Tag Archives: The Visual Brand

Gault Unfolds New Umbrella, Announces New Name

At 153 years old, Gault is still nimble.

This morning, the company — Westport’s oldest business (by about a century) — announced a major corporate rebranding. And a new corporate umbrella.

Plus a modern new logo.

Gault's new logo (and name).

Gault’s new logo (and name).

Gault Energy & Stone will now be called Gault Family Companies. Three rebranded lines of business — Energy & Home Solutions, Stone & Landscape Supplies, and Properties & Development — will operate under it.

Sam Gault is the 5th generation to head the family firm. He and his marketing team began the process 3 years ago, soon after the company’s 150th anniversary. They were assisted by Westport-based The Visual Brand.

Sam Gault says the new logo and expanded corporate structure “capture our rich history, and reveal our ambitious plans for the future.

“From our humble beginnings as a hauling business with a single horse and wagon, the company has continued to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of the communities we serve, always focusing on delivering exceptional personalized service.”

Horses hauling coal in front of the company's 19 Riverside Avenue building (1905-08).

Horses hauling coal in front of the company’s 19 Riverside Avenue building (1905-08).

During its 15 decades, Gault has morphed from hauling into coal, sand, oil and, most recently, energy solutions.

Adding “Home Solutions” to its energy brand will help the company showcase its many services — such as providing bioheat and propane delivery, low cost-electricity, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning equipment insulation, standby generator installation, and maintenance and repair.

The stone and masonry supply business provides a full range of interior and exterior services. Adding “landscape” to the brand signals a growing partnership with homeowners.

Hamilton Development — Gault’s real estate arm — is best known for its award-winning mixed-use Saugatuck Center development. But the real estate footprint also includes many other commercial and real estate properties. Sam Gault says the brand focuses on “best practices when it comes to design-build, livability, energy efficiency and stone and masonry work.”

The logo that Gault retired today.

The logo that Gault retired today.

As for the new “G” logo: Its swoop gives a nod to the company’s history, but in a modern way.

Gault has been a strong, steady presence in Westport since the Lincoln administration. The company has always supported the town, in ways big and small (and often anonymously).

May Gault Family Companies — and the Gault family — thrive for at least another 163 years.

(To learn more about Gault’s 1st 150 years, click here.)

The 1914 logo...

The 1914 logo…

...and one from the 1960s.

…and one from the 1960s.

Click here for “06880+”: The easy way to publicize upcoming events, sell items, find or advertise your service, ask questions, etc. It’s the “06880” community bulletin board!

Randy Herbertson’s Very Local Visual Brand

Randy Herbertson is a Midwesterner. His wife grew up in California — where she had no idea that ancestors named Barlow and Hurlbutt had roots in this area dating back centuries.

In 1997 Herbertson — a talented, creative marketing executive — was transferred east by Conde Nast. He lived in Westport and commuted to New York, where for many years he owned a branding agency.

In 2013 he had a revelation. “Am I stupid?” he asked himself. “Why can’t I work in Westport too?” (His wife — the lead designer at Terrain — already did.)

Randy Herbertson

Randy Herbertson

He and his business partner, fellow Westporter Geoff Shafer, opened their multimidia design and promotion firm, The Visual Brand, downtown. In the 2 years since, Herbertson — who makes his living observing consumers’ behavior — has saved hours of commuting time each day.

He knew that would happen. What he did not expect was that he’d become part of a flourising, fun downtown community.

Operating out of reclaimed space on Church Lane — a building behind SoNo Baking Company — Herbertson and Shafer have found plenty of local clients. They hang out in cool places.

Herbertson has joined local business organizations. He’s hired Connecticut designers. “I’d never even heard of Western Connecticut State University,” he admits. “But they’ve got a great program, with really good people.”

Herbertson and Shafer found other businesses founded by former New Yorkers. Neat coffee and cocktails and Luxe Wine Bar are two. Westport Wash & Wax and Quality Towing are 2 more. Not everyone aspires to work in New York forever,” Herbertson says.

The Visual Brand office: inside and out.

The Visual Brand office: inside and out.

From his office — the mail sorting room of the very first Westport post office — Herbertson watches Bedford Square rise.

“It’s a bit of a pain,” he says of the construction. “But it’s exciting. It will be very good overall.”

His marketing eye has been caught by Anthropologie, which will do “some very cool stuff” with their repurposed space.

But, he says, “it’s important to keep the local element downtown — not just the big corporations.” He cites SoNo Baking as “very focused on what this community needs.”

His vision is stirred by the possibilities across the street. A choir member of Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Herbertson would love to find an investor, buy the adjacent Seabury Center, and turn it into a performing arts center like the Ridgefield Playhouse.

“I’m really bullish on downtown,” he notes. “We have an opportunity to be really creative. My son lives in West Hartford. They’ve done some pretty cool stuff up there, in an area that used to be not so good. I hope we can do it better.”

This photo on the very intriguing home page of The Visual Brand's website was taken just a couple of miles from the firm's office.

This photo on the very intriguing home page of The Visual Brand’s website was taken just a couple of miles from the firm’s office.

After 2 years, Herbertson says, he’s found “no downsides” to working in Westport. (He still has clients in the city. They’re just a train ride away.)

“It’s completely possible to do everything we did in New York — at a fraction of the cost.”

Plus, there are all those wine bars, coffee shops — and maybe even a performing arts space — just steps away.