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METAL RABBIT

Metal Rabbit Media, 2018
— Brand Strategy, Design, & Development —

Metal Rabbit

  • Concept Development
    Creative Direction
    Art Direction
    Wireframing
    Front-End Development
    Brand Strategy
    Motion Design
    Logo Design
    Copywriting
  • Background

  • METAL RABBIT is a marketing and reputation management consultancy in Brooklyn specializing in social media and digital marketing campaigns for film, television, entertainment brands, and talent across all major platforms.

  • Challenge

  • Promote METAL RABBIT with a website and social media campaign that reinforces the company's expertise in creating intrigue and driving engagement through a cohesive, bespoke digital presence.

  • Inspiration

  • Our experiences developing creative strategies and promotional content for films taught myself and my fellow team members at Metal Rabbit how helpful it is to have strong source material when creating the look for a campaign. With strong source material, we could handle studio assets with a light touch, which allowed us to preserve the spirit of the film and give audiences an accurate portrayal of its look and feel.

    Considering how much a strong visual foundation enabled the success of our campaign work, we decided to give extra time and care to setting a strong visual foundation for the project of revamping the Metal Rabbit company website.

    The visual foundation for film campaigns typically consisted of any existing material cleared for promotion such as set photography, source footage, or an After Effects comp of a title sequence. Since we didn't have any of these kinds of artifacts to guide the visual direction of our website, we created one by redesigning our logo. What started as a website refresh soon became a brand overhaul, which really wasn't all that drastic of a move since our brand footprint was entirely digital.

  • Metal Rabbit Logo
  • Logo Design

    Although the skeuomorphic logo from 2015 was a nice literal reference to the rabbit being made out of metal, it looked clunky and inconsistent when paired with the flat UI design we wanted for the new website. So we scrapped the metal look, and I designed a new version more aligned with our objectives for the logo to be well-suited for any digital application and so simple it's impossible to ignore.

    A new version more aligned with our objectives for the logo to be well-suited for any digital application and so simple it's impossible to ignore.

  • Approach

  • Experience Design

    As planned, the process of refreshing the logo inspired the direction for the website. With the metal cladding removed from the rabbit symbol, the only remaining visual element was a solid black outline of the rabbit. We were drawn to the simplicity of the black, uniform width line, especially with its function as a border between similar shades of color. So I began to explore ways to use this composition of fundamental visual elements as a pattern throughout the site.

    With the metal cladding removed from the rabbit symbol, the only remaining visual element was a solid black outline of the rabbit

    After a few days of research, a couple of brainstorming sessions, and a week of rapid prototyping, I surfaced a way to graphically extend the logo into the site's whitespace. During this time, we collected feedback from our clients and uncovered the user need for a very simple site structure.

  • Visual Design

    The previous website's urban startup aesthetic was slick but cold, and cityscapes as subject matter were irrelevant to the work we did beyond alluding to where we did it.

    Instead of relying on imagery for aesthetic appeal, we zeroed in on typography to play this role, which made it easier to maintain a minimalist style and also played to my strengths. We knew a typographic system that would strike a balance between prestigous and approachable would resonate with our clients since our key selling point was our complimentary expertise in both reputation management and digital marketing. For headers, I chose a bold titling serif that's a modern take on Bodoni, a font often used to express elegance. For body text, I chose a geometric sans-serif font with a playful, euro-casual feel.

    Key selling point was our complimentary expertise in both reputation management and digital marketing

    The site’s minimalist design reinforces Metal Rabbit's strategic design capabilities, with airy negative space creating impossible to ignore simplicity — the kind of attention grabbing you would expect from a company concepting, creating, and placing digital ads and campaigns. The obscured rabbit logo further reinforces this idea while also giving a nod to the company’s position as a black-ops online reputation firm.

  • Motion Design

    Threading motion throughout each section of the site brought energy and depth to the flat design. Additionally, even though the animations didn't serve a functional purpose for our users, they played an important role of providing substance to a nearly text-less site.

  • Information Architecture

    Previously, the website featured content with detailed information about our work. But we chose an essentials-only approach to content for three primary reasons:

    • To set the tone that heavy lifting is our responsibility

    • To reduce cognitive load and respect the user's time

    • To connect with users in a natural way — mirroring a real world interaction, like a handshake

    The removal of excess content from our main site signaled a departure from a one-size-fits-all approach. We tailored strategy to the needs of each client and wanted our site to reflect that. So we made deeper, custom analysis available upon request.

  • The minimal site design provided an ideal template for rapidly publishing microsites with custom strategies delivered as interactive proposals.

  • Implementation

  • Metal Rabbit Website
  • Social Strategy

  • Before the brand refresh, Metal Rabbit's Instagram page served as a best-of channel for our creative. But with designs delivered for a wide range of films and industries, our page lacked cohesion and an identity of its own.

    Aesthetically speaking, it was difficult to see a common thread between promotional material for Sing Street and Cartel Land, for example.

    Fortunately, it was around this time when Instagram released the carousel feature for posts, which provided a way to improve how we showcased our work. We organized each post as an individual project and designed cover images that carried over the visual system established by our website and fit together into a larger image when viewed as a grid.

  • Results

  • We launched the new site at the end of 2017. Here are the stats showing how it performed in 2018:

    • arrow_upward5.2%

      Users

    • arrow_upward15.4%

      Sessions

    • arrow_downward8.4%

      Bounce Rate

    • arrow_upward187.3%

      Session Duration

  • With regards to lead generation, we aimed for higher quality and lower quantity by removing our contact form and presenting our company email address without the mailto link, which made the process of getting in touch with us more deliberate for the user.

    Our research indicated that users who wanted to send an email preferred to copy the email address and paste it into their mail client of choice. Although we weren't able to track this behavior, our inbox was consistently full of qualified leads, which was a good indication that the strategy was working.

    Out of the above metrics, the increased session duration stands out an speaks to the overall success of the project considering how much content we removed from the site. This finding suggests that our users were more engaged by a visually dynamic experience over text-heavy content.

CREDITS

  • Credits

    • CD/AD/DEV – Christopher Newman

      Founder & CEO – Bryce Tom

      VP, Entertainment – Ian Tarbert

      Director of Digital Operations – Matthew Cleckner