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    A complete branding of a starting general contractor. The designs are based on two principles: Attitude, and Structure. Contains brand, website, … Read More
    A complete branding of a starting general contractor. The designs are based on two principles: Attitude, and Structure. Contains brand, website, print and business cards. Read Less
Freelancing is a tricky business. I found that one out myself when I got run over a couple of times in larger projects. I decided to get out of it and focus my efforts on people with special needs, so that when the crisis lifts, they can get a head start in this business. When the Director of Hamers&Bikkels asked me to build an image for his newly formed business, I admired his guts and jumped at the opportunity.
The Hamers&Bikkels identity as applied to the communicational efforts.
I used my regular approach in this project, which is something that really gets my creative juices flowing. I asked the Director if I could join in for a day, to sample the feel and atmosphere of his business. He happily obliged, and I found that their methods and attitude were, although slightly unconventional, a relief to most clients. They are a clean break from the old-fashioned "If you pay it, they will come"-kind of carpenters.
A simple integration of the jAlbum-plugin was used to give the client the opportunity to release his own photographic material.
I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of effort that was taken for our new look. We've had some visitors that wanted to sample the company before, but we've never had anyone volunteer for  a day's work. We really see that reflected in our new identity.

I decided to go with something that said structured and alternative at the same time, which were really the two keywords that I picked up at Hamers&Bikkels. They gave me a complete wildcard, up unto the point where I got to rename the entire company. Among multiple proposals, they picked out their current moniker Hamers&Bikkels, which translates as Hammers and Tough Men. In Dutch, the correct phrase would be Hamers & Sikkels, which translates to Hammers and Sickles. The name was picked up quickly due to the pun, but was also taken seriously due to the structured design of the identity.
The launch-site was set up to show off their professionalism in an effective yet playful manner. It contained static content, a link to the photo- and video-sections, and a fresh view at their new corporate ID.
Their new logo was a combination of an old-style pirate flag and a crossed handsaw and hammer. The former to associate with the free-will attitude of the groups associated with the pirate-flag symbol, and the latter to associate with the workforce of the Soviet Hammer and Sickle. The combination is not only used as a mark on it's own, but the two symbols are used separately to accentuate the different aspects of the company.

I used Helvetica Medium Condensed, due to it's excellent readability, and it's position as a recognized typeface. The Condensed style pushed the letters to a less generic platform, as the standard Medium often implies a lack of research into the chosen font.
Our reaction to the early drafts was increasingly positive. After just a couple of days, we found something that we were perfectly happy with. Our only concern was the reaction of our more conservative clients. It seems though, that in today's world a good idea makes you stand out of the crowd!

Two sides of the business-card, in European sizes. The graphic on the front of the cards symbolizes the two sides of the company: Hard work and a different attitude. The large sheet is used for working drafts of running projects, printed on European A3 format.
The words Hamers en Bikkels were simplified by the use of an ampersand. An ampersand can make or break a design, so I decided to continue the line of 'attitude' and 'structure'. I divided Helvetica's ampersand into two halves, and kept only the defining part, with the beginning and ending serif's of the character. The result is somewhere between a symbol and a genuine character, but still very much recognizable as an ampersand.
Following the launch of our new look, we forwarded some of our e-mail to Bas to keep him updated with all the positive responses we got from our clients. His reaction was 'Your e-mail needs the corporate signature, but I'm still proud!'