Responses by David Sieren, design director/partner, One Design Company
Background: The new Kleinschmidt site was created as part of a broader comprehensive rebrand for the company. Based in Chicago’s northern suburbs, Kleinschmidt’s origin dates to 1898. Kleinschmidt cultivated a reputation as pioneers in data translation services. The site had to not only play a leading role in communicating the core tenets of the rebrand, but it also had to be something the core Kleinschmidt team was proud of. The site is a symbol of a newly turned page.
Highlights: Our goal was to develop a modern strategy for the organization that leaned into its legitimate and compelling history—blending the best of modern design and storytelling with a unique aesthetic rooted in both heritage and hardworking Midwestern values. The resulting design language is best described as Midwest heritage-modern—an authentic way to differentiate Kleinschmidt from its high-tech Silicon Valley rivals without any compromise.
Challenges: Kleinschmidt lives in a world of industry-specific acronyms and technical vernacular. It was a challenge to craft copy in collaboration with the Kleinschmidt team that said the right technical thing, while simplifying the experience and exuding a tone of voice appropriate for the brand.
Favorite details: The Kleinschmidt brand feels unabashedly modern, while nodding to its Midwestern working-class heritage and 120-year history. The brand is also consistent, unique, compelling and authentic to its culture—with the dialed-in digital typographic language, the complete suite of custom illustrations and iconography, the subtle touches of animation employed throughout and a brand-level system of abstract patterning based on the Baudot code, a character set predating ASCII commonly associated with teletype.