BASIC Culture Manual Website Design and Branding Case Study

Branding & Website Design

Setting new standards for the employee onboarding process


As BASIC was approaching its 8th year in business, we were in the process of scaling up our team to more than double the size within 6 months, as well as open new office in Mountain View, California.

As we prepared to scale the agency, it was clear we needed to establish our own plan for growth – one that would guide and motivate our team and ensure our values and vision remained intact.


Our experience, commitment to the culture, and dedication to our craft have become key parts of our business strategy and a huge part of what makes us different. With future plans for expansion at the beginning of the new year, our agency leaders arranged a 3 day off-site workshop to focus on the business. We used this as an opportunity to re-examine who we are, what we do, and what we stand for. We also re-aligned our company values and core purpose with a clear focus on building an agency that people want to be a part of.

A few goals we established from our workshop...

  • Build alignment internally for our collective future
  • Establish a new way for us to onboard employees
  • Create something different to help win the battle for talent by providing people with a deep look into our culture and ways of doing things

The Solution

To help strengthen our company culture and attract world class talent, we created the BASIC Culture Manual – an online guide for new hires that helps streamline the employee onboarding process and build alignment towards our collective future.

Building cultural alignment in a sea of sameness

The online culture manual was designed for employees, by employees. We challenged our internal teams across design, development, and production to replace the conventional employee onboarding packet with a new story-driven digital platform and forward-facing visual design language we could call our own.

Passion, grit, and a love for the hustle

To define the visual system for the new culture manual, we went through a branding exercise of our own. We had a solid visual foundation in place, but felt we had lost a bit of our edge and personality in that identity… things had become too minimal and stale. To establish some characteristics for our new design system, we took a deep look at who we are as people, what connects us, what excites us, and ultimately what best represents us.

Through brainstorm sessions, collaborative moodboards, and initial designs, we landed on a refreshing new look we could call our own – one that would connect with our clients, our community, as well as potential new hires. This new visual design language lives at the intersection of Swiss minimalism and artistic expression. We introduced a new typographic framework and hand drawn illustration style juxtaposed as similar yet contrasting styles for focus and visual interest. The new photographic direction brings our diverse personalities forward in a bold and differentiated way.

A digital experience built for global growth

The new site takes the traditional PDF manual into the digital space. To do so, we simplified the experience by breaking down each page into four unique chapters that bring our values, people, and expectations to the forefront. By surfacing individual Q&A’s from individual team members, and a list of our favorite local spots in each city, we were able to provide a closer look at the people and places that are moving our company culture forward.

Custom built with mobile in mind

We originally built the site to act as our future guide for on boarding employees and introducing the world to our agency culture. As word of the new site spread through social, one of our primary challenges was adapting the site to mobile without compromising performance. To make sure the site was able to perform fluidly across devices, we built the site using a custom javascript framework on CraftCMS. The site also utilizes WebGL to bring the 3D animations to life.