For over 15 years, Art Frohwerk and his consulting team at clearpath have maintained a track record of helping clients achieve previously unimagined value. This includes outlining how to streamline business processes, clarify operation standards, and minimize inefficiencies, as well as assisting with the actual implementation. While they had many satisfied top-shelf clients, from 3M to Microsoft, they were having difficulty prospecting new clients and effectively conveying the value of their approach. They asked smashLAB to help clarify the clearpath story and brand, and develop a new corporate identity system.more
We started by looking at clearpath's name. Up to that point, they were known as "Clear Path." We asked to simplify this, and then everything else.more
The carnage was substantial. A plain Helvetica-based wordmark replaced their detailed logo. Complex systems visualizations were swapped for casual situational sketches. In-depth case studies and descriptions were reworked into succinct, highly ordered passages that demonstrated the impacts of their efforts.
We would like to tell you that we somehow helped turn clearpath into a success, but they already were one. Instead, we helped to tell their story to a diverse prospective audience, making clarity the "glue" for all of clearpath's messaging and brand assets. The consistently lucid and ordered system feels rather light, while the brand collateral is crisp, clean, and easy to assimilate. As a whole, this identity system will help accurately inform all of their future decisions.
clearpath has done amazing work in bringing order and efficiency to organizations with notably complex systems. Given the value they afford their clients, we worked with them to convey these notions in their visual presentation. This came down to simplifying messages, reducing visual information, and ensuring there was always “just enough” to tell the story.
Initially, clearpath operated under the name Clear Path. We encouraged them to merge the two distinct words into one single “ownable” name; we also asked them to remove capitalization, to feel a little more fresh. We then set the name in no-nonsense Helvetica Bold (some might call it the 2x4 of type) which we left largely untouched, aside from some subtle letterspacing.
The clearpath identity relies heavily on the notion of removing noise and obstacles. Part of how we conveyed this was through a crisp, icy palette that we used sparingly. Pictured (from top left, clockwise): presentation folder; letterhead; business cards; envelopes.
Given the number of reports and technical documents that clearpath creates for its clients, we needed to find a way to consistently present their findings and recommendations. Three-ring binders on recycled card stock, with customized labels, coupled with standard formats for printed documents, help fulfill this requirement.
For the new clearpath website, we looked to apply the same sense of transparency and clarity that’s found in their printed documents. A clean, airy structure accommodates a variety of different content types, while the straightforward navigation easily situates the user in the site.
Simplified website content, clearly ordered/labeled navigation, and an overall rethink of the presentation, contribute to a website that’s intuitive and clear. Meanwhile, we created a series of pencil sketches that bring a light, fresh, and ordered sensibility to the clearpath website.
"We came to smashLAB as a company with a complex offering, confounded by how to communicate who we were to potential clients. smashLAB got it. They quickly understood the depth and breadth of our services, along with our challenges. They developed a strong identity and translated it into a clean website. It truly represents us, in a unique way."