Before coming to Darci Creative, HFM had a one-page Wix website with no cohesive brand identity. Their logo was built with Wix Logo Maker, their tagline was flat, and their website featured generic stock photography; It also lacked clarity of services and was not optimized for Google Search. So when Lane entered his business into our 2020 year-end Brand Muffin Giveaway Contest, we knew we would have our hands full but we were ready for the challenge! Lane’s story resonated with the whole DC team and that’s why we selected HFM as our contest winner out of the 20+ submissions we received. As creatives, we simply felt connected to Lane’s energy and enthusiasm and we saw that as a young business owner with a family, he could use a leg up to get his name out there.
Logo: Our Designers reworked HFM’s legacy logo, transforming it from a standalone icon featuring a welding mask and torch with the tagline “Fabrication & Repair” to a fully integrated brand piece that recycled the mask and torch but added a triangle that connected the elements to the company’s establishment year (2018) and a new tagline: “Metal & More. Fix & Create.” This better represented HFM’s service variety and was a nod to Lane’s affinity for finding creative solutions and working not just with metal, but with all mediums. We also supplied a new color palette and typeface for the brand and created a third, sort of whimsical, brush-style font to be used online for headlines (another nod to that fun, graffiti-esque snowboarder vibe Lane loves and is known for).
Website: For the website, our Project Manager developed a new sitemap and menu structure, identified per-page content outlines, functionality, and integration needs, and set aside cloud space where Lane and Ali could share imagery with the team. Then our Lead Design-Developer built the shell of the site on our Wellington theme. (You can see all of our base Brand Muffin themes here.) We then customized this base theme to meet HFM’s unique needs, adding neat features like sticky navigation, anchor links to deliver users directly to various services, a dedicated FAQs section, location info in the header, and design touches like stylized headlines treatments. From here, Ali and Lane were able to “click-through” and review things in real-time. Once everyone was satisfied with the structure, we trained HFM on how to add content (words, pictures, and links) to the staging site. This took them about 2 weeks to complete (never easy while operating a business and raising a young child at home!) and Athen our teams did rigorous QA and SEO refinement across devices and browsers. We launched the website the very next week, on March 16, 2021. The new site now lives on our dedicated server space within WP Engine, our preferred solution for all WordPress website hosting.
First, Darci Creative sent HFM a detailed Project Questionnaire in early January 2021. Then we set up a Kickoff Meeting in mid-January with Lane and his wife Ali to go over their responses. We discussed HFM’s company history, existing branding, and their old website. We identified what they liked and disliked about each and determined how we could elevate each element in a timely manner.
When it came to the logo, we learned that Lane had recently wrapped his truck in their existing logo, so we decided we would not force a new logo but we would try to develop a few options to complement this logo in a way that would not require Lane to rewrap his truck (a costly endeavor), but instead would create a cohesive experience between new (used on the website) and old (used on his truck, stickers, and other print materials already produced) — ultimately enabling him to naturally phase out the old logo in favor of the new one.
For the new site, we determined we needed to make it clear that HFM is a multi-discipline welding business with mobile service capabilities and we needed the whole thing to feel playful, modern, spacious, and a little wild (like Lane!). It would need more pages and copy for SEO, original imagery for personalization, and a dedicated menu structure and CTA strategy that would lead users to read about services, view past projects, request quotes, sort through FAQs, and contact HFM through the website forms, and follow HFM on social media.
In fewer than 8 weeks, we created a new logo, tagline, and multi-page custom website for HFM Welding, Co. The new website is fast, secure, fully responsive on tablets and mobile phones, and entirely optimized to meet SEO best practices. It features a robust homepage, multi-discipline Services page, Pricing page, Past Project page to showcase case study work, FAQs, and smart Contact and Request-a-Quote forms. HFM’s Instagram is also directly connected to display on the site and the site features 100% owned images throughout for that extra personal touch. Users immediately are able to see where HFM is located and that HFM is willing to travel to conduct welding work. Hours and phone numbers are easy to access and Lane and Ali both received a full tutorial and user guide explaining to them how to update their new website. HFM is now ready to take their business to the next level and Darci Creative will be waiting in the wings to support them at any point in their journey.
The Nitty-Gritty Service Details
Working with Darci and her team (Alex and Regan) on our website and logo rebuild was a very smooth process from start to finish. I initially thought I was content with our original logo, however, after being presented with an updated version, I realized that DARCI Creative had dedicated ample time getting to know us as a company, and truly understood our preference for simplicity. We ended up going with the revamped logo that they worked up and our site turned out better than I could have imagined. We could not be happier with the outcome of the look and feel of our finished product.