Buckminster Green is a contracting service that offers boutique renovations to Philadelphia rowhomes. The organization stands out from its competition through its commitment to sustainability, architectural personalization, and love of Philadelphia history.
This client came to Creative Repute with the desire to add some pizzazz to their website in the hopes of boosting audience engagement. More specifically, they were looking for some animated icons to represent the five elements of their process: contact, visit, design, build, and trust. The client explained they wanted companion illustrations to break down the complexities of the process, while also adding an additional layer of branding to the site.
The CR team knew this would be a fun, yet challenging project. We needed to strike a balance between incorporating a sense of reverence for history into the icons while ensuring their aesthetic longevity. Additionally, we had to make sure that the work would be accessible to a wider audience while still capturing the essence of Philadelphia. As a proudly Philly-based agency with a deep appreciation for the city’s rich history, we were eager to help Buckminster Green’s mission of enhancing the beauty of our city.
At Creative Repute, we begin every project with a thorough discovery process. This involves delving deep into the client’s goals, understanding their design preferences, and establishing clear parameters for the deliverables. Through this process, we gain a comprehensive understanding of the client’s business, their target audience, and the desired outcome for the project. Additionally, during a kick-off meeting, our CR team works closely with the client to refine the scope of work and establish a timeline that aligns with their specific needs.
During our kick-off, the client stressed that they wanted icons tailored to their business. This meant making the illustrations somehow specific to Philadelphia. They also expressed that the icons should have a timeless aesthetic appeal so they could be used for years to come. Specifically, the graphics shouldn’t fall into aesthetic trends that unnecessarily date the work, but rather tap into a more universal, and enduring design logic.
In light of these concerns, the design team knew we needed to nail the tone by balancing these visual elements. To ensure the final product aligned with the client’s aesthetic parameters, we presented a visual guide for the remainder of the project. When drafting the guide, the design team intentionally tried to mirror Buckminster Green’s philosophy about rowhomes in our approach. We started to think of this work as a website renovation rather than a new build.
Instead of completely scrapping the existing elements of Buckminster Green’s brand and starting from scratch, we wanted to tap into established brand architecture to build something new and beautiful. In this style guide, we intentionally incorporated several key elements of their logo. One important facet was color; the design team kept the icon’s colors limited to black and green.
Another component was illustration style. Buckminster Green’s logo is of a Philadelphia skyscape, rendered in a flat geometric style. Based on the client’s enthusiasm for history, the design team looked to the past. The team offered art direction incorporated design styles of the past, such as the linear illustrative elements of Mid-century Modern and the clean geometry of Bauhaus. By tapping into two iconic and enduring architectural styles, Creative Repute was able to offer a style that matched the client’s love of history.
Once the client approved the art direction, the design team got to work on three rough drafts of the icons. The client loved the direction but felt it still had some room for improvement. Their main area of critique was to make the work more specific to Philadelphia.
Communication was integral to refining this work. Over email, the team at Buckminster Green shared some photos of their renovations as inspiration. We followed up with a virtual meeting to discuss this in more detail. The client then took the time to give us a mini architectural lesson on Philadelphia, pointing out some widely-used rowhome elements we might try to add to our design.
Our design team redrafted some of the icons to better align with these elements. The most notable improvement was on the door of the ‘Visit’ icon. The initial draft was a simple four-panel door. After our consultation, Creative Repute presented three new drafts of common Philadelphia doors including six-panel, double, and Hollywood doors. This was just the kind of Philly-specific flairs the client was looking for.
After the client approved the still icons, the design team was ready to tackle the final step in our process – animation. Using After Effects, the team built out short, simple movements for each of the icons. It was critical that these animations were not too flashy, so as to not distract from the accompanying text. Additionally, the icons should be loopable to ensure a constant flow.
The simple motion brought the work to life. The standout of the bunch for the client was the keys representing ‘Trust’. The design team wanted the animation to not only look like house keys dangling on a ring but also like two feet walking into a renovated home. At the end of the process, the client was extremely happy with the final product.
The Creative Repute team is proud to have taken a note from the client’s philosophy. In turn, we elevated the bones of Buckminster Green’s brand to offer a new home for their process.
Buckminster Green is a design-build remodeler based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They specialize in renovations of homes in the Philadelphia region, executing all phases of construction. They can see a project through from planning and design to the finishing touches or can collaborate with an outside architect to create an ideal home. In everything they do, Buckminster Green brings experience, a love for design, and a systematic approach to remodeling. They follow sustainable building practices so that the final product is not only beautiful and functional, but a healthy and long-lasting space.