August 15, 2019
We have been working with Jones Day off and on for 25+ years of its storied 125-year history. The design of their new website is certainly one of the most important moments in that partnership. Cherie Olland, the firm’s former CMO for an unheard-of tenure of XX years, passed the baton to Despina Kartson, who is in the midst of her own remarkable career. All of that time, we have also worked with Joe Altobelli, their Creative Director. The partner in charge of the effort was Bob XXXXX. We recount all the players because the values of the firm emphasize collaboration and teamwork. They actually live their tagline, “One Firm Worldwide,” which leads to long relationships on all sides.
Our most important job was not the details of the site design, although every detail was scrutinized with care. Our task was to communicate those values of the firm its members believe so earnestly. The solution was complex. The home page launches a film about the values that is both metaphorical and literal. An orchestra, for example, beautifully displays “multidisciplinary skills” in concert together. (All of the scenes were filmed at various offices of the firm.) Getting all of this just right was no slam dunk. The matrix of values, subject matter and settings went through, dare we say, countless iterations. Fortunately, Jones Day is not run by committee but by hand-picked leaders whose judgment is corroborated by the few they know to be critical to the final decision. How else could a 2,300 lawyer firm operate?
Developing an illustration style for interior pages was identified as a separate challenge altogether. The firm wanted a small battery of images associated with each value they could use again and again across all applications. Designers reading this will recognize how ambitious the undertaking. After all, how can one or two images work, for example, across a suite of sponsorship ads—for a golf tourney, a BBQ, the Opera, or the Lion’s Club? But what you give away in images to match the subject matter, you gain in consistency of look and feel across communications. Why even attempt it? To quash the free-for-all of partner demands (after all, each is an owner of the business) for imagery that sucks up monumental hours of marketing staff time.
While Jones Day will probably not change its logo anytime soon. We feel offices deserve more than just a Google map with directions to the nearest hotel. In a firm this large, the capabilities actually present in the office are meaningful to clients. You might believe that belies the One Firm Worldwide credo but research shows local is important to buyers, perhaps especially for professional services. Why else would Google try to buy GroupOn a few years ago?