Branding a financial business that lives inside a law firm

After redesigning Choate’s law firm website, we turned our attention to rebranding their investment advisory, and developing a new website for it. Federal regulations mandate that the two businesses operate independently and that their names and trade dress be distinct from one another. We designed a brand identity that dovetails but appropriately contrasts with the law firm identity, introduced a new symbol evoking financial growth, and reskinned a number of the templates developed for the law firm website to save time and reduce costs.

“We faced an interesting branding challenge: Carve out our own clear identity while remaining true to the culture and character that got us here. Thinkso helped us do both.” Todd Millay, Managing Director, Choate Investment Advisors

The logotype uses the line lengths of the three words in the company name to create a graph motif. Combined with the emerald colorway, which is a reference to their sustainable investing approach, it also suggests financial growth in a more general sense. Finally, we used the recently reworked firm logotype for the Choate name to signal a connection between the two entities.

Another small but effective detail of the identity is the shorthand logotype. Saddled with an unfortunate acronym (CIA), we introduced an alternate nickname (ChoateIA) with the same number of syllables and created a secondary logotype for it.

You wouldn’t know it, but the site is largely comprised of a set of reskinned web templates originally created for choate.com. New color and typographic palettes provide a distinct flavor as compared to the firm site, while a custom auto-load intro delivers key ChoateIA messaging.

Anticipating future needs, custom photography was created during the original choate.com shoot along with recommendations for how to update and upgrade site imagery down the road.

While the creation of basic staff headshots followed a similar prescription as those of Choate attorneys, staff bios are presented using a color change and a unique dropdown menu that displays easily accessible individual bios within a team context.

The site repurposes functionality introduced in the choate.com build such as drawers, jump links, and a robust search feature.