Fuss & O’Neill Branding and Website Redesign

Changing Brand Perception of a Multidisciplinary Engineering Firm


Scope: Brand research and insights, stakeholder interviews, brand strategy and platform, naming, visual identity and brand language, messaging and copywriting, marketing collateral system and templates, website updates, social media templates, brand rollout strategy and internal and external brand launch plan

Fuss & O’Neill rebrand and web design

With a brand identity, message and marketing communications that no longer served its needs, Fuss & O’Neill engaged Substance151 to develop a new brand strategy and message aligned with the firm’s current capabilities, industry standing and unique culture.

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Research and Strategy: Translating Insight into Brand Possibilities

Substance151 designed an internal perceptions survey and conducted a competitive audit to identify Fuss & O’Neill’s most differentiating attributes. We distilled and refined the information into a matrix of five brand themes, each representing a compelling and unique truth about the firm.

fuss & o’neill rebrand brand research

A facilitated strategic discussion around the matrix guided Fuss & O’Neill in choosing a perception that was both true today and aspirational: To be known as a firm of problem solvers and thought leaders.

In other words, the selected brand perception leveraged Fuss & O’Neill’s existing strengths while inspiring the firm to achieve even more.

Working closely with our consultant, Ida Cheinman, was an invaluable experience. She expertly guided us to emphasize our strengths, ensuring that our brand identity authentically represents who we are.

Bringing “Problem Solvers and Thought Leaders” to Life

With the new brand foundation in place, Substance151 translated “Problem Solvers and Thought Leaders” into the firm’s new tagline, visual identity and website. To inform the new brand identity, expressions and marketing communications, we established six brand personality attributes to guide the brand voice, tone and design choices.

fuss & o’neill rebrand brand personality

Tagline: Solve better. Go further.

Substance151 developed a tagline that communicates the Fuss & O’Neill core promise, as well as the larger value delivered through that promise.

The new tagline also communicates to the employees that their contribution to the Fuss & O’Neill core strength and key competitive differentiator is recognized, while offering explicit instructions on how to embody the brand.

Visual Identity

Guided by the above brand personality, the visual identity and all brand expressions are modern, smart, dynamic and fully aligned with the new, more progressive brand.

The old logo’s soft colors and thin typeface made it difficult for Fuss & O’Neill to stand out among competitors’ identities. The new bold mark and strong colors make the firm’s graphic communications highly visible, no matter the application or medium.

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The website underwent a complete overhaul. We improved site architecture, created more intuitive navigation, and incorporated the new brand and highly visual aesthetic.

Fuss & O’Neill web design mobile

With an ambitious goal to develop a client-centric, high-performing website, we began by reorganizing a confusing site structure and developing a new architecture and navigation that not only makes it easy for site visitors to find the exact information they are looking for but is easily scalable to accommodate future growth.

The built-in elastic search provides an intuitive, conversational option for visitors to search for information – “What can we help you find?” This Google-like search functionality also allows the Fuss & O’Neill marketing team to strategically curate what information gets served higher up in the site’s search results.

Fuss & O’Neill web elastic search

The new “Insights” section presents thought leadership content with easy-to-use filters and a robust search function. The “related projects” and “related insights” cross-promote the firm’s breadth of services and connect its projects, people, thought leadership and technical offerings.

Incorporating employee spotlights and quotes throughout the website showcases the Fuss & O’Neill team beyond its leadership page and allows both prospective clients and employees to get to know the firm better.

Contextually relevant calls to action (CTAs) provide a clear path for visitors to engage, request more information, contact an expert, fill out an inquiry form or sign up for email updates. Following the new lead generation and conversion strategy, every page creates an opportunity for visitors to explore further and take action.

The new design, UX and functionality support Fuss & O’Neill’s business goals and provide the firm with a flexible, scalable and effective online marketing and recruitment tool.

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The new design, UX and functionality support Fuss & O’Neill’s business goals and provide the firm with a flexible, scalable and effective online marketing and recruitment tool.

Rollout Strategy and Plan: Asserting the New Brand Perception

Substance151 developed a comprehensive rollout plan that addressed each of the firm’s key audiences – internal and external.

The internal rollout strategy centered around helping employees understand, embrace and embody the attitudes, behaviors and actions necessary to reinforce the new brand.

As part of this, we conceived an extensive brand education program delivered through a series of events and activities designed to provide evidence of existing thought leadership and inspire employees to stretch themselves even further.

The public launch set the direction for all future marketing communications, giving Fuss & O’Neill a complete toolbox for making its new brand real.


With a brand that accurately reflects what Fuss & O’Neill stands for, the firm is confident in its ability to engage audiences with a far more accurate, meaningful and compelling message.

The new brand has motivated Fuss & O’Neill to set a higher bar around thought leadership, “If we are going to do this, then let’s really do it!” This aspiration that was made achievable by the brand rollout plan that lays out a clear and detailed roadmap.

Working with the Substance151 team was an exceptional experience. We chose Substance151 because of their professionalism and deep expertise in the AEC market, which was crucial for us.

Ida took charge of the process and held us accountable in the kind yet direct manner we needed. Their honesty and dedication to what was best for us, rather than just telling us what we wanted to hear, were invaluable.

The website Substance151 delivered perfectly reflects our firm’s new brand and its strong legacy, striking the ideal balance between a future-forward identity and a century-long tradition of excellence. Ida and her team are true professionals and experts in their field.. Ida and her team are true professionals and experts in their field.

Kathy Nanowski, MBA, CPSM, Vice President, Director of Marketing & BD, Fuss & O’Neill

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