Re-positioning a leading creative agency
brand identity, UX, UI
In the Company of Huskies is a leading independent advertising agency based in Dublin. We committed to building out a fully-realised brand world around a new 'Pull not push' positioning. Along with other internal stakeholders I developed this refreshed brand and designed our new website as a key implementation of it.
The Pull Not Push positioning champions creativity. It tells clients that the power of great ideas can attract people to their brand, creating a positive relationship that doesn't rely on having to force feed content at people.
We needed to evolve our brand identity to dovetail with the positioning and to engage more with the theme of exploration that is connoted both by our agency's name and by our ambition to always search for innovative solutions for our clients.
Success would therefore be an increase in new business leads and candidates applying for our open roles.
Homepage features specially commissioned video that features an organic, fluid representation of material pulling into a centre.
Through competitive analysis and stakeholder meetings I was able understand what was essential to focus on for our initial launch. Following agreement on a functional spec, the main IA challenge was to keep things streamlined to ensure that the site performed its goals in the most efficient way possible.
Our main site navigation goals could be summarised as:
This would lead to us meeting our business goal of increase in new business leads and candidates applying for our open roles.
I developed a full set of clickable mobile and desktop wireframes.
I was heavily involved in our brand evolution prior to starting the site design. Along with another designer I looked at every part of the brand and devised a complete brand system as well as key collateral. We leaned in to the idea of Huskies enabling exploration, pulling sleighs, braving the elements, going where others can't. Our ambition as an agency is to always seek innovative solutions for our clients and go where others don't to find the most appropriate way to help our clients find the way forward. Another aesthetic consideration was that we wanted a clean, modernist feel to our visuals. Early experiments with a more textured, collage-based brand world didn't convey the tone that senior stakeholders were looking for.
With these conceptual and visual considerations in mind we devised our brand identity, including colour, typography and image art direction style.
Sample from the brand guidelines
This intimate familiarity with the brand was a massive asset when it came to designing the site. I was able to quickly prototype a design system in Figma based off the guidelines we had developed.
Text styles, colour values and UI components were all added to a shared library.
To bring 'Pull Not Push' into the website I brought in various visual and functional devices that drew on the idea of magnetism and things pulling together.
On the project pages I designed scrolling animations that started as a cloud of assets that draw in to the centre of the all-seeing Husky eye.
Links feature a molecule element that is attracted to the cursor when it is within range before springing back to its original location when the cursor moves away again.
During our explorations on the brand one aspect that came up was the idea of the brand being a sensory experience. We had macro shots of husky fur, crystallised snow, molten rock, that conveyed a feeling.
This sense of organic texture and movement was something that we wanted to bring in to the site so we commissioned a videographer to create ink based liquid patterns that would show an organic progression from a centre point. We then reversed these to have the sense of things drawing in, attracting to a centre. This complemented the other magnetic elements of the site, gave us an organic, sensory element to our brand and also provide an interesting visual counterpoint to the austere polar landscapes.
A section of the video used for the homepage
Example of the video used with other brand elements for digital advertising
One key success metric was the positive response we received internally from colleagues. There was broad consensus that the new site represented us well and communicated what we do in a way that aligned with our brand values. We also have had a busy recruitment period and the site has helped us generate a lot of candidate leads. Furthermore we have had several prospective client leads comment on how the site was a factor in convincing them to approach us.
What I did: UX, UI, brand design, motion design
Nicole McMahon: brand design
Jakub Wang: development