Embracing the dark digital landscape, a tight deadline and a brand and website hellbent on awards.
Involve Digital is an online marketing agency and they wanted a new identity and website. Our first conversations centred on tone and making sure they knew precisely what they were asking for when they asked to “look like the new Bonne Marque.” We have frightened dull (but rich) clients away in our attempts to attract the right client, and we had to make Involve Digital aware from the outset that our ‘Born Makers’ brand is designed for exactly these reasons, and did they share the same ambition? This project had a deadline of just five weeks and they needed a new website and complete rebrand. Although Bonne Marque were the inspiration, we still needed to establish Involve Digital’s unique brand personality and learn everything we could about their attitude and services.
It would have been unnatural to create based on inspiration alone. It had to be based on truth or our work would be useless. Our work always achieves how the client wants to be perceived, but everything has to be real, and the reason for this is important: if we give a client their dream brand and if that brand reflects nothing of their current personality, there is no way the current brand can ever become what we have reimagined; if, however, there exists a sincere reflection of the current brand in our work then they will grow into what we have reimagined, as though it was a natural progression; a progression that looks like revolution but feels like evolution.
After beginning the rebrand with the bold simplicity of our ‘eclipsed sun’ logo that Involve Digital rejected, we drafted versions of a logo that exchanged a little craziness for luxury and worked with connecting the letters of their name, turning the square dot of the ‘i’ round: a smooth detail is the sharpest of scenes, blossom on a desert cactus. Then we created the typeface soulmate of the logo, ensuring our custom typography complemented the mark in a sophisticated fashion. The end result was pure dark power, carving permanent impact on the digital landscape.
As well as navigation and contact pages, the website would effectively be comprised of two designs: the homepage design, on which we would incorporate the ‘about page’, as well as a design for the Involve Digital case studies. Beginning with the homepage, the title confidently declares the talent of Involve Digital in front of a noise-laden dark background. Scrolling down finds links to the case studies, transformed into title-pages that promise much. The ‘Charles Darwin University’ case study is titled ‘Darwin’ over a strong image of an elderly Charles Darwin, ravaged by time and looking pensively across the screen.
Spending serious time on creating a strong brand for Involve Digital was absolutely key in creating their new site.
Beneath the case study links, all of which are presented in a unique grid system, is what is effectively the Involve Digital about page: the manifesto. Drawing inspiration from the Communist Manifesto, seduced by the rich and convincing language of the writing, our “Red Star” draft of the manifesto put us on the right track. Completed, our manifesto is a call to arms for bold brands to contact Involve Digital for “radical involvement across the digital landscape,” each word cherry-picked to work with design, with the transitions in development completing the experience.
Once inside the case studies, the visitor is welcomed with a title screen that gives them an overview of the project and the services Involve Digital used to get the results – an important buffer between the glitch-effect images before and the boldness of what is about to come – which is black and white bars shooting across to indicate results with in-your-face copy, reminiscent of a hip hop album cover and perfectly consistent with their brand and results-based industry.
Now immerse yourself in the dark landscape of Involve Digital.
‘Navigation’ and ‘Contact’ are both consistent with the radical rebrand and site while achieving their purpose. The site works.
This is another classic example of a project from our ‘Born Makers’ era, where crazy disruption meets refined minimalism.
The end-result of the site is unavoidably artistic and almost avant-garde, but no one can say that the site isn’t on-brand with Involve Digital and functional at the same time. One way in which this is accomplished is the navigation of the site, which alters across different devices, and just as powerful, without compromise. The contact form on desktop is both completely unique and functional, which makes it something of an oddity in modern design. Every element on the site bridges these two normally contradicting characteristics: other-worldly and functional.
The entire project was also an exercise is efficient working; the deadline was tight and it took a team of just three creatives in design, writing and development just over a month of their dedicated efforts to complete. Considering the scale of the project – complete branding along with their new portfolio – this experience is fondly remembered by the team at Bonne Marque and Involve Digital. Today, the two agencies continue to work together, offering clients their collective expertise in all things creative and marketing.