Illuminating artistry through digital design
Branding, Logo, Collateral, Responsive Website Design, eCommerceVisit Website
Hennepin Made is a small, independent glassblowing studio that creates custom lighting and hand-crafted designs for retailers and businesses. Founded in 2011, Hennepin Made had been operating for years without a digital presence that reflected the quality of its products or a brand that captured the ethos of its work. Competing with mass-production retailers while still maintaining its hand-crafted roots, Hennepin Made occupies a unique niche that’s become increasingly desirable in today’s market. As fans of these inspiring illuminators, we were pumped to help reposition the brand to embody the premium artisan quality exuded by the products.
With the recent surge in demand for heritage brands and hand-crafted, American-made products, the “maker” community has become slightly oversaturated. As a result, communicating what Hennepin Made does without sounding cliché was proving to be a challenge. Though their products clearly stood out in the crowd, they needed help making their brand follow suit. The new website had to marry the old-world feel of their craft’s tradition with the modern, polished aesthetic of their designs, and seamlessly integrate a user-friendly eCommerce and inventory management platform.
After conducting preliminary market research, it was clear that there weren’t many competitors in Hennepin Made’s industry doing exactly what they do. While there were plenty of companies creating glass lighting designs, very few were hand-crafted and produced in a small, independently-owned studio.
To figure out how to leverage this unique value proposition in their messaging, we continued to dig deeper into the company and learn about the founding story and vision. Through brand positioning exercises, we worked with Hennepin Made to identify their brand promise and define the emotional benefits for their customers, then created a strategy to translate it into their digital presence.
In addition to helping Hennepin Made refine and reposition their brand messaging, we also created a new logo, a complete package of design elements (including fonts, colors, patterns, secondary logos, design elements, photography style and more) and a brand standards guide. Visually, the new brand feels handmade yet polished, appears vintage without being trendy, and embraces Hennepin Made’s old school glassblowing heritage while maintaining their modern design sense. The logo icon was intentionally designed in such a way that Hennepin Made can easily imprint it as a recognizable stamp on their products if they want, quite literally turning it into a “brand.”
Extending the feel of the new brand, we designed a website that’s clean, modern and user-friendly, yet clearly evokes the rustic, artisan quality of Hennepin Made’s craft. We also created the visual assets for their social media accounts, designed their eNewsletter template on our custom email platform, contributed high-quality lifestyle and product photography, and helped design and produce their print catalog.
On the backend, we built their responsive site on WordPress, utilized Shopify as their eCommerce platform, and integrated third-party inventory management software. Since most of Hennepin Made’s products come in a wide variety of colors with multiple different combinations, we customized their Shopify site and added functionality that allows visitors to select and zoom in on photos of each of the many options, much like the high-end experience you’d receive on a luxury brand’s website.
Hennepin Made now has a strong digital platform to showcase its collections to industry clientele, facilitate future marketing campaigns and gain insight into its online visitors. Our integrated inventory management and eCommerce solutions helped streamline management processes, allowing Hennepin Made to spend less time worrying about running the business and more time producing their premium products.
- Creativity International Website 2014: Silver
- Summit Creative Awards Catalog 2015: Gold
- Awwwards Site of the Day