Are we a marketing agency?


Are we more than a marketing agency?

No doubt about it.

When a client comes to us for a creative solution, we go ahead and give ‘em one. Or two. Or sometimes even six or so, which is pretty good as far as creative solutions go.

So even though we don’t specialize in making cool wall murals, for example, we’re totally capable of making cool wall murals. More than capable, actually. Case in point: This one project we did for Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation.

Here’s what happened…

The situation.

Ciminelli relocated its headquarters to 50 Fountain Plaza in downtown Buffalo. The all-new office space needed a fresh look to reflect a more modern setting—but how? What? Where? Our friends at Ciminelli were like, “Hey, you guys got any of them wall murals?” (We’re paraphrasing.) And then we were like, “Yep, sure do.” (Again, paraphrasing.) Because yes, we have dabbled in environmental graphic design before.

The challenges.

We worked side by side with Ciminelli to address—and overcome—the various challenges the project presented.

Here’s what we needed to do:

  • Create a modern, dynamic design without completely overwhelming the spaces visually
  • Incorporate existing brand elements, such as department colors and “lifelines”
  • Develop a concept that could scale with various wall sizes and spaces
  • Circumnavigate existing infrastructure obstacles to display a fluid design
  • Work with a largely raw, undeveloped office space during the construction process
  • Make one unique mural for each department without sacrificing overall brand unity
  • Combine all murals into one signature piece for the conference room

The solutions.

We coordinated with Ciminelli to collect intel from key stakeholders, navigate the new space, and go to work. Here’s what we he had to do:

1. Survey staff to pinpoint brand values for each department
We distributed surveys to all staff members and asked questions like, “What do you like best about your job or department?” and “What are you most proud of accomplishing as an employee or department member?”

2. Filter survey results to identify common themes, words, or ideas
We used the survey results to create word clouds, which helped us visualize options to use for each department. From there, we simply pinpointed four or five of the most popular words for each department.

Red and orange curved lines intersect, making up the foreground of a wall mural with an industry-specific icon behind it.

3. Combine existing brand elements with new artistic direction.
We looked at Ciminelli’s brand guidelines and studied their “lifelines”—a collection of curved, intersecting lines of varying weights that represent collaboration, community, and coming together. To achieve visual consistency, these lifelines would become the unifying brand element among all the different departments, each of which would feature its own set of words and colors.

4. Create visual movement and evoke energy across each mural.
We applied triangles and dot patterns to the background of each mural, which helped us establish a bit of visual movement and energy. Muted tones kept the background from dominating visual focus and prevented clashing between other elements, such as the unique icons we designed. 

Red and orange curved lines intersect, making up the foreground of a wall mural with an industry-specific icon behind it. The words "CARE." "DETERMINATION," "FRIENDSHIP," "PRECISION," and "RESPONSIBILITY" appear in white font within the boldest line.

5. Design one unique icon for each department.
We created eight different icons—one for each department. Each icon was framed by a hexagon shape, which allowed us to do two things: 1) Focus on the icon within the overall designs, and 2) Unite the icons with the angular/triangle background elements. Subtle overlays added a touch of color from the lifelines to unify all of the design elements.

A series of icons depict various industry-specific departments: Buildings, people, a dollar sign, a light bulb, reports, etc.)

6. Combine colors and icons to make the conference room mural bold and brilliant.
We carried over the iconography, the specific color combinations for each department, and the angled triangle background pattern to the main conference room mural—but now these elements were brought to the forefront. Each department was more easily identified by its own color, but all were unified by the subtle touch of the brand’s overall lifelines behind them.

A series of multicolored triangles form a vibrant pattern while white curved lines form negative space in the foreground. An open door to an empty room disrupts the pattern.

The results.

Simply put, Ciminelli loved what they got. The words and color schemes implemented in this project carried over from the company’s website and existing branding efforts…

Want to collaborate?

We’re down if you are. Tell us about your project and let’s get goin’! And while you’re at it, check us out on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

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