Accentuating the design and restoration of rivers
A brand refresh for a cutting-edge interdisciplinary engineering firm
Inter-Fluve is an interdisciplinary firm specializing in investigations, design, and restoration of rivers, lakes, and wetlands. As pioneers in their field, they develop solutions to complex aquatic challenges while balancing human and environmental needs. With over 1,600 successful projects across 4 continents and all regions of the United States, Inter-Fluve is challenged to communicate the depth and breadth of their excellent work.
The firm had recently launched a new website when they contacted Blue Marble to help with a variety of printed materials. The website project established a new direction for the brand identity with prolific use of real project photos and friendly staff bios. Our challenge was to provide a more precisely defined set of graphic styles and template documents for ongoing use by internal staff. Historically, documents like project proposals, resumes, and project summaries had been created without a consistent plan. Inter-Fluve was facing a common challenge, where many staff members were tasked with creating printed materials with limited time, changing needs, and varied levels of skill and interest in the task.
While we couldn’t change alleviate the hard work of in-house publication and design, we were confident we could provide a pool of template resources considered specifically for the needs of Inter-Fluve staff. First, we worked with marketing staff to identify the needs and limitations. We also came on site and met with engineers and other non-marketing personnel to understand their perspective on the brand and their involvement in the publication process. And, we did extensive visual research to understand their language and culture and how the brand had already evolved over time.
In our initial conversations, Inter-Fluve’s marketing staff shared the desire to develop something classy, elegant, consistent, and personable. The key was creating something that is possible, if not easy, to maintain. With defined fonts, colors, and a few key elements to satisfy the aesthetic needs, staff would be able to resist the temptation to reinvent new designs each time. We worked together to identify open-source fonts that look good so that multiple staff could easily collaborate on these documents, and we trained the staff on how to use Adobe InDesign for the trickier elements of our designs. We also helped them to set expectations internally for how photography is is a critical investment, and that no template can replace thoughtful design work.
Over the years since the work was completed, Inter-Fluve has continued to use the templates we developed. Thanks to their commitments to shooting quality photos, learning the ropes with design programs, and staying true to the templates we developed together—they now have a strong arsenal of resumes and project summaries to pull from for each new project proposal. The results include greater efficiency with sales and outreach efforts, positive impressions on prospective clients, and increased confidence and pride amongst staff.
Print and digital publication
“Clients and employees have been impressed with our materials. It’s worked well to have solid templates that look great and keep our deliverables looking consistent. Sometimes there’s no substitution for having good design sense and being able to create a document for a unique situation. I’ve been working on improving my design abilities but I also recognize there’s a time to bring in the pros when a template doesn’t cut it. Overall, the investment was very worthwhile. BMC did a great job in completing what we asked of you. The templates are elegant yet simple; they make the company look good. Just as important, I think they make employees feel proud of the product they are creating.
– Jonathan Graca, Marketing and Field Technician, Inter-Fluve