Thursday, January 25, 2007

Stoneworth Subtle

“Below the radar” is one way to put it. But the principals of Stoneworth Financial here in Houston, Evan Betzer and Charles Harris, made a better point about a recent three-part project.

“We’re guides and servants for our customers,” Evan said. “We want them to be thrilled at the end of the transaction – and we’re not the heroes of the story. They are.”

The word you seek is “subtle.” After an era when Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) firms bathed in a triumphant public light (and some still do), Stoneworth Financial wants to maintain its quiet, graceful presence in the regional marketplace. For its five-year anniversary, the principals asked me for three things.

First, re-design the Stoneworth horse from its original, graphically complex Chinese watercolor style to an image that’s still classy, but easier to understand and reproduce on letterhead and business cards.

Second, help clarify and sharpen the firm’s story in terms of copy – that is, a more understandable sales proposition that emphasizes its approach to customer relationships.

Third, modify the look of the company’s website for additional clarity – a new look without departing from its primary guideline: Stoneworth is a financial firm and wants to preserve that dignity.

Subtlety is harder than stridency. Fortunately, I had the design help of Kay Krenek and the illustration capabilities of Mike Dean…and they deserve the credit for staying faithful to our clients’ direction. I’m particularly fond of the green-and-silver look…we keep calling the verdant color greenback. (Evan would like to find another word.)

As for the writing – well, click through to the site and judge for yourself.

There’s a story behind “The Stoneworth Horse,” by the way. You can read it for yourself on the new website – it’s intimately connected to the reason Evan and Charles feel that subtlety is the better part of success. My thanks to them, such excellent clients.

1 comment:

Evan Betzer said...

RLB, we had a compliment on the website today at lunch and one I received recently from someone I respect highly (see below). Thought you'd be happy. EB.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ruth Manfredi
"hi evan...by the way, LOVE the story about why the horse is on your website."