Kirby Stephens Design

News / Events
Monday, 30 October 2017
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KSD addressed the Kentucky Municipal Utilities Association (KMUA) 2017 Annual Fall Meeting held last week at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset.

Kirby Stephens, president of KSD, shared the firm's work for Barbourville Utilities in updating their company identity, designing their new website and development of the brand for their upcoming fiber to the home Internet service. KSD will be coordinating marketing materials and strategy as the service is rolled out over the next two years.

KMUA’s mission is to unify and serve as a common voice for municipal utilities by advocating for community-owned and controlled utilities and to provide its members with the support they need to be able to deliver maximum benefit to their customers and communities.

Monday, 25 September 2017
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When the Barbourville Utility Commission committed to upgrading their Internet for the city of Barbourville (Kentucky), they felt the new fiber-to-the-home light-speed service should have its own name and logo. After a recommendation from an existing client, KSD was brought in to evaluate and propose a marketing approach. 

While the initial task was branding and marketing the new fiber-optic service, our research led us to recommend addressing a wider range of issues, including the utility's corporate identity and website.

While officially named the Barbourville Utility Commission, it became apparent that within their service community no one referred to the company this way. Their own employees were answering the phone with "Barbourville Utilities," and the signage on the company headquarters read the same. KSD recommended simplifying the name to Barbourville Utilities and making visual and technical refinements to their existing company logo. 

BU logo before after

The next task was a new website, which KSD built on a content management system. The new website included new photography and writing by KSD with launch timed to just precede the announcement of the new fiber-optic Internet service. Barbourville Utilities provides electricity, water, sewer and cable television, as well as Internet service, and the website needed to inform all of these segments.

KSD spent weeks working on a name — finding a title that would be distinct, friendly, memorable, and meaningful. While obviously "blink" implies fast, it also can be seen as B-link — Barbourville's Link. The supporting slogan: "Barbourville's Gigabit Link" reflects this meaning as well as defining the speed of the service. The final logo, a wordmark made up of custom-drawn letterforms, incorporates a stylized fiber optic cable into the "i" of the name Blink.

KSD coordinated the announcement of Blink with local, regional and industry-specific network press releases. As the service becomes available to neighborhoods over the year-long installation period, KSD will help Barbourville Utilities market to individual residences as well as the community in general with direct letters, door hangers, newspaper and radio advertising, social media engagement, community signage, as well as on-site display marketing.

BU blink WCX4844 banner


Monday, 11 September 2017
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Selling food products online — it's a challenge. Hall's Beer Cheese chose KSD to develop their new website ( featuring a robust e-commerce system that streamlines the ordering and provides Hall’s with in-depth analytics and customer info.

The website is designed to be easily expandable as new products (stay tuned!) are introduced.

Beer Cheese is a Kentucky original product, and Hall’s On The River helped make it famous. While readily available in Kentucky, the new website makes it easy for fans to order in every state in the continental US. Many customers have commented that they used to live in Kentucky and miss Hall’s original snappy beer cheese.

After launching the beer cheese site, KSD redesigned the Hall’s On The River restaurant website. KSD continues to work with Hall’s on marketing strategies, packaging design, advertising, point of purchase, social media, and more.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016
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We’ve had the great fortune at KSD to maintain relationships with several of our clients that span decades.

Such is the case with the Master Musicians Festival. KSD has been involved with Somerset’s premier summer music event in some way since its inception 23 years ago. Whether developing MMF’s website, designing posters or brochures, writing press releases, fitting the stage with banners or sitting in our lawn chairs in July to take in the awesome festival atmosphere right here in our hometown, KSD is dedicated to supporting MMF and its mission of bringing musical excellence to rural Kentucky.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015
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Smartphones are “such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.” — Chief Justice John Roberts, Riley v. California

Indeed, we’ve become a smartphone-dependent society. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are smartphone owners — according to an October 2014 Pew Research Center study — and for many of them, their phone is their only access to the outside Internet world.

As the landscape of Internet accessibility has changed, so has KSD in the way we design websites for our clients. All new websites built in the last two years are mobile friendly, and KSD’s most recent sites are responsive, meaning they can reflow, reprioritize and even present different content depending on the screen size.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015
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KSD just launched a new website and rebrand for FACTOR (formerly Visual Risk Technologies) a software engineering and consulting company that focuses on risk management in the transportation, energy, chemical, insurance and public sectors.

Thursday, 09 July 2015
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This week Stearns became the sixth Kentucky town to achieve the official Kentucky Trail Town certification. Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear bestowed the honor at a ceremony at the Big South Fork Railway Depot on July 8, 2015.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015
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Today Google has implemented a new search algorithm that will severely penalize websites that are not “mobile-friendly” in search result rankings. Google has done this in response to the way people have moved their Internet browsing habits to mobile devices in the last few years, and that trend is expected to continue.

KSD websites built in the last two years are all mobile friendly. Some of our most recent sites are responsive, which means they can reflow, reprioritize, and even present different content depending on screen size.

Google has provided a handy tool to check any website to see if it passes its “mobile-friendly” test. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014
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Mike Caudill, superintendent of Madison County Schools from 2001 until he lost his battle with cancer in 2007, liked to compare himself to a turtle on top of a fence post. That turtle didn't get there on its own — it had to have help. And he often credited those who helped him reach his fullest potential.

When Mike’s Kids Education Foundation was founded in 2008 in his honor, a logo was born featuring a turtle on top of a fence post with the slogan, “No one can make it on their own.” People who knew him rallied around his belief that every student had the ability to succeed if they were given the right tools, and supported MKEF’s efforts to enhance public education in Madison County.

Friday, 07 November 2014
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With a new superintendent at the helm and several important initiatives underway, Madison County Schools entered 2014 with three goals in mind — to refocus, redesign and rebrand the school district to more effectively communicate its commitment to first-class education.

In addition to a strategic planning process that established 40 new initiatives, Madison County Schools asked KSD to help illustrate how the district inspires excellence for students. Earlier in the year, KSD created a new identity for Mike’s Kids Education Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports literacy and scholarship efforts in Madison County Schools. Superintendent Elmer Thomas wanted to build on that momentum by bringing new life to the district’s identity in a similar way.

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KSD is a results-oriented, full-service design, marketing and communication firm located in Somerset, Kentucky.

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    219 E. Mt. Vernon Street
    Somerset Kentucky 42501
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