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A law firm’s logo is more than just something to decorate business cards and stationery. It can serve as an important marketing tool by conveying a message to prospective clients about the firm’s goals and values.

Making the right first impression was important enough to Robinson & Cole that it spent nine months and thousands of dollars to create a brand new logo. The logo features what the firm calls a “cleaner, more modern look,” and replaces the ampersand between the firm’s two names with a plus sign.

The change is part of an overall rebranding the firm undertook, going to two outside design firms for help with the campaign, said Brian T. Smith, Robinson & Cole’s director of marketing and business development. He said the unveiling of the logo coincided with a new website that was created to provide “a streamlined user experience.”

In terms of the look, the firm added a hexagon pattern on the website, which Smith said represents “strength, connection and innovation.”

“The core philosophies of the firm haven’t changed, but the way we do business has,” Smith said. “It was time for our brand to reflect the modern culture with a new look.”

The firm created an internal committee to consider its branding campaign. Comprised of partners, associates and support staff members, the panel took several months to study the work and values of the firm, and then made recommendations to the designers.

“The plus sign is used as a symbol to exemplify the power of the Robinson and Cole community to provide solutions for its clients by joining with others,” said Howard Shafer, chief operating officer at Robinson & Cole. “We were looking to reflect who we truly are, that was the driving force.”

Robinson & Cole hired Monaco Lange, a New York consulting firm, to design the logo. Improvements to the website were completed in collaboration with a Boston-based website architecture firm, PaperThin.

Smith said the firm added brighter colors to its website, and added a calendar to show events, such as seminars, in which the firm is participating. “Clients, prospective clients, and other visitors to our site will be better able to search our firm’s capabilities and experience by practice area or industry,” said managing partner John B. Lynch Jr.

The new site and brand logo was launched using the existing domain, at www.rc.com. The firm has 200 lawyers in nine offices, including Hartford, New London and Stamford.