Idaho’s oldest continually operating architecture firm was in desperate need of a new look.
CSHQA, founded in 1889 by William Campbell (the “C” in CSHQA), is responsible for many of Idaho’s most iconic buildings. But its website was not living up to the firm’s stellar reputation and did not reflect the company’s nationwide growth and influence — it was 10 years old and dated.
“Plus, it was difficult to update, not search friendly, and not mobile friendly,” says KK Lipsey, CSHQA’s business development director. “As a company, we were re-branding ourselves in our office space, our messaging, and our work. We needed a site that could support that vision and transformation.”
CSHQA formed a task force and tapped Carew Co for its website project. In Carew Co, CSHQA found another business that puts a lot of value in what clients have to say — and the architecture firm wanted to say a lot about their brand, their history, and their skills. The new website had to be completely searchable, mobile-friendly, adaptive, and easy for CSHQA staff to change and operate.
Natalie Cragin worked as Carew Co’s design lead. “Paul was really pushing us to innovate for this website design,” she says. “While looking through their office photos, I noticed they didn’t shy away from bold colors. I was very inspired by their use of different colored lights on the outside of their building and the colors painted inside on their walls. It made me very confident in my choice to make this website rather colorful and bold.”
Natalie added many other details: The slash angle used on the site’s slider pages reflects the A in CSHQA’s logo, while stacked photos supplement hero images. She had to find a way to showcase CSHQA’s many specialties — the firm has six offices across the country and more than 100 talented employees — so she adopted a modular approach that gives each specialty its due.
Projects are also highly searchable: Look up an aviation project, for example, and the screen will populate with similar projects that might be of interest to the reader.
“The search functions, whether looking for projects or people or media stories, and super fast and useful,” KK says. “When you click on a person to read their bio, you see an image of that person over a backdrop of the city where they work. This gives immediate identity to our staff, and a very real sense of national reach.”
The response to the new website has been fantastic, KK says, and the SEO is already helping CSHQA’s searchability.
“The process was amazing and hard work and so rewarding,” she says. “The end result kicks it up 10 notches from before.”