New and Improved: Simplify

By July 1, 2014Blog

“New and Improved” is a series of posts on our own brand refresh: not our logo but our whole story. This is the last post in the series.

As we reviewed our company, how we got to where we were and how we felt about that, we realized that there were some things we wanted to change (see the first two posts in this series), and we did — but in so doing, we realized we needed to change the main place that tells our story: our website.

We last did a web refresh in 2010 when we moved to Cincinnati. We were new to the area and didn’t know anyone, and needed to show our history of work (we’ve been in business since 2001, and both of us full-time since 2006). We made it very thorough, showing lots of work and telling the stories behind the work. We also made it look professional and business-like (and big), because we were in the midst of several company headquarters and we thought that might be a client source for us.

We realized that corporate clients aren’t our favorite. Sure, they have big budgets but sometimes they don’t have heart, and they frequently have 17 people who have differing opinions. Although we realized this fairly quickly, we got busy and forgot to change the visuals of our site. A couple years later, we kept attracting the wrong kind of client and we weren’t sure why. Then our business coach said (gently, because this is our job and we ought to know better), “You know, your site is really great but it doesn’t feel like you.”

Of course it didn’t. We still had the “corporate” vibe going, even though that isn’t who we want to be. We are a boutique design company run by a married couple, and we’re also the only employees, and we don’t ever want to get bigger than this. We like working in our flip flops with our dogs around (though we can clean up pretty nicely when necessary), and we like to fall in love with our clients and their vision. We also like designing our own products, and we recognize that after this many years in the business, we might even have some advice to share with the young designers. We aren’t a large agency; we’re a small nimble agency that has a ton of experience and does great work, but we will never be corporate and don’t want to be.

We think our new site is more like us: clean, and simple design where the work speaks for itself.