Adaptability is key: The Big Picture (mural)
The founders came to me with a big problem, a 30ft x 15ft problem to be exact. The new company clubhouse had ample wall space they needed filled. They wanted a mural that would inspire and bring everyone together - something that conveyed the company’s values.
I had exactly 4 days to paint this massive project. Between contractors being in and out of the building and construction still undergoing, this was the small window of time I had to work with.
Step number 1 in tackling any big project is discovery. I needed to know more about the space I was designing for; what was the layout of the room, the furnishings and decor, dimensions, building specs, and general requirements.
Once I understood the full scope of needs for the project I began strategizing. I knew this would need to be an incredibly fast turn around and with a hard time-stop to complete the mural, I wanted the output of my design to be flexible. I mocked up multiple digital versions of my mural design with options to scale up or down the design based on how much time we had. This guaranteed that no matter what, at the end of 4 days we would have a mural that looked and felt complete.
After getting founder buy-in for my design, I needed to organize my team that would help me execute my vision since I knew I wouldn’t be able to accomplish this on my own. I ended up with 20 volunteers that I directed over the course of those 4 days.
Because the majority of my volunteers had no design background or painting experience, I needed to tailor my process to fit their needs. To make painting as easy and approachable as possible for everyone, I spent the entire first day of mural painting setting up a paint by numbers system and turning the wall into a giant adult coloring book. This allowed everyone to paint with confidence over the course of the other 3 days.
A beautiful mural that's the center piece of the Fringe office, and the backdrop of Fringe's podcast.
It’s important to know your team. What are they good at and how can we leverage their skills? Jamie is good at sewing and has an eye for detail - have her work on more fine-detailing work. Carl has painted a ton of walls and knows a thing or two about edging around some crown molding - put him on painting crisp edges. By understanding my team and their experience I was able to customize their volunteer time to be most strategic for everyone. Everybody wins and has fun in the process.
Go big or go home! The most interesting designs are often the most ambitious, but it’s also important to be able to scale to reality. This requires adaptability.
Brand Camp: Know your audiences.
I joined Fringe when it was a team of only 10 people, I was their only marketing team member for almost a year. Within that time I was the sole designer for Fringe and how we represented ourselves. This involved building all of our sales decks and collateral, email design, marketing site design, print and booth design. If it was Fringe branded, you name it - I designed it. Our visual brand lived in my head.
As we started to scale, this changed. More people were brought onto the growth team and we began working with more contractors. Everyone was coming to me for everything and it was ultimately unsustainable. To combat this problem I set out to create self-serve design resources. This included a formalized brand guide, templates for decks and one-pagers and a robust asset library for everyone to tap into.
That was round one of branding designs. Flash forward almost a year and our product is taking off, we became the number one provider in our business category and sales were excellent. The issue was that our competitors began copying our designs and branding, some going as far as completely rebranding to look and sound more like us.
We needed to differentiate and set ourselves apart as industry leaders.
Because Fringe needed to evolve their brand image, I set out to re-evaluate what was and wasn’t working with our present branding. This involved multiple design stand-ups where I led the marketing team through building an evolution road map for our brand and examining our marketing channels and audiences.
Once we established how we wanted our new branding to look and feel, I had to get executive buy-in and test our visual identity to make sure it connected with all of our target audiences.
After that, I was given the ‘ok’ to move forward and I began building guidelines to enforce our new voice and imagery so that everyone in the company could design confidently.
Fringe achieved a grown-up feel with our new marketing, something we really wanted our brand to reflect after we achieved series A funding. It was important that we re-positioned Fringe from a ‘fun to have’ to a ‘need to have’ for employee services and reinforced our thought leadership in the human resources space.
This has resulted in increased traffic in our organic social accounts with 11% more engagement and boosted our average impressions from 1,200 views to 1,950 views per post.
Fringe’s sales team has also seen a 15% increase in meeting conversions since implementing our new brand standards.
When thinking about your company brand, your audiences need to come first in any considerations. Knowing your customer journey is vital in making sure your brand is not only connecting with the right people, but also meeting them wherever they are in their journey. This means breaking down each of your marketing channels and translating your brand standards to the specific channel and audience; not the other way around.
Video killed the radio star: Bringing content to life.
The vendor team at Fringe is in charge of building partnerships with desirable brands to add on to our employee services marketplace. They needed a sleek video to educate their audiences on what Fringe’s partnerships entail and motivate them to pursue a meeting by illustrating the value of being a listed vendor on Fringe.
First things first, I had to meet with the vendor team and conduct project discovery. Once I understood the scope of their needs, I built a project plan and began consulting with our animation studio.
Next step was storyboarding. I began with low fidelity wireframes to capture the bones of our story we would be capturing in this video. This wire framing went through several iterations before I received approval to move forward.
I built the actual storyboard our animation team would animate from in illustrator. This involved illustration of each asset in each frame for a total of 200 frames. We then went through a new round of review of the stand-still frames with the vendor team. Once I had their approval, I shipped the frames to our animation studio, where I directed them through the completion of the video in three iterations.
A captivating video used with top of funnel activity to generate leads through multiple public channels.
Since adding this video to the vendor team’s partnership conversations, the team has added over 10 key accounts including strong partnerships with DoorDash, Delta Airlines, and Spotify.
Project management is key. When working with multiple stakeholders and outside contractors, there can never be enough communication. This project was successful because I annotated and labeled everything, leaving nothing up to question and maintained consistent communication with everyone involved.