How we helped Crux establish a compelling brand and get bought.


Crux Biomedical developed a novel and much needed filter technology for dealing with dangerous blood clots in the leg. The filter had a brilliant design, and it worked. So Crux had a decision to make: They could add manufacturing capabilities and produce the filter themselves, or they could sell the technology to someone who could. Crux chose the latter.

Here’s how we helped Crux develop a strong identity, solidify their brand and be the belle of the ball.



Event Graphics



Brand Strategy


They say that if you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door. What they don’t tell you is that no one will do anything if A) they don’t know you exist, B) you can’t adequately explain your mousetrap, or C) your mousetrap concept appears unfinished. Crux had a wonderful product, but no identity, inconsistent technical materials and zero narrative. All of this made them at best: invisible.

How could we help Crux develop a polished brand and tell their story with a clear voice that would attract suitors?


It was immediately clear that a strong brand needed to be developed. This would start with a logo and basic collateral. But they also needed a slogan, which would be the entrée into a product story that would tie everything together and form a mature and appealing brand.

What made the Crux filter so innovative was its design. Traditional vena cava filters must be removed from the leg via the…neck(!), while their filter could be placed AND removed from the leg.

Once the brand was established, we had to find a way to get it in front of as many people as possible so that they would learn the Crux story.



The advantage of the Crux design was readily evident in its form. For this reason we featured it boldly in the logo design. Given that the purpose of the filter was to protect against deadly migrating blood clots in the leg, we focused the logo motif and company slogan on the theme of protection.

This product-centric mindset was carried throughout the other marketing materials which featured the Crux filter prominently as a reminder of its innovation and clever design. This allowed us to pump up its obvious advantages in the product narrative.


Because protection was the theme, we chose a shield as an enclosure for the logo. This had obvious metaphorical significance. The Crux filter blocks clots from migrating – like a shield. Carrying on, we determined that a literal approach for the logo design was the way to go. To that end the shield featured a stylized, but still recognizably innovative Crux filter, smack dab in the middle.

To subtly suggest a product maturity, the logo was rendered in a bold and dimensional style. We wanted a tangible, physical logo that begged to be touched.


Clearly vena cava filters, by definition, offer protection for the recipients. They do this by blocking large and dangerous blood clots from migrating to places they shouldn’t, like the lungs, or brain, or heart…. What made the Crux filter different was that its physical design made it extremely easy to place and remove from a patient. This is a significant innovation since both procedures done in a traditional way carry risks, and are painful for a patient.

When we then considered what best described the Crux filter, three main attributes rose to the top: filtration, protection and innovation. This succinct list sounded like a perfect slogan. Just three words. Simple. We reordered the list and put innovation first, while making protection the last word…clearly…after all, that’s what it’s all about. Crux IS the last word in protection.


We carried forward the product-centric design philospohy when creating the other marketing tools for Crux. All of their materials boldly carried the innovative filter as a central design element to remind suitors about the Crux story. Everything else was kept neutral in color and tone – only greys and burgundy was used in their materials. This played well with the secondary veinous imagery employed in the backgrounds. Taken together, these elements helped advance the narrative without a single word.

Crux was now ready to get out to industry tradeshows and other events armed with their new materials. The belle was ready for the ball.


Crux was able to take their new brand on the road to tradeshows and industry events where they had great success generating buzz for their novel and innovative vena cava filter.

Within 3 months of promotional efforts with their traveling roadshow, they were bought by Volcano Corporation, thus accomplishing their objective.

“This is a very challenging environment for medical implants. It was a 7 year journey with a successful exit, thanks to your dedicated and talented work. Good things do happen when you have the right ingredients!”

– Mel Schatz, CEO

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