Award-Winning Blog

Insights, attitude and inspiration

NEW: BigMouth introduces Counsel!, an efficient new way to access brand-based business thinking


Now you can integrate strategic brand thinking into your business planning — even before you make the big investment in your brand.

Functioning as your chief branding officer, we will:

  • Add a sophisticated dimension to your business, at a pain-free price point
  • Help you determine when and how to invest in your brand
  • Provide authoritative counsel on strategic and tactical brand questions
  • Advise you on how to maximize available branding and marketing budgets
  • Help you avoid costly mistakes from impulsive branding decisions
  • Give you peace of mind knowing your brand thinking is solid

Our entire worldview expressed in a single picture


After 25 years, this simple graph neatly sums up how we see the world. There are a ton of safe, dull brands out there doing nothing for the bottom line. And far too few that are actually driving righteous business growth. Those are the ones we love to create. Read more about limiter, pretender and driver brands at

Distinctive new logo for ICC, an innovative wealth management firm based in Las Vegas. Design by BigMouth in San Francisco.

Sharp new ID for ICC


The challenge: Create a fresh, modern, distinctive logo, using an inert series of initials. Here’s the solution we came up with for ICC, a progressive Las Vegas wealth advisory. The mark is structured, dimensional and dynamic, reflecting the core elements of the wealth management experience ICC delivers. If you’re into logos, check out some of our favorite creations at

The naming is the hardest part


Nothing is more creatively, intellectually or culturally brutal than naming – or renaming. You have to imagine how the name feels and functions not at inception, but in the future, when it’s infused with your positioning and all the right brand attitude and associations. Here are a few of the more than 750 prospective names we developed for a major Bay Area non-profit that helps young people survive horrific trauma.

Note: These are not logos. However, we do present names with preliminary type treatments, to suggest the personality they can take on. It’s amazing the endless ways you can inflect a name by the way you treat it typographically. You can see more of our naming work at

Advertisement for the San Francisco Bay Guardian featuring then-mayor Willie Brown trashing the Guardian. Created by BigMouth in San Francisco.

FROM THE VAULT: Willie Brown and the Ultimate Anti-Endorsement


Long before the advent of social media, we were huge fans of creating what we called “advertising that doesn’t feel like advertising.” When then-Mayor Willie Brown went on the radio and slammed our client — the legendary and sadly now defunct San Francisco Bay Guardian — we knew we had received a beautiful gift. The public dis by the Guardian’s nemesis handed us a valuable “anti-endorsement” that got the whole town buzzing.

Listen to the experts


Otis, my soul music side project, is finishing its debut album. The mix was done by a wicked young talent in LA named Steve Kaye. The guy has incredible ears and impeccable creative judgment. As we got to the end of the mix, I realized how vital Steve’s judgment was to the power of the end product. “Should we bump the B3 in the outro?” “Honestly, this section is all about the vocals, not the organ.” “I don’t know if we need the horns here.” “I’d leave them in, it’s their best moment in the whole song.” We challenged each of Steve’s recommendations, but in the end he was pretty much always right.

Being the client for a change reminded me of the value of specialists. And it made me reflect. Our clients hire us to do something we’re excellent at. Still, many of them have no hesitation to impose changes that dramatically weaken the impact of our work. Like Steve, we always listen to clients. But we also articulate our rationale and recommendations, based on judgement honed over 25 years. There’s a direct correlation. The clients who follow our guidance reap the biggest rewards from our work. By far.

– Mike