Case Study:

Accidentally rebranding Hutchinson Builders via their new website

We do this a lot. We get briefed on a website (and this leads to that) and the client ends up with a shiny new look. We can’t help ourselves, and anyway, our clients yield a ton of value.

Anyway, back to the brief… Founded in 1912, Hutchinson Builders had grown from a small local player to one of Australia’s largest privately-owned construction companies. Despite its strong national presence, local values still drive its culture – trust, transparency and one-on-one relationships.

Bigfish was approached to deliver a digital platform that would support Hutchies’ future growth, yet, reflect their community-minded values and showcase their down-to-earth team spirit. There was also a cultural objective – to unite the company’s dispersed network of site offices and tap into a communal sense of pride.

The phrase “We Are Hutchies” set the tone for the website

We placed this message front and centre on the homepage, using it as a jumping-off point for the company’s scope of work and impressive folio of project case studies.

“We weren’t intentionally difficult, but Hutchies has many internal stakeholders that needed to be brought on the journey for the project to have any legs. And we had a wish-list of requirements that went for days. Oops. The Bigfish team weren’t fazed at all though. They were always available to respond to our requests and it was never too much trouble to re-work something or add something new.”
Harleigh Venables, Communication Manager, Hutchinson Builders

Respect for their heritage

Ask a snobby designer what they thought of Hutchies’ long-standing logo and you’d get all manner of negative responses. But out there in the market, it simply works. It’s highly visible. It’s valued. So while the strategic heads were all in agreeance, the designer snobs of the office found themselves with quite the challenge — How to embrace such an “old-school” logo yet create a broader visual language reflective of a Tier 1 construction company.

The answer is never that far away. In fact it was in the logo.

The ‘blue bar’ in their logo became the graphic element that the team picked on. Off they went pushing and pulling, and back they came with a brand a framing device able to create simple yet unique typographic arrangements. Combined with a sans serif typeface and palette of complementary colours, and suddenly we had the elements and principles necessary to refresh their brand and create a functional website style sheet.

Construction is a highly mobile industry

As industries like construction rely on mobile interaction to drive traffic, it was essential that the website was designed for use on every device. The team ensured a high level of performance on mobile, removing barriers to content and maximising usability through an intuitive interface.

Developed on our ‘Tank’ platform

Our dev team delivered a platform that Hutchies is able to manage with ease and flexibility. Gone are the days of being locked into a templated design — the platform gave the client the freedom to update content and design out new pages on the fly using a range of portable components.

“Some of the ways we wanted to present our work were definitely not ‘out-of-the-box’, and Bigfish delivered us a number of flexible solutions that enabled us to showcase our projects creatively, retaining their individuality through image displays, statistics, video and other features.”
Harleigh Venables, Communication Manager, Hutchinson Builders

Mapping 105+ years

Hutchies have delivered 3,750 projects to date. With a growing number on the horizon, our team created a dynamic map with the capability to reflect the company’s national offering at any given time. The map’s functionality is multipurpose — it allows clients and stakeholders to quickly understand the company’s scope of work, and provides a visualisation of Hutchies’ impact over the past 100 years.


About the Author:

Simon Langford-Ely is Creative Director of Bigfish, a brand and digital experience agency based in Brisbane, Australia. For more information, or to talk about an upcoming project, feel free to drop Simon a line: simon@bigfish.tv