Responses by Meghan McCue, strategy lead and Ronnie Alley, design lead, MullenLowe Design
Background: This industry is self-performative: builders redefining our skylines that are redefining our skylines. Builders have no idea what the day might hold on the job site, and that’s what drives their passion—the thrill of solving challenges, and the resolve to make sure the job gets done. Over the past decade, construction group FUSE has exploded in size, and grown its offerings, projects and locations coast-to-coast. FUSE needed a new brand to rally its internal team beyond its patriotic Massachusetts roots—since the firm was previously called Liberty Construction Services—and unlock its potential for years to come.
Reasoning: The client prides themselves on its tight-knit teams and ability to move fast, unite and spark progress by solving problems together. With the new name and rebrand, we needed to create an identity that harnessed this energy. At its core, a fuse brings together different inputs to distribute fierce energy across spaces, and this speaks to FUSE’s unique start-up mentality for a company with over 700 employees. The team is nimble, thinks steps ahead and more than willing to help wherever is needed. In short: FUSE moves as one.
Challenges: Ensuring the new brand would motivate a nation of workers with wide variety of skillsets around a singular culture. To unite everyone who falls under the FUSE umbrella around the message of “Start Something.” Making sure the brand passed our “Will they put the sticker on their toolbox?” test. Will the articulation and the visual identity speak to those out on the job at 6:00 a.m. in the dead of winter? Is it grounded in what FUSE does, while also inspiring the team to keep trying new things? Will it really generate pride when someone asks where they work?
Favorite details: The level of detail we were able to achieve when constructing the wordmark, resulting in a flexible and adaptable system in which the mark can shift orientation to be optimized for whichever environment it’s being placed on. This utilitarian nature was achieved through the precise geometries found within the letterforms, enabling a hardworking system both on and off the jobsite.
Visual influences: Stencil motifs are native to the construction industry and can be found on many job sites. When taking on the challenge of this rebrand, it felt natural to lean into this, but we wanted to create a mark that also felt customized to reflect the level of craft that goes into constructing a building. In addition to the practical nature of stencil lettering, there is also a deeper meaning, as the individual shapes of the letterforms symbolically reference the fusion of coming together and working as a team.
Specific demands: One of the more difficult aspects was making our primary chartreuse color—that we’ve called Fusion—feel correct to the brand. High visibility yellows are found all over construction sites. Though there was concern over the use of this color causing confusion, we felt that leaning into this gave us the opportunity to make the FUSE brand feel even more natural to the job site, while also signaling that the brand stands for safety. The potentially difficult conversations around the hero color were made easy because of our client, Suffolk. Its collaborative and decisive nature creates a thoughtful partnership able to routinely execute bold and category-defying ideas.