hammock-wood-2Until last week, our new downtown Nashville offices* had been missing something vital: signage featuring the Hammock “H” logo. It was easy to figure out where to hang such a sign—our reception area is right off the elevators–but figuring out how to create it was a tougher decision. Our first choice was to commission a Nashville artisan whose hand-crafted signage was gaining regional appeal. Unfortunately, while we were talking with him, he went from up-and-coming to 100 percent “up,” and his backlog of work meant we’d go for months before getting on his schedule.

We decided then to go the maker route. Having abundant in-house design capabilities, our challenge was to find an artisan with laser-guided saw capabilities and the experience to transform our design files into wood signage. When we discovered such a company that also has mastered the type of post-advertising marketing skills we admire, there was little doubt we’d enjoy working with Oakland, Calif.-based Tinkering Monkey studios.

Our decision to go with wood was based on our desire to balance the high-tech approach of designing and fabricating the signage using digital tools with the high-touch approach of having it crafted, stained and illuminated in a unique way, inspired by some of Tinkering Monkey’s previous work. The way the company allows its customers to follow along in the creation of a sign via high-definition web cams was, in business parlance, an incredible added-value, while in “monkey” parlance, like a fun trip to the zoo. With marketing savvy that matches their craftsmanship, when we let them know we’d like a sample video for this post and a post on SmallBusiness.com, they posted the video below on Vimeo at the same time the sign was being shipped to us. It gave us another example of the smart, savvy ways a company can turn customers into fans.

Below, view the videos and photos of the finished and installed “H” logo.

Sidenote: While we’re comfortably settled into our new space, we’re slowing tweaking its look and feel to enhance our creativity. We believe the place and space of a company can help it grow and flow its brand.

*On Flickr, see before and after photos and a set of pictures from our December open house.