After 25 years, a new direction for a changing market
Cobalt Construction is a different kind of remodeling contractor: large enough to complete projects effectively and efficiently (and with stunning results), but small enough to build the personal relationships with clients that so often are lacking in the construction business.
Cobalt has successfully navigated massive changes to the Seattle landscape over a quarter-century in business, watching as the city has been reshaped by some of the world’s most prominent companies and the resulting influx of young tech workers. The company’s branding, however, remained the same. With its 25th anniversary approaching, Cobalt’s owner decided it was time for an updated look—both to reflect this significant milestone and appeal to Seattle’s growing professional class.
Clients of Cobalt tell a powerful story about the company and its approach to each project: “quality craftsmanship,” “very professional,” and “incredibly respectful” are phrases from just a sampling of Cobalt’s 30+ five-star reviews online.
The key differentiators for Cobalt include precision, quality, and the care it takes to do the work right—the last one being particularly vital. The company’s clients often are remodeling their homes to accommodate growing families, and it’s important for a contractor to treat these projects differently than, say, new construction. Frequently, crews are working in spaces that are still occupied by clients and their kids; close attention to cleanliness, safety and other “little” details shows respect, setting Cobalt apart.
Honoring the past, while looking to the future
The owners of Chalkbox and Cobalt have known each other for years, so there already was a high level of trust and shared experience as we began the process. Although we had a solid understanding of Cobalt’s business and stellar reputation, we wanted to learn more about what clients the company was looking to attract in the coming years, and what those people need to see and feel when they are considering a contractor.
We also researched competitors in the region, as well as larger construction firms and other companies that might share Cobalt’s intended audience.
Looking deep for concepts that rise above
Bridging new tech sensibilities with the practical and tangible nature of construction posed an interesting challenge. The usual construction concepts (hammers, saws, floor plans, etc.) came up during our initial sketching, but those easy ideas were cut from consideration early on—we sought to avoid clichés and elevate Cobalt with a refined, sophisticated look.
The only element from the old brand the owner was adamant about maintaining was the color; cobalt blue has been part of Cobalt’s branding since the beginning and keeping it would provide a sense of consistency.
One thing we kept coming back to was the “CO” in Cobalt’s name. Not only is it the symbol for the element cobalt, it also is symbolic of the collaborative, cooperative approach the company takes with clients. We felt centering Cobalt’s identity around a strong wordmark emphasizing those two letters would create a powerful effect with an even deeper meaning behind it.
A structured, precise result
Much like the projects Cobalt completes on a regular basis, the finished artwork we provided is highly structured and precise in its design. A trio of bars is abstract yet orderly, chosen to evoke the measured steps of Cobalt’s process, building materials, and even the levels of a newly expanded home. A small 90-degree angle, added as an accent piece on materials such as business cards and letterhead, offers a subtle take on a framing square.
And finally, the “CO” of “Cobalt” is rendered in orange—a fresh, sharp contrast that highlights the symbolism and importance of those letters, while sharing an aesthetic with much of the tech industry in Seattle.
‘We love the new look’
What we already knew about Cobalt—especially the company’s commitment to precision—provided us with a great deal of inspiration on this project, helping us create a brand identity that we’re proud of and that the client loves.
“We’ve seen the great work of Chalkbox for years, so we were thrilled to finally have them do a project for us,” Cobalt’s owner said. “We enjoyed the process of working with Josh and his team, and we love the new look.”
What can we build for you?
The right branding can help you celebrate your successes—and enhance your potential for even greater success ahead. Whether you’ve been in business for one year or 20, we’d love to help design your future. Feel free to get in touch anytime.
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