Markforged is a maker of industrial metal and carbon fiber 3D printers, materials, and software leading the Digital Manufacturing revolution.
With a unique combination of a background in mechanical engineering and a passion for beautiful, functional design, I was able to significantly elevate the visual presence of this engineering-forward brand in a way that resonated with its primary audience. This included a high-visibility brand refresh and web design project; art direction and/or production of over 1,000 photos, 20 videos (100k+ views), 8 whitepapers, and critical website updates; managing small teams of in-house designers, contractors, and agencies; managing a six-figure budget for creative resources; establishing effecient design operations and systems; and directly collaborating with cross-functional partners in Product, Engineering, Customer Success, and C-Suite.
Over my first several months as Creative Lead, I set out to scope the state of our current brand, and in the process, make it both consistent and elevated in quality. This involved surveying our team, visiting and interviewing customers at their facilities, generating new visual content and resources, and establishing templates and brand guidelines. In 2019, I brought on the brilliant team, Anton + Irene, to work with us on a brand refresh and total website redesign.
Markforged is a challenger brand. Through a combination of hardware, software, and materials, it’s shifting the pace of innovation and revolutionizing the way things are made. Once a user gets their hands on our products, they understand immediately what a difference a smart, simple, reliable, and robust platform can make to their manufacturing operations. They feel empowered. They become loyal. But before getting their hands on our products? Potential users hardly knew about us. We had a huge gap in brand awareness and positioning. We needed to differentiate our identity from competitors in a bold and consistent way, both in messaging and visuals.
It was clear that the best platform for us to use to unveil our new branding was our website, our primary interface with prospective customers and the world at large. Furthermore, we had struggled for years to wrangle a hastily constructed backend and CMS, and this was a prime opportunity to clean it up and make it scalable for future content. I served as internal creative director and content creator, relying on our web developer as the back-end stakeholder, our upper marketing, product, and executive team as respective stakeholders, and the ingenuity of Anton + Irene to help us design the fundamental page layouts. The site is now built on Craft CMS and a full design system guiding the visual identity and content infrastructure.
For perspective, this is what the website looked like in 2018–19. Prior to our rebranding and redesign project, my design team, including myself, had served as design support to the in-house Website Lead in creating new pages and updating old ones. These one-offs were necessary to enable our Sales and Marketing team, but we advocated for a design system and the additional legwork that might entail from the beginning.
* please forgive the visual errors due to screen capture
Under my leadership, Markforged shipped its first-ever materials launch videos, tutorial videos, application spotlights, live webinars, highlight reel for press coverage, first product videos since early 2017, and a series of new global customer case study videos. 100k+ views on YouTube alone hint at the significant impact these videos had on sales enablement and customer education.
This video is f*king great. I want it to be posted on every channel, everywhere, right now.
Graphics + Ad Design
I was responsible for producing all visual content for our digital presence across the web, including display ads, banner ads, tradepub ads, and other graphics as needed. This often involved working from a creative brief, but could also start with me proposing or defining a new campaign strategy in collaboration with our marketing managers. Here is a small sample of ads pulled from multiple campaigns.
Digital + Print Collateral
I also produced all visual content for our digital and print collateral, including whitepapers, design guides, case studies, flyers, sales sheets, pitch decks, executive presentations, and more. Here is a sample of pages pulled from educational content created in collaboration with our content engineers, displaying my technical imagery and layouts.
High-quality imagery raises the public perception of the Markforged brand. I both personally photographed and art directed photoshoots with our customers, facilities, employees, products, and processes for use on our website, marketing collateral, social media, tradeshow booths, online store, executive presentations, and more.
Scroll down for a sample gallery and check out vault.markforged.com to see a curated public library of 1000+ photos I’ve captured, edited, or art directed.