Branding: Next Show Lighting

A past client of mine runs a stage lighting rental company. After some conversations, I learned that while rental income is the primary source of income, resale is also key to a rental shop’s success. For a couple reasons. First, if you’re selling your equipment on a regular basis you can be buying new equipment on a regular basis. That means your customers are always pleased with the like-new equipment they rent. Secondly, you need to move a rental product into a position to be sold while it’s still in sale-able shape. Otherwise you may ride it all the way to break-even if you have to eat all of its original cost.

So there are several websites specifically geared to the resale of used lighting equipment. Basically, the eBays of lights. And they each charge a hefty percentage of the sale price. Enough so, that my client wanted to create their own site dedicated to selling their own used lights.


The first part of the process was finding a name that would make good sense. The most obvious names were taken. And taken by some of the biggest players in the industry. After a couple of weeks of back and forth, and dozens of options explored, we settled on Next Show Lighting.

Logo & Colors

The next step was figuring out a logo and brand colors. I ran through a series of logo designs and we ended on the one below. I like how the EX in next makes an arrow. (Yes, I know FedEx did this a minute ago. But ‘next’ with an arrow pointing right makes even more sense than ‘express’ which would imply speedy in more than one direction. I think they should put arrows on each tip of the X. But that’s just me.)

Next Show Lighting's Logo

For colors, we wanted to avoid any conflicts with the competition, be visually interesting without being overwhelming, and refer to the sorts of safety-related colors our actual audience was used to. A flavor of orange and some similar colors was where we landed.


My absolute favorite part of this project was working on the brand “voice.” The primary company had been in business for more than 10 years and were pretty well known regionally. This meant we had a legitimacy already built in. So I began researching with my client who would be the audience for this site. The basic demographics were kind of like this.

  • heavily-skewed male (like 90%)
  • 30-45
  • tech savvy
  • independent & prone to introversion

So we decided that we could afford to be a little cheeky with our promotional material. Note: these are all still considered ‘sketches.’ These haven’t been evolved to ready-for-primetime. I am showing them for the creative/cleverness aspect.

General and Sales Promos

NSL - I hate the handshake hero

I absolutely despise the handshake stock photo and have no idea how it’s actually such a thing.
NSL - Lay Some Cable

A homepage banner referring to the big cable sale.
NSL - dolphins

Dolphins R SMRT
NSL - Expendables Promo

“Expendables” is an actual product line which includes tape and bulbs and things that are … well … expendable.

Email List Promos

NSL - Email Promo: Barry

Barry is in bad shape.
NSL - Email Promo: Jenkins Did

This was a royalty-free image I bought in the early 2000s and it’s still one of my favorites.
NSL - Email Promo: Johnny

Johnny had so much potential.
NSL - Refer a Friend: Timmy

Refer a friend.
NSL - Email Promo: Barkly I

Barkly #1 – the wrong tree (get it?)
NSL - Email Promo: Barkly II

Barkly Callback – he’s a good boy now!

So with all the attempts at cleverness it would seem like anyone could write this junk. Well, what better way to get user involvement than to challenge them to do just exactly that?

NSL - User Engagement

The site project got paused for a variety of reasons. I hope that someday we can get it together to finish it and let the world enjoy all this wit.