Every now and then we truly get to live up to our name and include everything but the kitchen sink in a project. And those projects are often the most rewarding.
We had a chance to do just that with WORKSBUREAU, a Phoenix-based architectural firm. WORKSBUREAU is the successor to the renowned will bruder+PARTNERS after Bruder and the other partners in the firm — Ben Nesbitt, Richard Jensen and Rob Gaspard — agreed to an amicable split.
Nesbitt, Jensen and Gaspard retained most of the staff and clients of the firm, and wanted to create a new brand identity that would stand out in an extraordinarily creative industry while reintroducing it to prospective clients around the world. So they called on Kitchen Sink Studios to help them start from scratch — including a new name, brand identity, business system and web site, complimented by professional photography that would capture the character of the firm and its team.
Step 1, of course, was the name. And there were literally dozens of options on the table. The partners gravitated toward WORKSBUREAU in the end because it had a unique sound rolling off the tongue and provided an interesting way to tell the firm's story. This initial phase included professional photography, securing and developing a SPLASH page to be utilized while the rest of the project was being developed. Here's how that was translated online:
Eventually, the front page of their web site would simply feature the dictionary definitions of the two merged words, leaving the reader to make the connection while viewing the work:
works noun \ˈwərks\
1. things produced or accomplished by effort, exertion, or exercise of skill
2. things produced by the exercise of creative talent or expenditure of creative effort : artistic production
bu·reau noun \ˈbyu̇r-(ˌ)ō, ˈbyər-\
1. writing desk; especially : one having drawers and a slant top
2. commercial agency that serves as an intermediary especially for exchanging information or coordinating activities
Next came the brand identity, which actually was developed relatively quickly and easily out of the naming process. The WORKSBUREAU team liked the look of the word in a sans serif font in all caps, combined with clean design that would later allow for a focus on their projects rather than the brand identity itself. And, the Kitchen Sink team developed a bright, cheerful and energetic color palette to accentuate the new brand.
"We wanted to do something that would give them a lot of flexibility, and be distinguished without taking away from where the real focus should be," said Doug Bell, Creative Director for Kitchen Sink Studios. "But we also wanted it to have a friendly feel, to reflect on what it's like to work with their team, so we went with some really bright spot colors to make the business system professional but fun."
With the new brand in place, the Kitchen Sink team then began work on developing the kind of web presence that would showcase the company's work in a truly interactive and compelling way. The site would be all about the work itself, with the story told through professional photography of both the WORKSBUREAU team and its exceptional projects.
The Kitchen Sink team developed a site that brings the company's work to life in front of the viewer's eyes and allows the viewer to explore the wide variety of projects WORKSBUREAU has completed around the world.
"Because of the complexity of the design, WORKSBUREAU.com is one of our most ambitious sites to date,"said Dan Freeman, Kitchen Sink Studios' Lead Web Developer. "We had to create a fully responsive site that was extremely image heavy. It also had to have a CMS backend that could easily be updated by the WORKSBUREAU team after launch. All of these elements together can bring load times to a crawl.
"We developed a site architecture that would only feed the appropriate sized images for the user's screen size to keep the site fast even on slow mobile networks. This combination of CSS media queries and jQuery responsive images were all built on WordPress, which is something that is one-of-a-kind on the web today."
The Kitchen Sink Studios team is very proud of the work completed for WORKSBUREAU in helping to create their new brand and web presence, and enjoyed the process of working with this exceptional group of professionals. We look forward to seeing what kind of innovative, imaginative architecture they will continue to produce!