skolnick architecture

Why did we rebrand? (or, how do you fix something that is only partially broken?)

By Lee H. Skolnick, FAIA



For decades, our firm’s name, Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, was an unwieldy mouthful. So maybe 20 years ago or so, we decided to rebrand to LHSA+DP. It looked good as a graphic, but we quickly found out that people constantly garbled it, mixing up the letters, leaving letters out, etc. We’d get “LSA”, “LSADP”, you name it! And it was not something anyone ever wanted to say. Even we resorted to answering the phone “Skolnick Design Partnership”. So we decided to refresh and simplify. We asked around and looked back on our past experience with clients, colleagues, vendors, etc., and it became clear that most people just referred to us as “Skolnick”, as in “we’re working with Skolnick”, “call Skolnick”, “fire Skolnick” (just kidding). So let’s just go with the flow…”Skolnick”.


If we were going to the trouble and expense of changing all our identity materials, collateral, it seemed only natural that we should rebrand by creating a new feel as well. A radical re-birth. An explicit view towards the future. We wanted to be bolder, fresher, friendlier, more creative, looser. So we chose a bold type face and a beautiful, fresh color. Airy, evocative, and not trendy. Less corporate, less stuffy. We’re not a law firm or accountants!


Then we got some push-back internally on the simplicity of the name as a brand. “Skolnick?….how will anyone know what we do? Personally, I liked the open-endedness of it. What does IDEO do? What does McKinsey do? What does Ennead do? But ultimately, I was out-voted. We considered SKOLNICK Design Partnership. But some people (not me) were worried that people wouldn’t know that we were architects as well! Really, after all these years? I gave in again. So now we are “SKOLNICK ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN PARTNERSHIP”, fully expecting that people will still say “Skolnick”!