Grovelands rebrand & website
Last Friday we launched the new Grovelands Resourcing website.
The new website forms part of a larger rebrand and communications project.
Here’s the team that made it all happen:
- Guy Anderson – Creative direction
- Ellen de Vries – Copywriting
- Dominic Negus – Print design
- Jody White – Web design
- Trevor Smeaton – Photography
Grovelands offers resourcing for financial services. They started trading in September 2009 and have expanded rapidly over the last 12 months. They had an initial web presence and simple identity. Neither the logo or existing website reflected the brand well. When they approached zero G media they were looking for a full rebrand including corporate identity, full set of stationery and new content managed website.
Some of the issues
While the two directors were clear as to the nature of the business, the rapid expansion of the company meant that the corporate communications had become out of step with the brand and Grovelands’ full range of services wasn’t clear to their clients.
The rebrand process
We started out with two half-day branding workshops to clarify the brand values and identity. The first workshop was with David & Mark the two directors of Grovelands. This was followed by a second workshop with the rest of the team.
The good news from these two workshops was that both management and staff were aligned in their thinking and direction for the company. This is really important because if there isn’t a shared vision and single purpose then clear communication with the outside world is going to be problematic. The workshops fed into a brand book that captures the personality and tone of language for the brand. This brand book then informed the design process for the corporate identity.
Designing the logo
Defining the personality of the brand before starting the design on the identity is very important because it provides a reference point for design decisions including choice of font, colour palette and stylistic approach. The name Grovelands has organic, natural connotations and resourcing is about finding the right people to get the job done. The Financial Services sector in which Grovelands operates is also highly relevant to the design.
As a company Grovelands prides itself on being fleet of foot and highly responsive and this is reflected in the brush strokes of the three trees in the logo. The trees also allude to growth and personal development of Grovelands’ staff and associates while tying in with the name. This further reinforces the solid stable nature of the business.
The approved identity was then rolled out across the business in a new set of stationery printed on ’9 lives’ recycled paper by Andus Print. Envelopes in matching stock were also delivered which added a nice touch of consistency.
Designing the Grovelands website
While the design for the stationery was underway we started work on the information architecture and copywriting for the website. We also started work on the design concepts for the homepage so that the client could sign-off the visual design.
Information architecture and copy
The website architecture with draft copy was presented at the same time as the design concepts. These were both displayed in the browser in wireframe format. So the website looked like word pages linked together by the main navigation. This way the client could see the content in situ. Amends to the copy and website structure were made in the WordPress content management system while we designed the Grovelands theme for the website.
Presenting the website content in the browser within the full architecture is a really good way to get a feel for the shape of the website and we used our own zero G custom ‘cleanslate’ WordPress theme for this. It also means that a working prototype of the website is built quite early in the design stage and that changes to the copy and architecture only need to be made in one place – the website itself – rather than having to change a document that only refers to the website.
Creating the look & feel
For all of our WordPress websites we create custom themes from scratch. This way we have complete control over the design process, we know what every line of code does and we don’t include a single unnecessary line of code. On simple sites our themes consist of one PHP page rather than multiple templates. We also tend to use CSS specificity to define different layouts rather than creating additional templates. This way the website is easy to manage from a development stand point: less files means there’s less to mess up and less to search through when debugging.
The bells & whistles
We used a range of different techniques to bring the site to life. Here are a few that make it a little special:
We did two photo shoots for Grovelands. We always recommend using professional photography to clients as it makes such a difference. Today everyone has a digital camera and can be a ‘photographer’ but there is a huge difference in quality and proper lighting is essential. Pictures from the shoot were used on the homepage and in the about us section.
Adding JQuery effects
On the homepage we created a JQuery slider to shuffle through highlighted ‘call to actions’. On the team pages we used an accordion effect to toggle between different staff profiles. Both these techniques benefit the design by keeping the page length nice and short while being able to highlight specific content on the page.
vCard contact details
On each person’s profile on the team pages we created a vCard so that visitors to the website can add a contact to their address book. This uses the vCard standard and is supported by both MS Outlook and Apple’s address book.
If you’re browsing the site on your smart phone you can also click on the telephone link in the header to make a call to Grovelands.
Wind powered hosting
The new Grovelands website is also hosted on our wind powered servers. This means that the electricity that powers the website is from a 100% renewable energy source. Websites are on while we sleep 24/7 365 days a year. Wind powered hosting gives clients piece of mind that their website isn’t costing the environment.
The client is over the moon with the new branding and website and we continue to work together. We currently have four projects on the go for Grovelands which is great. We’ve established a great working relationship and rapport.
Finally a big thank you to the talented individuals who helped to bring the project to life, it’s been a great team effort.
If you’re interested in working with zero G media, give Guy a call on 01273 651 570 or drop us an email.
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