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A revitalized exterior rebrands a business

In 2014, designCraft’s office lacked an identity and resembled a blank canvas – a structure clad in faded gray vinyl siding with no other discerning features. The advertising firm decided to rebrand their existing location to visually represent who they are as a company.

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March 26, 2019 |

The use of horizontal wood panels warms up the exterior’s appearance and is complemented by the Wave Fixed ribbed panels supplied by metal manufacturer, McElroy Metal. Photo: Barnett Architecture and edited by designCraft

Branding is essential to a business, as it allows individuals to recognize a company, and adds value to their image. A brand doesn’t end at the logo – it encompasses every aspect of an establishment, including the representation of their location. Located in Madison, Wis., designCraft Advertising understands the importance of design because they assist their own customers in developing creative strategies. The advertising firm recognized that the exterior of their building needed an update to reflect their brand ideals.

The architect on the designCraft project – Todd Barnett from Madison, Wis. based Barnett Architecture – explained how the design branding firm, “wanted the building to reflect high design, more than it did at its original condition.” Barnett added, “The challenge was to take a box and come up with a way, using minor additions, to create architecture and form from something you couldn’t alter.”


The contrasting flat and curved elements of the advertising building blend together with assistance from a stained plywood paneled fin. Photo: Todd Barnett.


As he approached the project, Barnett understood that even though they had a limited budget to complete the renovation, it did not mean that they had to have a limited design. The goal for the exterior siding was to find a material that could handle the curvature of the building, and also complement the wooden elements. Barnett chose ribbed metal panels because the substrate would be durable, but easy to install.

From previous experience, Barnett knew that McElroy Metal, based in Bossier City, La., supplied metal wall panels that were dependable and stood up to weathering. Their system also provided a slightly asymmetrical feature, producing different shadow lines across the panels that designCraft desired.

The installer on the project, Metal Design Corporation, placed 2,800 square-feet of McElroy Metal’s Wave Fixed ribbed panels vertically along designCraft’s curved exterior, as well as on the third-floor penthouse. These concealed fastener wall panels, made of 24-gauge Galvalume® steel, were flexible enough to wrap around the contour.


The ribbed panels installed along designCraft’s exterior are coated with Sherwin-Williams’ Fluropon® in the color Buckskin. Photo: Todd Barnett.


Barnett Architecture’s trusted supplier of metal panels, McElroy Metal, partners with Sherwin-Williams to supply their coatings. McElroy Metal features Fluropon® 70% PVDF coatings – manufactured by Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings (formerly Valspar) – on all of their products, including their metal wall panels. McElroy Metal’s Wave Fixed Panels were coated with Fluropon® solar reflective (SR), in the brown shade of Buckskin. Fluropon 70% PVDF coatings are ideal for use on metal wall panel systems, offering high-performance outdoor durability, outstanding color consistency, excellent adhesion, and great flexibility and formability.


Before construction began in 2014, designCraft Advertising’s building encompassed a simple faded gray vinyl siding exterior. Photo: Todd Barnett.


“The durability of the coated metal fits with our commitment to sustainability, and our graphic artists worked with the architect to choose colors that emphasize our creativity,” said Yvette Jones, the President and Creative Director at designCraft.

The advertising firm chose Buckskin because, “it was a color that complemented the wood, but did not distract from the front side of the exterior,” said Barnett. They did not want a color that would have been outdated quickly, or challenge the focus on the main façade.

“Redesigning the exterior allowed us to highlight our brand along a main corridor,” said Jones. “When I meet people they easily connect the building’s rounded corners and distinctive styling with our agency.”


The use of horizontal wood panels warms up the exterior’s appearance and is complemented by the Wave Fixed ribbed panels supplied by metal manufacturer, McElroy Metal. Photo: Todd Barnett.

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