A complex organization spanning many disciplines and industries, Signet LLC had organically grown and significantly evolved since development of its last site; so the firm needed to organize and distinguish its three main capability verticals that in many ways, overlap and support one another. Signet also looked to present a balance of these three capabilities, instead of its historic focus on RED and what its team considered a lack of articulation of major Operations and Innovations efforts. At the same time, Signet wanted to simplify and refresh all content on the site; and reduce overall volume of content. There was also limited existing explanatory collateral to draw from in a content overhaul.
Additionally, Signet’s team had a desire for its digital presence to be as unique and high-quality as the custom-tailored work the firm is known for, and they sought to position themselves differently in the market from other private equity firms or stereotypical angel investors (and there was a rebranding already in process when we began discovery for this project). Signet wanted to communicate a solid investment position to few distinct client types client by conveying experience, reliability, and autonomy, while resisting an overly emotional or expressive tone, and we needed to prescribe to a specific industry vernacular; so the project required a negotiation of these constraints with the initiative to establish Signet’s unique culture and distinct set of values and business practices.
First, we reinvented Signet’s site architecture in a way that significantly reduced sitemap noise. Through an intensely thorough discovery process, we chiseled the complex workings of Signet's multiple arms into a simplified main navigational menu; a limited secondary menu that calls equal attention to the three main capabilities; and more streamlined and information-rich site pages. On each page, we established a structure for a visual, interactive narrative experience with clearly distinct page sections and special functional and design features that could be repeated throughout the site for consistency.
In order to craft content to fit within this strategically simplified framework, we collaborated closely with Signet’s marketing director, principals, and the agency engaged in Signet’s rebranding (our partner Steelyard Studios) for a content overhaul. Because its audience is primarily interested in what Signet has done and its resume, we moved toward a “show” and not “tell” content strategy, and let the work speak for itself as much as possible. We produced content broad enough to cover a wide expanse of relationships and experience, yet specific enough to offer tangibles, and incorporated an interactive portfolio of operational investment companies and real estate projects, in addition to a highly organized news section. The new site prioritizes visual storytelling by incorporating curated, full-width hero images, original graphics, and visual callouts such as pullquote styling, concept thumbnails and list menu sections.
The various facets of Signet’s identity are now more clearly communicated and controlled through simplified, more cohesive messaging, a reduced overall webpage volume, and less reliance on explanatory text. All of the enhanced design and functionality features that provide for an interactive user experience are efficiently managed by the firm’s marketing team, who is trained in the new, custom WordPress CMS that we have developed for them. We built a thorough style guide that was robust and flexible enough to make each and every page feel like a custom layout, but thoughtful and intuitive enough for Signet to be able to manage moving forward with just a few hours of training.
Because of the highly collaborative process of devising and executing a focused content strategy, Signet now has thoroughly edited and purposeful messaging that can be reiterated across multiple forms of organizational collateral such as client presentations and press releases; as well as an organized, extensive archive of artwork, articles, links and other digital assets.
We also created a protected Investor Login Portal and incorporated a Google Site Translator to accommodate for Signet’s existing clients and international audience.