Branding initiatives are a collection of symbiotic parts, each providing a direct and substantive benefit to another.
Consider the case of USA Architects (USAA), an award-winning full-service architectural firm based in New Jersey with offices in Pennsylvania and New York, which initially engaged Eastern Standard to create a new website. In the process of discovery, we identified the need to also update the firm’s logo in order to present a comprehensive and modern identity. We felt that these elements working in tandem would provide a more functionally cohesive vision for the firm — and the client agreed.
USAA’s former identity was dated and needed a stronger sense of structural “stability” and timelessness that one would expect from an architecture firm. The revised identity presents a more “solid” feel and functions better in different applications, with four triangles playing off negative space to produce a white square tilted within a red square.
The new Drupal-based responsive site that our in-house design and development team created now showcases USAA’s robust project portfolio, placing emphasis on the company’s profile and “Dimensions” blog, and incorporates a simple-to-manage content association feature whereby people and posts can be linked to projects, when appropriate. We included social media integration via link-sharing options and an Instagram feed, pulling everything together and encouraging a more content-rich browsing experience.
Throughout the project, we had two major goals. We first wanted to establish USAA as an agency whose work is focused on meeting their clients’ needs rather than bolstering their own image — a criticism faced by some other architecture firms. We accomplished this by incorporating personal language and highlighting the friendly atmosphere at USAA through the Instagram feature and company page.
We also wanted to demonstrate USAA’s breadth and depth of experience, so we strategically based the site’s project finder interface on the firm’s major project types in a variety of markets: government, justice, education, science and technology, healthcare, and corporate. This ensures that prospective clients always see a large number of projects similar in nature to what they might be looking for and illustrates the firm’s approach to solving a variety of architectural challenges.