Branding & web design. McDonald Surveys

Crisp, refreshed branding to match a multi-faceted surveying, engineering and technology company.

Working with Paul Clarke from boutique business consultancy, Illumium, Crux Creative was engaged to handle the brand design portion of a broader business and marketing strategy project for McDonald Surveys—a ‘best-in-class’ multi-faceted surveying, engineering and technology company.

The Challenge

Elevate the look and feel of the McDonald Surveys brand identity to reflect who they are and present them as a more ‘human’ business that operates with a blend of passion, clarity, empathy and energy. As the brief put it: “clean and crisp but not too clinical, even though their business is in the mode of accuracy and data”.

The Outcome

An exercise in balance. To create a coherent brand identity that ticked the somewhat contradictory boxes, we did two things:

  • Accentuated the surveying aspects—rigid geometric shapes, admittedly pedantic alignment of elements and a simple primary colour palette with a vibrant, almost hi-vis yellow.
  • Tempered the rigidity with font selection—something with slightly less geometry in letterforms and a pronounced contrast between thick and thin on the bolder weights—and made use of overlays to ‘break’ segments.

Logo design refresh

As a logo evolution, we retained the core elements of the old logo—the interplay between the ‘M’ and the triangle plus the line under the ‘c’ (representing the abbreviation and pronunciation of ‘Mac’ in the Irish language). For the new logo, we accentuated the accuracy and confidence of the brand by adding an arrow to ‘frame’ the ‘M’ and using a crisp geometric font to complement it.

logo rebrand refresh
logo rebrand refresh

Icons and Inspective logo

For clarity and ease of marketing communications, the McDonald Surveys offering is split into four key divisions—Rail, Road, Built Environment, and Dilapidation Services—each one requiring a dedicated and relevant icon. We designed abstract icons inspired by the logo (arrow and underline) and the industry that each division operates.

McDonald Surveys also required a logo for their proprietary cloud software solution, Inspective. As a sub-brand, the logo needed to look related to McDonald Surveys, so we retained the font and colours and reimagined the arrow.

logo icon design
logo icon design
logo rebrand refresh
logo rebrand refresh

“Having established that the external communication of this highly technical business needed a refresh, I immediately brought Dale at Crux Creative into the picture to help deliver a brand refresh, create identities for each area of the business activity, create a new identity for a piece of proprietary software and then roll out these elements into a set of new collateral.

Dale took the time to fully understand enough of the technical aspects of the business before undertaking the creative process. Not just that, but his planning process to future-proof these identities to cater for business growth was an intelligent move. This typifies working with Dale, who not only delivers consistently high-quality creative work but is able to digest business information and interpret it exceptionally well.

Working with Dale at Crux, I can honestly say the volume of amends and iterations are kept refreshingly low. His ability to get things right quickly is of immense value, and I’d recommend him highly.”

Paul Clarke, Director

Because of the multi-faceted complexity of the McDonald Surveys offering, they required a comprehensive, intuitive website that cleanly split the divisions and each capability within them. In designing this website, we took three elements from the logo—arrow, triangle and underline—to create a brand identity that is authentic to the business. The images below highlight the application in a web context.

Stationery design

Simple, clean and crisp business card and letterhead design to tie in with the rest of the identity. The trick here is to not overcook the design with too many elements packed into a small space.

As a part of their business development and marketing efforts, we designed a series of brochures—company profile, Rail Capability Statement, and Dilapidation Services profile—that introduce the McDonald Surveys business ethos, provides a concise overview of their four areas of expertise, and showcase two of their core service areas. These distinctive brochures were designed in line with the established brand identity and divisional colours.