haley donovan
Branding & Visual Identity

Haley Donovan

Haley Donovan sought a website redesign and brand refresh that captured who they were as a company. As a values-driven firm focused on affordable housing, they wanted potential clients and partners to know that they can deliver great work within constraints and give them a sense of what it’s like to partner together. Haley Donovan believes that affordable housing can and should be beautiful, livable space, and wanted their website to convey that conviction.

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As part of our discovery process, we spoke with companies Haley Donovan had partnered with in the past. They highlighted what made the team stand out from others in the field: the combination of rigorous attention to detail that keeps projects schedule and within budget, along with an energetic, hands-on attitude.

We got to experience the joy of collaborating with the Haley Donovan team firsthand during a collaborative design workshop that the whole staff was able to attend. Through exercises like mood boarding, visual gut checks, and design scales, we teased out the team’s diverse aesthetic tastes and the way their preferences represent a complementary and balanced look.

A series of exercises sparked the discussion of who they are as a team and how they should be portrayed to their primary audiences. In addition to reinforcing what we’d already heard about them from clients and partners, the exercises gave the team the chance to articulate the values that drive their work.

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A new logo is the centerpiece of Haley Donovan’s new branding system. As with their previous logo, it represents the firm’s initials. We simplified, making it more quickly perceivable and recognizable--and easier to reproduce on collateral and swag, which the team quickly did. The interconnectivity of the letters represents the firm’s cohesive approach to their work, and the openness reflects the approachability that makes them stand out. The team at Haley Donovan told us that the logo also evoked for them a sideways shovel, a symbol key to the effort of getting a building built.

In approaching the design of a new logo and website, we wanted to ensure that Haley Donovan’s expertise and personality shone through. The clean, open, modern feeling they’d gravitated towards in the workshop was a good foundation, but didn’t adequately capture the team’s unique energy. To add another layer of personalization to the website, we turned to their work for inspiration and combined two elements that were uniquely “them.”

First, it was easy to identify a color that resonated with the team, as they were excited about a cheery canary yellow and they’d used it in a few recent designs. Second, we repurposed arrows hand-drawn by one of the firm’s principals on architectural plans as navigational elements throughout the site, supplementing them with circles, squiggles, and underlines to evoke the feeling of openness and collaboration throughout the site.

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Through a process that incorporated the voices of and created consensus among the entire Haley Donovan team, we created a new brand and website that’s true to who they and supports their mission of creating affordable housing that feels like home.


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Rachel Emery
Director of Partnerships