OmniTI is a company of unique character. They're a bit like Magnum, but with a goatee rather than a mustache: So good at what they do they could wear dodgy shorts to work and it wouldn't matter. When I visited the head office in Columbia, Maryland, there's a hush that wasn't even broken when a huge traffic spike hit the already busy site of their Webby Award-winning client, National Geographic. They just switched to helping the site over the hump, then returned to the regular schedule. The quiet there is like the hush of a fan when the computer isn't struggling, but just getting things done. Have a good look around though and you'll see other glimpses into their character like Clinton's precision engineered Lego Technics digger.
Just over a decade after OmniTI was founded, they're recognised by their peers as once of the foremost scalability, performance and security companies working today. Their people have some of the best minds in the business. Their client list is full of organisations like Digg, Friendster, Facebook and Ning; a veritable who's who of superstar Web 2.0 companies.
We were lucky to get to work on their identity and site. The brief was pretty open: For the identity, the existing brand needed a refresh. We cleaned, polished and tenderly ministered to it producing a leaner, more flexible logomark that still retained echoes of the original in the treatment of type and iconography. You can read more about the logo design process on my own site.
The web site was re-written from the ground up. We collaborated with OmniTI on everything, from the information architecture to the copy writing. The objective was to properly reflect the personality of the organisation, and communicate the quality of what they do in a simple way. No easy task when the output of the company is, for all intents and purposes, invisible. How do you communicate what “scalability” is visually? We took a novel approach that rejected the usual visual techniques of trying to merge imagery with abstract ideas. We deliberately took an approach that relies heavily on typography and content to paint the picture of the company. Much of the content is direct quotes from Clients, and examples of work done; in our opinion a much more valuable way to see who they are and what they do. Again, you can read much more about the process and some of the details we loved implementing in my blog entry about OmniTI, or that of my colleague Jon Gibbins, who's written about the accessible AJAX that went into the interface.
That's quite enough from us, this is what the CTO of OmniTI, Chris Shiflett had to say about what we did together:
I've had the privilege of working with Jon Tan and Jon Gibbins on multiple occasions now and am still impressed by their attention to detail. As a perfectionist myself, it's comforting to know that they take as much care in my web site as I do. If you want the best, look no further.
Design, like beauty, is more than skin deep. Jon Tan's design takes your business objectives and target audience into account, creating an impeccable user experience that also happens to be pretty. I enjoy hearing from people who love our web site, but what really makes me smile is knowing our web site is attracting new business. It takes more than pretty to do that.
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