• Karri Owens

Creating the ABRA, Inc. Logo


The ABRA, Inc. is the abbreviation for the American Buckskin Registry Association, Inc. My story with them started in 2017 while I was finishing my second Bachelor's degree at Eastern Washington University in Visual Communications.


At that time, the president of the ABRA, Gena Loper, asked my design a new logo for the association. The new logo gig was a huge deal for me for a couple of reasons. One, I was a "newly formed" professional graphic designer, fresh out of school, and this was a great opportunity that usually lands on more seasoned designers. Two, this was a horse association, and horses are life to me. LOL. I have eaten, breathed, and lived horses my whole life and was an amateur competitor on the AQHA (American Quarter Horse) Circuit for nearly 20 years.


That first contract gig, I sure learned a lot and sure did things wrong. I laugh now about the whole ordeal of making that logo. My main mistake was giving them too many variations to choose from, and I painstakingly try to accommodate their every wish. With 12 people on the Board of Directors to make happy, it was a recipe for disaster. It is funny how things work when they are at their worse.


The Board asked me to go another direction, drop the horse icon, and make the logo strictly a typography element. The new request breathed new air into me. I have always been strong with my typography, and knew I would make this logo finally happen! I decided to take inspiration from one of the largest horses association, AQHA. The ABRA is an official affiliate of AQHA, and it made sense to draw inspiration from them and produce a sense of belonging with the AQHA. There has been some discrepancy in 2020 about the affiliation status between the two associations as a side note.


The Board of Directors quickly accepted the typography piece as their new official logo. I had a great sense of accomplishment and gave a good boost of confidence that I could design a logo for a large and prominent equine association. It was a bit of a struggle to get the typography to stack in a square using typography best design principles.


The public's feedback on the ABRA new logo was they thought it looked too much like the AQHA logo. I assure people that while they were both serif fonts, the serif font used in the ABRA's logo was much different than AQHA. I also shared that yes, I wanted to logos to look like they belonged together. Most registered ABRA horses are registered with AQHA, and the ABRA were affiliates of AQHA. The main difference between the two logos is the ABRA uses the full name in its logo while the AQHA uses the abbreviation. The "Buckskin" in the logo has a hex color reflecting the registry's color as the ABRA is a color breed registry.


The logo is a great professional and polished logo that I am incredibly proud to have created. I know the ABRA is pleased and has contracted me to build their brand further and become their first Digital Marketing Specialist. Read my future blogs on the additional projects I have designed for the ABRA. I have been incredibly blessed with the work I do for the ABRA. Not only do I get to stay involved in the horse community since I do no show anymore, but I am also constantly increasing my scope and knowledge with design and marketing. And that is a win-win situation!

Chandler & Cave Creek, AZ

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©2017 by Karri Owens - all rights reserved