo in .eps (vector), .jpg and .png (pixel) formats.

We were delighted with the results but more importantly so was our client.