The Story Behind the Hulst Jepsen Logo

A frequent question we get here at Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy is what’s the story behind your logo?

Let’s go back to the beginning of the biz to see the three principles that played a role in the development of the artistic, visual representation of our brand.

1. Local, local, local.

The logo story starts with our name (part of the logo). The company’s initial title was Hulst Physical Therapy (September 2000) with Jepsen added after John bought into the practice in late 2001. I know, not very creative. Trust me, I tried. The reason I settled on my last name for the company moniker, after brainstorming dozens of options with my wife Kellie, is because it screamed locally-owned business (the Dutchness of Hulst definitely says West Michigan). With large, national corporations historically dominating the physical therapy landscape I felt and still feel locally-owned is tremendously important. Very few physical therapy practices our size resist the temptation to sell to these national PT corporations as there is a significant financial incentive to do so. I lived through my employer participating in one of these sellouts in the mid-90’s here in GR and things did not end well when this corporation took things over, as many of my peers (and myself eventually), left the practice. Due to this experience, being locally-owned is, and will continue to be, a huge part of who we are.

Finally in 2008, as the business continued to grow, John and I decided it was time to get a real logo. We met with Andy Van Solkema, a local, independent branding professional and had a couple of elements we wanted the mark to capture.

2. We’re about people.

We told him we wanted a logo/mark that had an element of a person because Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy was all about our patients. His answer to this request was the creation of the abstract personhood of “arrow person”.

3. We’re about movement.

The other piece we wanted in the logo was something related to motion or movement. As physical therapists, we are all about getting people healthy and keeping them moving through the use of manual therapy and movement reeducation exercise. We felt motion had to be a part of our mark and Andy came up with the arrows as the body of the person. Cool idea.

The end game is our “arrow person” combines the personal focus of Hulst Jepsen PT with our emphasis on movement. Throw in the name and we have a locally-owned company that specializes in personal hands-on physical therapy care, keeping you moving and living life.

So, there it is, the not so exciting reasons behind our name and our logo. I must say, Andy did a great job, as years later our logo has been lauded by other branding professionals, and seems to be as fresh and current as it was when he created it in 2008.

Here’s to the Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy / “arrow person” combo staying with us for years to come.


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Tom Hulst