What is Showdog and how did you get the name?

Showdog Brand Handlers originated by leveraging the strengths of two independently operating divisions of a former business. Beyond the name is a passion for what these strengths can do when joined together. So when people ask – “What is Showdog and how did you get the name?” – this is part of the answer.

The first business was Dixie Graphics.  Dixie Graphics became a leader in custom architectural signage fabrication, although for some time signage was a small part of its business. Since its beginnings in 1903, Dixie had made a name for itself as a pre press supplier of printing plates for companies that print and convert packaging for some of the largest brand names in multiple industries. Printing plates were the deliverables, but the graphic arts work and the talent behind that work insuring brand consistency and color accuracy was fascinating. For 15 years, I was part of and eventually led Dixie’s two businesses and witnessed unique talents and techniques deliver products the competition couldn’t match. 

The idea for a new company was also based on a need in Nashville (author’s hometown)which was exploding with new commercial development.  There undoubtedly was opportunity for someone who could plan and manage the aspects of branding - design to execution – for all of these new buildings.  We had experience to be able to do this for clients and offer unique value, but we needed a name. 

An extensive name development process didn’t yield a ‘slam dunk’ so I began writing down descriptions for what I wanted the company to be, from culture to perception and capabilities. The name also would describe how we wanted the client to feel as a result of hiring us.  

  • People should want to come work at __________.  We have fun, take work seriously – not so much our individual selves. 

  • The _____________ team has unique experience that others don’t. We’re proud of that. 

  •  ____________ exists to make our clients look good.

  • We brand environments that make our clients want to show off.

Axl and Elvis, the Showdog mascots

At the same moment that ‘show off’ came (into my head and exited quickly) – were our two year-old Havanese puppies, Axl & Elvis, now Showdog mascots, playing on the floor at my feet -- having fun, showing off, and definitely not taking themselves too seriously. 

From there “Show Off” (probably a bit arrogant for a new company and for my taste) – turned into Showdog. From there some trusted advisers helped us add Brand Handlers to go along with the Showdog theme and keeping with what we wanted to do as a company – handing the challenges involved with branding environments. 

Our clients and their projects are the real showdogs in Showdog Brand Handlers’ relationships, and it’s why… 

Showdog is an environmental graphics company whose purpose is to make its clients look good!