When Walter Francl Architecture approached us to rebrand their well-respected firm, many things had changed since the firm began in 1988. The firm had expanded from three to more than 20 staff, and the name of the founding principal, “Walter Francl,” was no longer inclusive enough to represent a team-oriented firm. As a firm with international connections and aspirations, it was time for change and clarification. It was also time to cater to a target audience of not only prospective clients, but also prospective employees in order to attract top young talent in the industry and achieve long-term staff retention.
Over a span of about a year, we conducted a meticulous process of research, discovery, and analysis, surveying WFA’s staff, clients, and vendors. As a result, it became evident that Walter Francl Architecture needed a new name and full rebrand, including new positioning, messaging, identity, marketing collateral, and website. We concluded that a name change—from “Walter Francl” to just “Francl”—was the solution to the firm’s understated image, and would map out a clear path for the future that would better represent the firm’s values without losing brand equity, and better attract and retain emerging talent. We also distilled their brand essence—“Engage. Evolve. Enrich.”—to represent that Francl advances their firm, clients, and craft by positively enhancing the built, natural, and social environments. We launched the Francl brand with a new website inspired by the tagline I AM FRANCL, an expression that the firm is no longer one man, but rather the combination of each staff member, each idea, and each project. Every staff member is an integral part of FRANCL; each building is uniquely recognizable as a FRANCL; and each idea differentiates FRANCL from the competition. The firm needed a brand that conveys inclusivity, collaboration, authenticity, and vision, and would showcase the firm’s aptitude for superlative, world-class work. The name Francl Architecture delivers on this.
Beyond the name change, the identity is an evolution from the smaller and more singular impression of the firm as Walter Francl Architecture, yet still references their signature clean and elegant design solutions with classic shapes and lines. The new identity was rolled out in a complete stationery system, including on signage and online. Most importantly, the new website presents the firm, the people, and the work in a fully responsive site, working seamlessly across all platforms and devices from desktop to smart phone—a major departure from the firm’s previous site, and one that also speaks volumes about the technological savvy present in their work. With their name change and new brand, Francl Architecture can finally become what it aspires to be: a firm with a vision for international success.
Launch website: franclarchitecture.com
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