Carbon Partners

Branding, Website, and Newsletter design and development for an executive recruitment firm.

Jul 2016


Kevin Buckby and Benjamin Christian are executive recruiters with more than 15 years of experience. Executive recruiters help their clients find and hire candidates for C-Level roles in their companies. Startups and enterprises alike rely on executive recruiters to fill some of the most influential positions in their companies.

Being in the search industry for as long as they have, Kevin and Ben wanted to solve some of the problems they noticed in existing firms. Carbon Partners, Kevin and Ben’s nascent firm, needed an online identity to get started. This is where I came in.


During our kick off call Kevin and Ben made it abundantly clear that Carbon Partners’s branding needed to be simple. They were tired of the over bearing, intensely corporate, brands that many of their peer firms sport. Carbon Partners, needed to be minimalist, youthful, and focused.

Kevin and Ben originally contracted me to build a website for Carbon Partners, but given the specificity of the brand goals, I decided that we should spend the first few weeks of the project on branding.



A logo is one of the most essential parts of any brand. It is the literally face of a company and like a face, often the first thing consumers see. As the brand goals dictated, the logo for Carbon Partners needed simple. We started with combination marks, but eventually settled on a simple word mark in DIN.

Brand Guide

A brand guide is a detailed specification of the choices one should make when representing a company. They are used to create website, social media pages, brochure, business cards - you name it. Further, brand guides are a means to ensure consistency in a company's appearance and communications, which is integral in building consumer trust. The brand guides we developed describes logo usage, brand colors, type and text styles, and rules for using graphics. 


The first decision made in the development process was to host the site on Squarespace. One of Kevin and Ben's requests was that it be easy to make small changes to the website without needing to write code. Squarespace stood out as the obvious choice because of their suite of simple yet powerful content editing tools. 

The structure of the website is a single page with a floating navigation that allows you to easily jump between sections. The first section has a fairly standard layout, so we played close attention to the image choice. It was mean to communicate grit, efficiency, and garner intrigue. The second section, which contains the mission statement, also appeals to that minimalistic style. The mission statement is the only element on the page and has high contrast so it really stands out. The third section is a portfolio and lists all of the companies that they have placed candidates for. The fourth section features a custom testimonial carousel. To implement this I had to use Squarespace's custom types API which allows you to customize the type of data stored and the interface to edit it. The last two sections, about and contact, are fairly standard on this type of website.


Next, we looked at rethinking job dossiers. Dossiers are a fairly central part of the search process. It's purpose is to provide background information on a company, information on the market opportunity, their product or service, the role they are hiring for, and the expectations of the position they are hiring for. Normally this information is synthesized into a word document or pdf and emailed to the candidate. This limitation of this approach is that it is difficult to incorporate multimedia components or to update the dossiers once they've been sent.

To overcome these limitations we decided to build an online dossier system into the website. The system allows Kevin and Ben to build a dossier using images, videos, embeds, maps, etc, and send a custom link to the candidate. This allows them to, for example, embed a product demo, play a marketing video from the company, or add a map for the office. Further, they can secure each dossier so that it is only viewable by the candidate it is meant for. 


Final part of our project was developing an email template for a biweekly newsletter. Kevin and Ben have a lot of people in their network, both by virtue of their experience and necessitation of their industry. A large number of their contacts are founders and venture capitalists, both integral points of contact in finding potential clients. The newsletters purpose is to keep everyone in their network aware of the positions that Kevin and Ben place. This newsletter serves to build credibility as their portfolio continues to increase.