Mast’s identity for Carter+Co reflects the sincere and transparent ethos of the real estate firm
Carter+Co is a commercial real estate firm tackling the lack of transparency in the industry, as witnessed by founder Travis Carter throughout his prior decades of experience. The San Diego-based firm also takes a rather unconventional approach, choosing to only represent tenants instead of landlords. When preparing to launch the firm, Carter reached out to Mast to help bring the brand’s image to life. Based in Colorado, the design and branding studio have created an identity that is an extension of Carter’s buoyant, warm personality and fresh perspective.
Transparency is a core motif throughout, matching the company’s mission to deliver transparency through everything it does. Furthermore, it was important for the brand to subvert expectations by delivering a brand identity “with heart” that isn’t saccharine or stereotypical. Instead, the design system delivers a deeper connection to the company; combining warming and straightforward components to deliver sincerity and transparency.
When developing the core elements of the identity, it was essential that a modern monogram was created with Carter’s ideals in mind. Creative Director Travis Ladue reveals that an off the shelf typeface was not used: “the monogram is all custom,” he tells us. The monogram’s design consists of the two Cs of Carter+Co contained within a circle. With its consistent thick line weight and stamp-like application, the contained logo reinforces the company’s trustworthiness. In addition, the nested character is intended to represent Carter’s connection to their clients.
Regarding the choice of typeface, Ladue tells us that “Carter+Co operates upon the core tenants of transparency, advocacy, and professionalism,” so “we could think of no better typeface to help tell that story than Aeonik.” Aeonik by London-based CoType is a balanced combination of neo-grotesk and geometric forms and appears in various sizes alongside scenic photographs or linear illustrations. When appearing on out-of-home brand touchpoints such as billboards, these simple yet considered stylistic elements allow the clever copywriting to capture the attention of passersby.
Mast also incorporated Carter’s passion for surfing into the brand identity through the choice of a calming seafoam green. The choice also acts as a subtle nod to the company’s ethos of transparency due to the connotations of water and clarity. This gentle shade of green, combined with striking monochromatic shades of black, white, and light grey, creates a unifying colour palette that aims to be serious yet personable.