Published in


Case Study

Apeak Invest

Commercial Real Estate Investment and Development Firm located in Maui, Hawaii

It was intended to be a quick naming and logo design project. Partially because it’s what was needed (but mostly because we can’t really help ourselves), as soon as we started scratching the surface it quickly expanded out to a meaningful exploration of the company’s reason for being.

Returning and reconnecting

Raised on Maui, Apeak’s founder spent his formative years on the mainland and developed a lucrative career pursuing commercial real estate. Like many of us, when COVID changed everything, everything changed. It made us all look for a little something more in how we spent our days.

Early concepts

His decision to move his family back to island life coincided with a decision to move his professional efforts closer to home. He quit his job and begin setting the foundation to start his own independent commercial investment firm on Maui and was in need of some brand calibration and focus.

Name, but different

The quest for differentiation started with the name. Investment firms are typically pretty stale in their naming and branding — Boulder Foundation Secure Capital Investment Financial Growth and Partners *picture of a rock*.

We wanted to create something different. Something that spoke to traditionally sound investment strategies rooted in expertise and experience, but also something that would feel accessible to an audience that might be turned off by the perception of oldstuffymoney guys.

Apeak is a nautical term that refers to the scenario of being as nearly vertical as possible without being free of the bottom. Meaning stretching to reach a zenith but still anchored. This felt like an appropriate parallel to the approach the business would take: carrying the same level of foundational and learned expertise, but operating with a bit more vision. Dabbling in calculated risk and attracting the type of investment opportunities that would likely get trimmed by a large firm or board calculating value based coldly on ROI and “is it worth our time?”

Apeak Invest wants to bring the needle closer to the art side of the art-and-science spectrum of investment while providing a closer-to-home personal touch.

Shaping the icon

We chose to go with a logo mark that had as much feeling of belonging within the investment industry as something you might find in a more progressive-leaning industry like action sports or athletic apparel.

The overall triangular shape represents the Hawaiian volcanic island Apeak calls home. The cycle reference by the motion of the line structure indicates a return on investment. While the vertical arrow still attached to the base of the triangle illustrates financial growth while never detaching from a strong foundational strategy.

The mark needed to be bold and strong. Apeak wanted it to stand out as something different within the space, but was cautious about seeming too sophomoric and not trustworthy. Bleeding-edge progressive action sports brand is not necessarily the type of connotation welcomed by people potentially getting ready to invest large sums of money into projects, after all.

Ultimately the logo is clean and modern. Simple and recognizable. It is unique to the space, but it is refined enough that it still feels mature.

A note from the client

From start to finish, Radsmith delivered a fun, engaging and informative experience, helping us better understand the merits of branding and how to maintain cohesion across all our marketing platforms. It not only helped me think deeper about my own business strategy and target markets, but reinforced the growing importance of a well-thought out branding approach in today’s ever-changing digital world. I would highly recommend their services to anyone looking for partners who can execute on a kick-butt branding strategy while also layering in a deeper level of thoughts from their own experiences running businesses and engaging with customers.

-Andrew Estes, Apeak Invest Principal

Hope you enjoyed this! Interested in working with us? Reach out to info@radsmth.com and let’s chat.

Or cruise over to radsmth.com to view more.




Radsmth is a husband-and-wife team dedicated to connecting you and your audience. After spending over a combined two decades of formative years in the agency world, Radsmth was formed as an anti-agency approach to branding strategy and graphic design.

Recommended from Medium

Art journal pages

It’s Wrong to Play Favorites

10 Lockdown Activities to Inspire Creativity on a Budget

Bones Has Bug Eyes


Hello everyone ☺️

~Clocking in Again~

Hey how to link

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Brett McMillin

Brett McMillin

More from Medium

Meet the 6 top rebranding campaigns of 2021

What is the Metaverse & Augmented Reality Ecommerce?

Tone of Voice—How a Brand Sounds and Speaks

Business Opportunities in the Metaverse