A redefinition of the Carlyle brand and its complex ecosystem of brand communications and touchpoints to create an accessible and holistically consistent website that conveys who they are across comms, visual design, and UX.
▾ The Project
In a transitional moment for the firm, Carlyle sought to reimagine its core messaging and identity to connect more organically and holistically to its audience. This meant embarking on a large brand audit, including research, contextualisation, and overview of the current trends and tropes of the market at large. In this audit, we concluded that Carlyle needed strong UX principles to determine its digital approach, a contemporary and future-forward aesthetic for its identity, and an optimisation of its previously existing assets to ensure integrity on the web.
Our UX principles (AUDIENCE-CENTRIC • IMPACT-ORIENTED • COLLABORATIVE • BLUE CHIP) directly impacted the approach and outcome of our work as a north star as we reevaluated the flow of their website, the user journey, and made determinations around look and feel for the brand.
The culmination of the project was a reimagined brand identity and web experience with a new narrative tone.
▾ The Identity
Our goal was a more mature and contemporary identity that truly expressed Carlyle's place and position in its industry and the world, as well as keeping an eye toward modernising and optimising the previously existing identity components. This included optimising the logo for scalability, which helped Carlyle to hone in on their digital-first approach, picking complementary new typefaces to elevate the language and tone of the brand, and choosing a colour palette that elevated their best-in-class presence through warm, muted, approachable tones.
For photography and video, we continued to apply the newly instituted palette, opting for overlayed photography and video to create warm and easy-to-create graphics for editorial features. For illustration, we created dimensinonal 3D graphics, showcasing the complex ways in which Carlyle operates.
Having been used since Carlyle's inception, the pre-existing Carlyle logo was horizontally set and bound by two thin lines on the top and bottom of the logo. This led to poor scability in digital spaces and also a loss of quality and legibility at smaller sizes. We approached the opitmisation with a few recommendations and revisions — our primary recommendation being to simply shorten to 'Carlyle' — and ultimately landed solely on the word Carlyle, adding prestige and recognisability to their brand.
We started with their original core color, Carlyle Blue, and helped to hone in on a warmer, more friendly tone that could help to express who they are today. We then expended the palette and added supplemental colors to support and elevate Carlyle Blue, including teal and yellow, allowing the palette fall into friendly, inviting tones. Our goal was to create a palette that could work well in layouts, in infographics and illustration, and in and around phtoography and video, while still being highly recognisable.
To elevate, modernise, and bring a clear, inforamtive, but friendly tone to the brand, we chose Fortescue Display and Value Sans by Colophon, creating a unique and charismatic balance between Fortescue's prominent and stylish display and Value San's crisp and clean sans serif. The typefaces work in harmony to create visually appealing, but legible and readible copy across Carlye's myriad layouts.
Working in 3D, we created multi-faceted illustrations which represented the complexity within Carlyle operates, showcasing its transparency and layering in the way that it operates business. Each object represents the core sectors it engages with, but particularly within DE&I.
▾ The Experience
To help tell Carlyle's new story in a succicnt and navigable way, we created an experience built around storytelling. Carlyle has a new mission and purpose — one backed by diversity and inclusion — and they wanted to tell it in a meaningful way. To do this with purpose and intent, we: ① Created a story that could be read either as a continuous scroll, or in pieces, depending on the user's wants ② Made each section of the homepage unique to its own discipline, with links to drill further into the vertical, but kept each section hollistic to the story in totality ③ Created graphics to help drive the complex and multi-faceted story Carlyle is telling ④ Built globality into the experience by making it functional in each region Carlyle operates in, ensuring the translation works across all viewports
Art Direction and Visual Design by Faith Kaufman ⬤ 3D Art and Motion by Laundry and Crystal Law ⬤ Video by Jonathan Bailey ⬤ Development by TAG ⬤ Production by Jess Katz ⬤ Strategy Direction by Sophie Locke