Company Rebranding

California Sheet Metal


California Sheet Metal has been the top sheet metal fabricator and subcontractor in San Diego for more than 100 years. They work with architects, owners and contractors in the concept, design, production and installation phases of projects both large and small — and in the process have put their stamp on some of the most iconic landmarks on the West Coast, including San Diego’s Main Library dome, Horton Plaza’s light sculpture “luminaries,” and decorative building facades for corporate and educational campuses like Petco, Qualcomm, UCSD, and more. But the brand’s marketing materials weren’t keeping up with the industry-leading work being produced by the company.

logo + tagline • style guide • responsive website • videos • portfolio photography • case studies • marketing collateral


Over the course of their 100+ year history, California Sheet Metal has continually pushed the industry forward, marrying “old school” traditions of craftsmanship with modern materials and processes. The result is a company on the leading edge of their field, whose projects showcase sophistication at scale. But there’s a flipside to a proud century of tradition – and that’s a hesitancy to embrace change. A carefully researched and persuasive approach was required – one that could get all stakeholders on board with a bold new direction for the brand.


Their role as a “supplier-builder” who fabricates metalwork for other contractors (“supplier”) but often installs it themselves (“builder”) is not uncommon in their industry. But, parallels in other industries such as Sightglass coffee ("supplier" = coffee beans, “builder" = coffee) and Guittard chocolates (“supplier” = chocolate, “builder” = bars and confections) provided unique insights to inform messaging that would stand out within the sheet metal industry. By leveraging these insights against the results of our extensive industry research, we created a messaging roadmap to lead us forward.


Everything — words, designs, photography and video — laddered back to a messaging architecture that found inspiration in the word “Craftsmanship.” The resulting work captured the ethos of the company — old school traditions of craftsmanship, coupled with modern sophistication and scale.

Visit their website to see it all.

Download the full case study.

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