Let me take you back, for a moment, to 2020. I know you might not want to go back there – it ranks pretty low on the list of “best years” – but just trust me on this one.
I started Pink Robot Studios on a brisk autumn day in 2020 for one reason – my cousin Alex approached me asking if I could develop a new website for his growing podcast Think Like An Owner. That’s not the site we’re talking about today, but the one we are talking about is to thank for the genesis of my company. You see, the reason Alex needed a new site was because he had been attracting an influx of sponsors. One of those sponsors was Oberle Risk Strategies.
Oberle Risk Strategies is a specialty insurance broker who proudly calls the sparkling St. Louis, Missouri their home. Founder August Felker approached me in July 2021 with a simple mission: to make a website better than anyone else’s in their field. After researching the competition thoroughly and creating a strong branding guide, we felt confident we could create something that out-classes the rest of them. And I believe we did.
“Classy” is a word that gets thrown around a lot – misused, perhaps, in a trigger-happy American marketing climate whose main strategy is to fly out the gate, buzzwords blazing. In silent retaliation, you won’t hear me throwing it around often. But I feel confident in my one-word assessment of the Oberle Risk Strategies site – classy.
And that class is no accident. August told me he wanted something “top of the line,” so I went to the drawing board. I decided quickly on the bold color scheme, mocking up the hero section rather quickly. Oberle’s motto stuck with me – “above and beyond.” It conjures feelings of mountaintops with flags firmly planted in their summits, the skies above conquered by brave souls.
This imagery, we decided, had to carry into the site even on first glance. This thought process led to the graphic I created of mountaintops right as the user enters the site. That, coupled with our bold and minimal design philosophy, creates an almost ubiquitous feeling of triumph. Funnily enough, mirroring our emotions when the site finally went live after a year in development. (with many long breaks)
This attention to detail and commitment to branding didn’t stop at the hero section, however. Continuing down the homepage, the user will see bold sectioning with ample white space, broken up by crosshatch patterns inspired by our art-deco gold color palette. Images are outlined to make them pop out from the background, and iconography remains consistent throughout the pages.
Speaking of consistency, this was another aspect of great importance to August. One of his main goals of updating Oberle’s site was to give their branding a facelift. He wanted to portray a uniform presence that allowed no chinks in the armor of that “top of the line” vibe. For this reason, early on in the design process of the site, I created a preset “design guide” for myself to make sure everything was consistent across the site. Multiple QA checks assured that vibe was bulletproof.
This site was my longest development period yet – almost a year to the day. Most websites I do only take about a month, so this was a big leap for me.
This time though, I didn’t mind. The people over at Oberle were an absolute pleasure to work with. We had to take multiple long breaks during development due to their busy schedule, but that allowed us to come back to the site refreshed to take a more critical look at what we had done.
The site didn’t change much from our initial plans. We landed on the homepage design immediately, and the other pages came about very naturally around that. It’s always a pleasure when projects come together easily, regardless of how long they take. I felt like if anything, the long development time allowed me to build a more personal connection with Oberle. This was my second time working on a project with them, and I can’t wait for the third.
Oberle’s site is one of my favorites I’ve done so far. I feel like I end up saying that after every site I do, but this one really does it for me. It’s inspired me to take a critical look at my own site and think about what’s next for Pink Robot Studios.
I guess it’s just that kind of site – the kind that inspires you, instills that feeling of triumph, makes you feel…classy.