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ADBF 821 running through downtown lansing

Logo Design

Adrian & Blissfield Railroad


Railroad logo

A railroad logo might be the first thing I’ve designed that might finally outlive me, on top of being one of the cooler opportunities I’ve had.

final logo with slight grunge, red

Adrian & Blissfield Rail Road Company is a shortline railroad that also doubles as a holding company operating a total of five short-line railroads in southeastern Michigan.

ADBF 821 running through downtown lansing from bird's eye view

It was important to separate the new ADBF from The Old Road. They do still run that line, but that’s only one of many. There needed to be something a bit more “authoritative.”

comparing old and new logo
ADBF 821 coming towards the camera outside

I’ll admit, I was lucky enough to fall ass-backwards into this opportunity.

I worked with Rachel, who was a close friend of the fiancée of my close friend — and out of sheer coincidence, introduced me to the most incredible world of trains that I never knew about. I have not yet graduated to the self-proclaimed level of “foamer”, but, who knows what the future will hold! Locomotives, and the world around them, really made me excited to work on every part of this rebranding project. Seriously, this will be a tough one to top.

We (Rachel and I) ran the owner Chris through some moodboards; which moved on to concepts; and gradually, we did end up starting down an industrial design inspiration—and I can’t say how happy I am that they were ready to jump in feet first into a wildly different brand than before!

Brothers OT

Designers reading this page will know exactly what typeface they’re looking at, I’d be willing to bet. Brothers is an amazing display type family from Emigre, and had the perfect level of “strength” I needed the wordmark to project.

display poster showing off brothers font
different logos for ADBF

ADBF’s railroad line is one of the oldest operating in the United States, having been originally built in 1834

Railfan & Railroad Magazine

The new paint job also earned this beauty a spot in a magazine article!

Read Article

sd-45 on a railroad shot from a drone

Brand New: Under Consideration

To my sheer amazement—you can also find this logo on Brand New, the design blog powered by UnderConsideration LLC. More or less, this is an absolute dream!

screenshot of logo on brand new's website
ADBF 821 from a drone shot carrying cars
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For reference, you can visit to see some general cost outlines