Holborn

Making reinsurance sexi-er

This privately held reinsurance company dates back almost 100 years. Their success is a strong testament to their reputation within the industry, but as the firm approached its Centennial, they decided they needed to update their brand. I started with a logo refresh, including a new brand standards manual, created a whole new suite of collateral materials and a new B2B advertising campaign.

Capabilities

Design

Branding

 

A new brand

A complete rebrand begins with a new identity. Holborn’s strong reputation in the industry made them hesitant to stray too far from their old mark, but they did agree they needed a new icon to liven up their simple sans-serif font.

Round One: Initial Concepts

I explored several different ideas that spoke to a few of the strong characteristics of Hoborn’s personality:

  1. Growth: Over their 100-year history, Holborn had solid, continued growth
  2. Individualized Attention: They custom tailor their products per client
  3. Teamwork: the company is 100% employee owned, so everyone has a stake in the outcome.

Round Two

The client ultimately felt that the Teamwork theme spoke best to what they wanted to convey about their company, and in reality it encompassed the important aspects of the other two themes. With that, they narrowed down the chosen concepts to three they felt worked the best.

Color exploration

Once the client landed on a final choice, I explored different color options that would help them appear to be a more contemporary company. Ultimately, however, the client felt they should keep the red from their current logo, so I built a new palette around that.

Building the brand standards

After an exhaustive exploratory, the client felt they needed fonts that looked contemporary, but were still fairly conservative. With over 400 employees all responsible for producing different materials, they also needed fonts that would play nicely with everyone’s operating systems. A tall order. Google fonts ended up having exactly what we needed.

Next came the collateral pieces

A brand new logo means you also need brand new office stationery as well as a revamp of your brochures, newsletters and other marketing materials.

The advertising campaign

Holborn felt the themes we explored in the logo development phase would work really well to build an advertising campaign around, so we created ads that spoke to the different aspects of their company that would appeal to their clients: other insurance agencies.

Credits

Built in conjunction with e9.

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Elevated Computing

Elevated Computing

Elevate your IT

Elevated, an IT firm, was tired of their old site. They hated nearly everything about it, but mostly they felt it was hurting their business. The thing Elevated has going for them that makes them better than all the other IT companies out there is their level of customer service. That and, unlike most IT companies, they are not vendor specific and will use whatever products work best for their clients. Add that to 24/7 customer support and offices distributed across the United States (which allows for faster response times), and they truly are a head above the rest. They wanted a site that better reflected what made them stand out.

Features

Their only constraint was that it had to be a one-page, parallax site. I convinced them that they also needed a new identity, so we started there, and finished up with a new, fully responsive site built in WordPress and a whole mess of Javascript. We also built a dual navigation system that lets users move through the site in either a traditional way, via a header nav, or chronologically with little banners that drop down at the bottom of each section.

Capabilities

Art Direction

Branding

Site Design

User Interface

User Experience

New identity

We convinced Elevated that if they really wanted to revamp their brand, they needed to start with their identity—which looked like it had been designed back in the ’90s. For the first round of new identities, Andy and I came up with three initial ‘buckets’ under which we fit three taglines and quite a few visual concepts.

We presented computer roughs, but kept them black and white, hoping that would help them focus on concepts rather than content.

Bucket One: IT Supports Your Business. We Support Your IT.
Bucket Two: What IT Should Be.
Bucket Three: A Higher Form of IT

Further refinement

For the next round, I explored several of the visual concepts the client liked from the first round, as well as some new ideas we had to fit the tagline. I focused on refining the icons and explored different typefaces that I felt would complement the icons.

Final color

Once the client landed on one of the concepts from the second round, I moved into color exploration. These are just a few of the many, many combinations I tried. I only wanted to show the client color palettes I felt fit the objective of a professional firm in a technical field that was easy to work with. I limited what I showed the client so the options wouldn’t be overwhelming.

The site

Once an identity was settled on, I moved on to the website. Because of a smaller budget, I didn’t have the luxury of really exploring content and functionality through wireframes and user flows, so I limited our interaction exploration to two simple wireframe options and a site map that helped us plan out the majority of the site before we moved into developing content and design.

We ended up with a parallax, one-page site that has some interesting little touches. The line and circle graphics move on different levels, at different speeds as the user scrolls through the site. Each section has a banner that alerts the user to the next section that will load as they scroll. Users can navigate using the more traditional nav bar, or chronologically using the banners.

Credits

Fully responsive, custom WordPress site built in conjunction with e9.

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Marino CLE

Background

This e-commerce site for a family-owned continuing education program was the first refresh they’d had in quite awhile. We used WordPress’ popular shopping cart, Woo Commerce, which gave them an easy way to manage their product listings and worked seamlessly with their current cart software. Black and white photography that was focused on the end user and duo-toned on top of a bold color palette gave them a contemporary face lift.

Capabilities

Site Design

User Interface

User Experience

Home

The home page features a few different sections to drive users to different parts of the site: different products the company offers and a calendar of upcoming classes.

Products

Underneath the hero slider, is a module block that allows the client to target different audiences with different course offerings. 

Upcoming courses

An easy way to help users find courses that fit their hectic schedules is provided by a calendar that highlights the dates that the different courses are offered. Two distinct colors let users immediately identify which type of courses their looking for: live or online.

How this works

A step-by-step guide that showcases how easy it is for lawyers to fulfill their yearly CLE requirements.

The shopping experience

Because the user audience is fairly diverse and has pretty unique needs, the most distinctive feature of the shopping cart is a way to filter based on several different categories: state residency, level of experience and venue requirements.

Individual course listing

Each course listing provides information through a tab system so that users can find the info they need easily.

Credits

Fully responsive, custom WordPress site, built in conjunction with e9.

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Old Mill: Popcorn

Start Popping

Old Mill Kettle Corn wanted to bring their brand into the 21st century by updating their old, smallish, non-responsive site. I gave them a one-page, scrolling site based on a 12-col fluid grid that works well on all devices, both desktop and mobile. I felt it was really important to tell their story: a small batch, made-by-hand, Southern kettlecorn company that used a recipe handed down through generations. Each section addresses different aspects of the making of their product in a more or less chronological order. Built on Foundation for WordPress, the site is easy to maintain and update.

Capabilities

Site Design

User Interface

User Experience

Home

The home page features a fullscreen video of popping corn falling down into the frame. Overlaid are the brand identity, with a subtly animated scroll prompt at the bottom of the screen.

The navigation

The nav floats with the content, staying fixed on the right and left sides of the screen. It features two ways to move down the page: via the dots on the right, or the slide out initiated by the hamburger on the left. It’s also easy for the user to go back to the beginning with a ‘back to top’ button above the hamburger.

The flavors

To showcase the four flavors, I designed a sideways scrolling section in the middle of the page. Users can move through it chronologically, or directly by hitting any of the flavor badges on the home page.

Credits

A customized WordPress template, built in conjunction with e9.

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Access Cherry Creek

acc-01

Go Your Own Way

When the city implemented paid parking at a popular shopping district, a Transportation Demand Management consulting firm was tasked with helping employees in the area find alternative ways to get to work that didn’t involve driving alone in their cars. This mobile-first website outlined all of the options and helped them find a route to take. 

Features

The site features a ‘progress’ bar built with javascript that shows how many reductions in VMTs they’ve accrued and a spot for local sponsors.

Capabilities

Site Design

User Interface

User Experience

Site Development

Credits

Mobile-first site built in WordPress.

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