Retro Design for Michigan HVAC Co.

Role: Designer

Project Goals

Their current site didn’t reflect their new trucks and felt outdated. They wanted a design to match their honest, old-fashioned values. Ultimately, the goal was to get leads. A lead could be a form submission or a phone-call. The audience was homeowners and B2B customers. My design goals:

Challenges

The only asset was an image of a brand new truck wrap. Because of a mishap with a prior agency, they didn’t even have a logo file. This was unnerving because usually I’m greeted with 10-100 image assets, but we soon realized the truck was chock full of design elements, which became the foundation of the design.

I had 3 days to produce the design. As Jared Spool says, “Design is a team sport.” The Content team added in a flavor of retro words, and the Dev team matched the animations to the feel.

Process and Strategy

Style Guide

I filled in the guide with the client’s preferences and my general strategy. It helped to have a clear vision: Retro.

Next, I found fonts and colors that fit the bill. Then, I researched retro, mid-century styles of signs competitors following the same lead. Sunbursts, textures, and shapes fell into place.

Design Time

I tend to start on the header. Then I bounce to whatever section is calling me the loudest, unifying them later. I used bold branding everywhere to help people feel that it’s not a generic site. It’s authentic to the truck they may see driving around town.

Brainstorming “retro” solutions

Alternative hero image

How many sunbursts are too many?

Critique and Send

I presented the homepage and subpage designs to the team. With a great suggestions, like making the truck stand out by changing the hero sunburst to teal not red, it was off to the client! Round 2 had tiny changes and the design moved on to be developed.

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