We take pride in this truly outstanding project. For us it turned into a concise textbook on business and refreshed the image of the model entrepreneur from books about American businessmen.
Ironmill is a company in Auburn, Washington, which produces and sells fasteners; their market segment is private housing construction.
Ironmill representatives contacted us a couple of months after the company foundation and before the large-scale opening of its first stores. They were looking for a fresh take on the company logo and brand identity. They had their own idea of a mill as the company’s main symbol, but...
LOGO. A MILL OR …?
After the kickoff meeting the following base elements were entered onto the brief:
- we operate in a narrow market segment - nails and tools for home building;
- there are a lot of immigrants among our clients;
- Ironmill Fasteners’ products are purchased in bulk to be resold;
- the strategic task for Year 1 is to ensure Ironmill Fasteners brand recognition and start selling nails under our own brand name;
- we need to make people remember the logo;
- it is very important for us that the logo image should be associated with the brand name and the brand name should evoke the image.
3 days later we presented our ideas.
It was important for the client that as graphic designers and marketers, we consider different options that we would enter the market with and evaluate what advantages and disadvantages each of them has.
We discussed the logo versions with sample groups of the target audience, the company’s first clients, and the Ironmill Fasteners management. In the end, the third version was chosen. It took us some more time to find the right shape of the model fastener and finalize it.
Very soon – in fact, just one day after the logo was passed over to the client – we received emails from them featuring this logo in the signature block and as the user image. At the next stage, as we were working on the company location map for their business cards, we found the logo on Google Maps when searching for the company by name. The company acted promptly and confidently.
WRAPPED IN PATTERN
We based the brand pattern on the company product range, i.e., whatever can be purchased in Ironmill Fasteners store can be seen in the pattern. Below you’ll come across various media where it’s used.
Brand pattern as featured on a document folder.
BUSINESS CARDS THAT "WILL GET YOU ANYWHERE"
After the briefing meeting on business card design we were convinced that they had to be the size of a booklet. Just look at this to-include list:
- manager’s name and position;
- cell phone number;
- store phone;
- fax number;
- email and website address;
- the word "nails" in the 5 languages of their target audience;
- company product range;
- 3 unique selling propositions;
- store opening hours;
- location map.
As they say, a clever tongue can get you anywhere. Our business cards were supposed not only to get people to the store but also to convince them along the way to buy only from Ironmill.
Even now we sometimes can’t believe that we did manage to fit it all on both sides of their business card. But seeing is believing…
NAVIGATION FUNNELS THE FLOW
The client wanted to see store sign boards and direction signs next to the store just as promptly as the logo appeared on Google Maps.
One of Ironmill Fasteners’ competitive advantages is their own production facility; packaging design was on the agenda. It had to stand out as bright and stylish among its competitors on a store shelf. As the client requested, we suggested a few different colour schemes.
Branded CAR ON THE ROAD
And the final masterstroke – wrap branding the company Mercedes cars which will do the delivery. The same approach as on business cards in terms of the amount of information. Besides, we had to create designs which would make the car an eye catcher and a promotional opportunity, a kind of mobile billboard.
A. SPACE ILLUSION
The first idea was creating the illusion of volume, a large space inside the car, which would draw attention of other drivers in the traffic flow to it.
B. WORKING WITH ELEMENTS OF CORPORATE IDENTITY
The second idea was all about the aggressive use of corporate identity, contrast and brightness.
C. BOLD MINIMALIST SOLUTIONS
Our third version suggested sticking to minimalist solutions sneaked from sports and tuned cars.
Together with the customer we opted for option B and set about creating the look.
Here’s the approved final version:
5 minutes after the car appeared on the road, the store got the first phone call from the man who saw it.
This is the best praise our team can get and a rock-solid proof of the efficiency of our client’s business-centred approach.
I’ve already recommended Manufactura to my business partners. They think there might be communication problems caused by the great distance between Russia and the US. What they don’t know is the management standards in this company. We had a personal account manager working with us; we called him whenever it was convenient for us and he did most of the work related to communications and feedback collection. An excellent link between us and the designers.
We’ve been in business for 8 years now and over the years we have used the services of dozens of design studios and freelancers. Working with Manufactura was a unique experience. Previously, we came up with ideas and the designers just translated them into visual images. That is, they simply transferred what we described to them. As for Manufactura, they come up with ideas, justify and explain them. This is a totally different level. We do not have to do a designer’s job.
The work resulted in a premium level design reflecting the standard of our service. Americans attach great importance to design. They are used to high quality. Now we are getting very positive feedback. We are not ashamed to come to any customer, no matter if their budget is $ 100,000 or $ 2,000,000. Our business is growing and the design played its role in it. At the moment we’re facing a new challenge with another project. Who do you think we’ve turned to?
CEO at Ironmill Fasteners