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Williams Rawn Architects*

The challenge

Williams Rawn was recently founded by John A. Williams and Paul Rawn in 2015 following individual careers in teaching and practice both in the UK and the US. Based in San Francisco the practice now has clients in 5 countries including 1% of the Fortune 500. However their research prior to engaging with us uncovered that their brand was not performing to it’s full potential and attracting the level of clients they would like to be working with.

The main challenge surrounded the fact that, when the practice launched their branding was ill-considered, it lacked focus and direction. Now they had reached a point where they had to improve how the market perceived them if they were to attract better clients with bigger more profitable projects. The only way to achieve this was by investing in an extensive rebrand.

 

 

With a proven track record for innovation, attention to detail and a culture of integrity, Williams Rawn needed a brand that conveyed authenticity, capability and confidence.

our approach

The first stage of all rebranding is to apply our “CORE” strategic framework. This is a bespoke diagnostic tool we use to surface the essence of who the firm is, what they do and why it matters. This included building a clear picture of who the ideal client is and getting under their skin to fully understand their motivations and desires.

We then applied the insights gained from CORE to then design a comprehensive brand experience for their ideal client that is clean, smart, and authentic. Our approach removed all doubt from the minds of their ideal clients who they should be working with, rendering all competition irrelevant.

branding

The logotype we created evolved to work as both a stand alone “w” monogram as well as the complete name in full. The use of blue was the only design element inherited from their old branding.

Simple geometric shapes within the monogram reflect the shapes of buildings often seen within a masterplan document. We then went one step further and looked at how this could also be used as a creative devise that would become part of the brands visual language. This added a distinctive layering effect to any design that reflected the layering of materials in a buildings construction.

 
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General purpose binder

General purpose binder

Project cover page template

Project cover page template

 

Differentiation renders all competition irrelevant.

A big part of this was clearly communicating what makes Williams Rawn the obvious choice to their ideal clients. This was achieved by applying a clear and concise brand narrative across every touch point in a way that was both consistent and in alignment with their brand values.

The net result of rebranding not only gave Williams Rawn a systematic approach to attracting their ideal clients, but also included improving client loyalty, increasing market share, attracting top talent and commanding a premium price.

 
Promotional brochure

Promotional brochure

Proposal folder and case study

Sponsored poster for Student Architect Awards

 

The secret to a charismatic brand and getting everyone on board.

Brand guidelines

Consistency of a brands defining attributes lead to its success, and the best way of achieving this is through developing a set of brand guidelines. For Williams Rawn we created guidelines that got new staff up to speed and kept vendors on the same page. The approach we took was to look at how the guidelines should influence the character of the brand, rather than become a rigid and prescriptive set of rules.

The guidelines we created communicated a single source of truth everyone could refer to that protected their investment and allowed the brand to grow, evolve and adapt to any situation.

 
 

Innovation lies at the heart of better design and better business.

WEBSITE DESIGN

Our analysis of competitors websites revealed a lack of clarity or explanation of what made each practice different. It soon became clear that competitors were copying each others websites structure and format. By designing simple, powerful content, dressed in the brands distinctive uniform, we created a cogent and enticing user experience that was innovative for the marketplace.

Front-end development added dynamic interactions that helped reveal the story of who Williams Rawn are, what they stand for and why they matter.

 
 

Scope of work

 

Discovery and strategy
Baseline evaluation
Research
Competitive analysis
Ideal customer profiling

Branding services
Brand strategy
Visual identity
Collateral
Marketing materials
Additional brand assets
Brand guidelines

Interactive services
User experience
Content design
Wireframing and prototyping
Responsive design

Development services
Webflow CMS development

 
 

is it time for a rebrand?

The answer to this isn’t always obvious, so we’ve put together a list of symptoms that are common to architectural firms who need a rebrand. Go through this simple checklist now (you might be surprised by what you learn).

 

*Williams Rawn is a fictional branding project designed to demonstrate our full capabilities.