Longhouse Identity

A big idea—about going small


Brand Identity



For seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, the impersonal nature of an assisted-living facility that feels like a hotel can be disorienting and even disturbing. That’s why Matthew Long, owner and operator of the already-successful Husky Senior Care, created Longhouse Adult Family Homes—smaller-scale centers that actually feel like homes, with limited capacity and comprehensive memory-care services.

By providing the comforts and familiarity of a real home, limiting the number of residents (typically 10 or fewer versus 150 or more in larger facilities), and providing excellent care, Longhouse allows seniors to thrive with maximum independence.

Matthew contacted Chalkbox because he wanted Longhouse to have a distinct brand identity, one that differentiated the company from Husky Senior Care. Additionally, it was important for the Longhouse brand to be approachable for the individuals who will live in the homes, while also speaking to those who make the decisions for them—usually their children or other family members.

Finally, the identity needed to create a calm, caring, trustworthy impression: Would you feel comfortable trusting this company to care for your parent or loved one?


Research and roots

As part of our process, we performed extensive research into both local and national companies that offer similar services. We also asked Matthew about his inspiration for the name, which in turn provided a bit of inspiration for our design. He grew up with missionary parents, and the people they served lived in communal longhouses. Of course, we have Native American longhouses in the Pacific Northwest as well—it is an ancient concept.

In the adult-care field, the quality of design work varies greatly; some companies appear very polished and professional, while others have a very DIY feel or have very little design at all. Those with larger facilities tended to have better design than their smaller counterparts, which we viewed as an opportunity for Longhouse.


Challenges and concepts

We knew that one of our key challenges on this project would be balancing the needs of each audience to find the right mix of old and new, strength and compassion. Not only did it need to appeal to each group, it also needed to be accessible for the residents. Contrast and legibility are always things we take into consideration with logos, but it was particularly important here.

After our initial rounds of sketching, we worked closely with Matthew to narrow our options; some concepts felt a little too complex for the residents, or too commercial and impersonal for the family members who would be making the choice.

Simple, yet layered with meaning

We took the best concepts and turned our focus to the personal, intimate, professional services and settings Longhouse offers. The logo needed to be clear and distinctive, but not so simple that it appeared amateurish. Ideally, it also would include subtle nods to the company’s philosophies of high-quality care through communal living.

The final logo includes leaves in a ring around a bold “L”—the leaves symbolize a small circle of people coming together, the communal experiences shared by both ancient humans and those alive today. Even the number of leaves, 15, represents a small gathering aligned with Longhouse’s “human-scale” approach to assisted living.

The mark is contemporary and refined, serious without feeling stodgy. Its use on the website and company stationery is a blend of readability and elegance; we also ensured the size and layout both online and on paper were optimized for those with poor eyesight. Ultimately, like Longhouse itself, we were able to find a balance that elevates the entire experience.


Are you reaching the right audiences?

Many companies have multiple key audiences—and the right brand identity can help you reach all of them. Is your brand speaking to the people who matter most? We can help. Get in touch with Chalkbox Creative today!