The design used by West Sixth Brewing Co. for its logo was chosen for its boldness and simplicity, wrote Brian Turner, owner-operator of Cricket Press in Lexington.
Turner and his wife, Sara, own and operate the firm that designed the logo for West Sixth — which is now at the heart of a trademark infringement lawsuit filed against West Sixth by Magic Hat of Vermont.
"We approached this project like any of our other design jobs; we first like to get as much direction from our clients as we possibly can," Brian Turner wrote in email. "Sara and I sat down with the guys from West Sixth and discussed their ideas and inspiration for the name of the brewery and we collectively brainstormed some graphic themes and the aesthetic they were looking for."
The logo was developed over "weeks and weeks of collaboration and input from the guys at West Sixth," and took on different variations before arriving at the final design, Turner wrote.
Because the brewery's name is also its location, "we discussed ways of working it into the logo," Turner wrote.
"Considering that the proposed route of Lexington's Legacy Trail (which was still fairly new at the time) would run alongside the brewery's building, the term 'trail blazing' was something that stuck," Turner wrote.
"Even now, fans who sign up for West Sixth's newsletter are called West Sixth 'Trailblazers.' This idea eventually worked its way into the logo in the form of a very simple compass rose, which is the 8-pointed shape that points westward in the direction of the stylized '6' within the circle," Turner wrote.
Turner said West Sixth sought "something very simple, eye-catching, and something with minimal colors." The company wanted "something that was a bit lyrical and organic that didn't have to rely on having a lot of text in the logo. We wanted the stylized '6' to be easily recognizable with West Sixth fans and customers."
So what do the Turners say to Magic Hat's allegations that the West Sixth designs "closely resemble and are confusingly similar" to its logo?
"While both logos have elements that, by themselves, are similar when you combine them all together, the logos do not resemble each other," Brian Turner wrote. "After all, the West Sixth logo has the name "West Sixth Brewing" arched across the top of it in prominent lettering.
"To assume that a potential customer would be confused by the two is rather insulting to the intelligence of consumers," Turner wrote. "Craft beer drinkers are a very informed and discerning audience, and they are not going to just blindly grab something off the shelf and then be surprised at their purchase after the fact."