Building a Brand that Builds People
Walker Architects is a top architecture firm in Gainesville. Their team possesses deep expertise in building and interior design for commercial and nonprofit clients in education, technology, and healthcare. Their work is driven by a passion for designing spaces that enhance the lives of people who live, work, and move through them. But while their team had a reputation for delivering innovative work on time and in budget, setting down roots outside of Florida posed a challenge that would require some sort of transformation.
Our challenge: Reflect Walker’s human centered, thoughtful, and practical approach to architecture. Empower the firm to speak confidently about their work. And reposition them from small town heroes to professionals poised to take on global challenges.
Through in-depth interviews and study of the Walker team’s reputation, behavior, and characteristics, we uncovered how people inside and outside of the firm perceive the Walker Architects brand. We then created a verbal identity that articulates their purpose and casts a new vision for how the buildings they design could enhance the lives of people who inhabit them. And we wrote brand values and attributes that would have long-term implications on business development, future hires, and core considerations during the team’s design process.
At Parisleaf, we celebrate creative scavenging. The broader and deeper our wells of influence, the likelier we are to create a distinctive and long-lasting brand. Working hand-in-hand with the Walker team, we led a design workshop that yielded an eclectic collection of brand case studies and clippings. We considered everything from examples of tone of voice and photography to marks and logotypes, typography, interactive storytelling, color, and more. At the end of the day, we had a strong consensus on what we would allow ourselves to be inspired by as we moved forward – and what we would ignore.
With the verbal identity completed, we built a flexible visual system that honors the studio’s human-centric approach. The result is a brand that breathes. At the heart is the Walker Architects mark, a monogram that forms a ligature or typographic connection between W and A. This symbol highlights the assembly of components that turn spaces into places. And like every other aspect of this brand, it all comes back to people. Without A for Architects, there is no Walker; without Walker, Architects has no foundation.
Meaning from abstraction. Figure from ground. Balance from tension. Design with a heartbeat.
The Walker team believes architecture’s role in shaping human experience is to create spaces that become places through the life that fills it: spaces to breathe, walk, work, talk, think, play, rest, and live. And while the original request was for a single hero tagline, we saw an opportunity to create a system of taglines that serve not only as mantras but as a new rubric for how the Walker team thinks about, talks about, and shows their work.
We were pleased to learn that the day after presenting the verbal positioning to the Walker team, they had already memorized the new mission and vision and used them to pitch and win a seven figure project – one of their largest engagements to date. Months later, the team feels more unified than ever, and each member is confident that the team finally speaks the same language.