RNI Co. Framing
RNI Co. Framing redesign
The goal of this design project was to develop a new brand identity for a construction company that specializes in framing.
RNI Co. Framing has been in the construction market since 2014 and has established itself as a top framer in the Seattle area primarily by word of mouth. However, to continue to prosper in the highly competitive construction market, the company needed to improve brand recognition via consistent branding elements that would be used across all spaces (physical and digital) and a newly designed portfolio website that would showcase the company's work and its unique selling proposition.
The old logos on the right hand side were being used interchangeably on the old website, banners, checks, and in other miscellaneous spaces. They looked too simplistic and dated, and did not properly reflect the company's true identity.
To be able to properly capture the brand's identity in a logo, I first interviewed the owner about the core values of the company. My goal was to understand the owner's vision for the company's current and future direction. The three descriptive words that came up again and again throughout our numerous conversations were masculine, modern, and trustworthy. The logo needed to reflect these concepts. At the same time, it also needed to represent Seattle, as it is the company's primary area of business.
As the second step, I conducted some competitive research on other construction companies (in the state of Washington as well as nationwide) to see what logos they were using. Most of them used wordmark and lettermark logos for their presumed simplicity and high recognizability. Some incorporated thematic elements, like saws, hammers, and nails, related to the business of construction.
Throughout the research process, I've collected multiple images, the elements of which in some way or another reflected the characteristics I wanted to incorporate in the future logo. I liked the idea of the circle - arguably, the simplest and most ideal shape, which also resembles the shape of the saw - the instrument used in framing. I also liked the vibe of the logos below as they looked almost typographic and sketched out, adding to that modern and bold feeling.
The iconic-type background of the logo is of a circular shape with a saw edge on the bottom and Seattle skyline on the top, which kills two birds with one stone - it represents the framing business and the Seattle market at the same time. The elements are thick and bold enough to look good from afar and close-up, and the overall shape is easy to remember and recognize.
The ribbon going across the logo brings the lettermark element to the front, putting a label on the logo with the company's name. Since in the past the company had used the words "RNI Construction", "RNI Co.", and "RNI Framing" interchangeably, my decision was to use "RNI Co." for simplicity across all media, but to specify what the business was about, the word "framing" would still appear underneath the main line (just on the logo).
I chose a clear sans-serif typeface that looked masculine enough without being too overpowering. This typeface achieves that via having square corners inside the letters, but smooth corners outside the letters, thus conveying strong, but at the same time friendly, trustworthy feeling. Since the logo was going to be put on company's cars as decals, the font had to remain readable when a car is moving and when somebody's looking at it from a distance.
Even though one of the original versions of the logo had a construction-orange color, I discarded that idea after evaluating the media the logo would eventually appear on. The logo would be printed on the workers' apparel, which is bright orange or bright yellow (safety colors that have come to be associated with construction). So I decided to keep the colors in the monochrome black+white scheme and produced a reverse color version to be used on an alternative background.
Logo in use
The logo was adopted by RNI CO. Framing and placed on different media: business cards, checks, workers' clothes, time sheets, company cars, banners, and the website, which helps the company maintain a uniform brand identity.
To design a new website for the company, I used HostGator Website Builder. The new site opens to a single sentence with the company's specialization and short descriptions of the services it provides (residential framing, commercial framing, personalized approach). All copy on the home page is my own.
Scrolling down, the site showcases the projects categorized by the year. The owner provided me with the images of the current and past projects, so they had to be further categorized and labeled on the website for portfolio purposes. Having consulted with the owner, we have come to the conclusion that square footage of a given project is one of the most important facts in the business (along with the complexity of a project, which can be seen on a photo), so each construction project has that label.
My goal was to create a simple-to-use skeleton for the website with appropriate categories, so that the owner could go back and update the site with each new house built in the future. I created additional pages for the company's history, along with the contact information, and a page where applicants can submit their bios and resumes if they are looking for a framing job. Because of the applicant form, as well as the marketing materials (banners, car decals with RNI CO.'s phone number), the company's number of applicants and contract inquiries have increased since this project went "live".