There are projects where an agency does great work, there are projects where you love working with a client, and then there are those special projects with special clients that really push an agency’s creative and technical limits to new standards of excellence.
That last dynamic accurately describes some of our most recent landmark client work in collaboration with the talented team at Sepi, Inc. on their website refresh. SEPI, a public engineering firm headquartered in Raleigh with offices in Charlotte and Wilmington, has achieved major accolades for both the namesake company and its visionary founder, Sepi Saidi. The company has achieved fast growth since its founding 2001, with recognition in the Inc. 5000, Engineering News Record’s Top Design Firms (Southeast), consulting group Zweig White’s Hot Firm List, and multiple honors from the Triangle Business Journal, including its Fast 50 and Top Women-Owned Businesses. The TBJ recently named Saidi as its 2018 Business Person of the Year.
As the company enters its next phase of growth, Saidi and her executive team at SEPI have set forth on a major rebranding initiative for 2019, with a bold, colorful expression that captures the company’s vision, inclusive values, and its vibrant employees. The new branding fits a company that’s flexed its creative muscle at every corner of its portfolio, from designing greenways and parks to modern mixed-use developments where people live and work.
The team assembled at Carimus to channel the new branding into a website refresh included Project Manager Hannah Johnson, Designer Hannah Kinney, and a trio of developers: Zach Dake, Brennon Lee, and Nico Gonzalez. Early meetings between the Carimus team and the group from SEPI set the tone for what would be some of the agency’s best work to date, according to Johnson. “We typically present clients with a couple of potential creative directions,” she explained. “Many choose a more conservative path, but the team at SEPI was ready for concepts that would capture their business from as many angles as possible. That meant pushing creatively, and these early talks set the stage for a lot of creative freedom.”
Unleashed creatively, Kinney led site design with a concept that was sleek and modern, reflective of the company’s cutting-edge design work, but also playful to capture the SEPI team’s passion for great engineering and giving back to the community. “Hannah’s work on this project has really taken Carimus to a new standard of design excellence,” said Johnson. “Her design recognizes that while the people at SEPI may take their work, charitable giving, and community leadership very seriously, they can be whimsical about their profession. Hannah captured this ethos with elements like a background dot grid pattern that resembles graph paper, as well as watermark effects of adjectives to describe the team. Her use of gradients packed a lot of great color into the site, and her use of portfolio photography helps visitors go outside with SEPI to view the fruits of their community planning expertise.”
Not to be outdone, the development team of Dake and Lee, led by Senior Designer Gonzalez, organized the user experience in a way that not only cope with the site’s complexity but excelled at making all the information accessible and pleasant to digest. “Our dev team was able to match Hannah’s design shot for shot,” said Johnson. “The way the site unfolds and connects across section pages offers a number of shortcuts for visitors, without seeming redundant or unnecessary. Bridging the content in this way enabled our team to take a wide world at SEPI and make it much more navigable and intimate, where you can really get to know this company, its people, its work, and its values very quickly.”
The team at Carimus believes that the site not only represents some of the agency’s best work but some of its most fulfilling as well. “The people at SEPI are the kind of people you root for in life,” said Johnson. “We work with a lot of non-profits and mission-driven businesses, which are usually easier to get behind than traditional companies. What we learned during this project is that the SEPI team is comprised of people with purpose. They are people who not only want to set industry standards in design and push for sustainability in construction and transportation but also people who, at every turn, try to give back to the community.”
“It’s much easier to do great work when you believe in your clients. That’s one of the best things about working at Carimus—the type of clients we attract, like SEPI.”
Visit www.sepiinc.com to see our work with SEPI.