project case study

North Elm Website Design & Visual Identity



The Challenge

North Elm is a business offering custom home design & building services. They came to us looking to launch their brand, needing something that was a little different than the competition – but something that still resonated with their market.

We needed to help define what made them unique, then communicate that through brand messaging, visual identity, and website design.

The Solution

Via research & user studies, we learned what we needed to know in order to position North Elm as a brand reminiscent of a true craftsman: detail in the work, workmanlike but professional, contemporary but inviting.

We executed on this idea to create a visual identity system built around a clean wordmark, and carried that solution through signage and a custom, responsive WordPress website.

What We Delivered

  • Brand, Competitive, & Customer Research
  • Naming
  • Logo Design
  • Full Visual Identity System
  • Signage & Vehicle Wrap
  • Website Design
  • Responsive Design [View]
  • WordPress Development

The Details

The landscape of custom home builders in Alberta is dominated by traditional and monolithic identities. It worked out beautifully, then, that Scott – the owner of North Elm – is more driven by contemporary design and inviting homes. We used this to his advantage and built his brand around that differing brand personality.

We also uncovered the biggest concern for customers looking to buy custom home building services: trust. Construction & renovation projects are huge & long-lasting, and unfortunately the industry is full of horror stories of projects gone wrong. With that in mind, North Elm’s brand messaging is built around trust, proof, and the people behind the brand.

business cards

The identity system itself is built around a customized, contemporary wordmark set in a lightweight slab serif. The top right serif of the N becomes a compass marker, indicating progression and direction – two key elements Scott offers his clients in his projects. This marker becomes a big part of the identity system, tying together print materials to the logo and more.


home builder website on iPhone, iPad and iMac


After the identity, we started in on a custom, responsive site for North Elm, built using WordPress as a CMS. From the project research, we understood that potential clients need to trust North Elm – trust in both the process/people as well as the quality of work. With that in mind, we designed a site that to do exactly that: build trust. The site does that by: putting an emphasis on photography to show the quality of the work; providing a thorough explanation of North Elm’s process; and using data, where possible, to explain details of past projects. Finally, the site also allows future clients to connect with North Elm’s past clients – a gutsy move when it comes to sales.

Scott, the founder of North Elm, is passionate about his work. Knowing this, we built out a Knowledge Centre section of the site where he can not only connect with clients but also help to educate his site visitors on anything from budgets to siding. This results in a tool to build Scott’s reputation as an expert in his field, while also adding new, SEO-friendly content for inbound traffic and lead generation.

Finally, the Projects section has custom scrolling functionality and is made up of individual projects pages. Each unique project page is designed with full-width imagery and a section for Scott to customize facts and data about the build—all through the back-end of his website.

In the end, the site is a results-driven tool designed to empower the client to easily maintain content while maintaining design integrity, and drive more sales.

contact us

Let's make something amazing together.

Interested in working together, or maybe just having a conversation? We’d love to hear what you have in mind, and answer any questions you might have. Let’s make whatever’s rolling around in that brain of yours happen.

Onwards to view The Next Project →

The Paper Leaf Design Weekly

If you love design, you’ll love the Paper Leaf Design Weekly. Join thousands of other designers getting wallpapers, in-depth design articles, free fonts & other design goodies delivered via our weekly design newsletter. Why wait? Join now and don’t miss a beat!