Cole Johnson
digital designer

Layline Advisors

A confident brand for an industry where client relations and trust take paramount.


Branding and Web Design




Rochester, NY


Lead Designer

Independent financial advisors with fiduciary responsibility break the mold in traditional advisement. As an independent advisor, you're not only selling an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar banks, you're selling yourself and your process. My client was referred to me by the folks at Makeway, my previous internship. I lead the design of a website and a brand for an experienced advisor opening his own firm.

Branding  - Website  -  Challenges

My client had come from a family firm, but was looking to start to his own operation. With a huge focus on client relationships, it was key to spotlight my client in the website, putting a face to name, aiming for transparency. The brand itself followed themes of ocean palettes and geometric shapes.

The logo represents a positive change in state, starting with an off-kilter colorless state, and ending right side up in "Layline Blue" representing the transition from having no financial foresight, to being financially prudent with the help of Layline Advisors.

Research was done with other independent firms, seeing how they marketed themselves and where they fell short. I put a lot of time thinking about how different users would traverse the site, thinking about the different paths they would take and what they would see. The perfect path ended with a site visitor getting in contact with an advisor, and well placed "call-to-action" signifiers helped achieve this.

Digestible copy shaped into scannable sections help get information across quickly.

A developer was contracted to build the website from my designs. I enjoyed working with the dev remotely and one-on-one, fine tuning UX and answering questions. It was tough, however, to hand over my work to someone else and not be able to completely control the level of detail. But I think in those situations, you need to trust your developer and be proactive with your comments.

A problem that I underestimated at first was getting content late in the process. I knew in a sense what would be shown, but at time I felt as though I was designing a box without knowing what was going inside. Even once I received the copy it was a challenge breaking down the vast amount of content that the client wanted to say into small digestible paragraphs.

It was incredibly rewarding working on my own and one-on-one with my client. Check out the full site here.