Web design for Dubai construction and industrial firms M1 Utilities and KONO Contracting

Our recent work for visionary UAE lifestyle business KOA has showcased the full set of key strengths we bring to bear on any design project. Following 18 months of work, the finished designs for each of their companies is at a satisfying junction of completion, allowing me a moment to reflect on all we’ve achieved.

As I consider the endeavour in totality, what’s fascinating is the way that each of these pieces of work has combined high-end creativity with a complete top-down brand vision. This has been keenly collaborative: the team at KOA have been laser-focused on their values and house style, and this has been thoughtfully applied at every stage. Ultimately it’s a project that is completely apart from anything we’ve done for another client, but has elements, techniques and processes that could be applied across the board to branding and web design for Dubai construction and industrial firms.

Today’s blog post gives examples of each element of the KOA project while considering how it could be of use to future projects collaborating with local service-industry businesses. Recent years have successfully taught us that this can be completed both working remotely from our offices in west London, as well as in-person, art directing custom photography for instance, in Dubai.

koa brand design
web design for Dubai construction and industrial firms
web design for Dubai construction and industrial firms

Web design for Dubai construction and industrial firms M1 Utilities and KONO Construction

Defining your brand architecture

The first stage of our work with KOA was to consider their brand in the round both in terms of design and photographic styling. Early work included a stylish re-draw of their logo iconography and considering anew every aspect of the way the company uses type. We took our time over this, sourcing a series of beautiful modern typefaces which are used throughout the project, delivering personality and a distinctive look everywhere they are applied.

The next stage was to consider how each of KOA’s sub brands, the companies they own and manage, would ‘react’ to this. This took a practical approach, recognising that in some cases change or a sense of their being a single brand owning everything is not the right decision. For instance, their much-lauded restaurant LOWE is well known with a highly successful brand design. This would be a case of unnecessarily redesigning a successful business, so there we changed nothing.

By contrast, it had been decided that both waste-water treatment company M1 Utilities and heavy equipment hire business KONO Contracting would see a complete brand overhaul placing both under the KOA umbrella. This is a great example of the way in which one ‘mother brand’ can show ownership, lending emphasis and singularity of purpose to all its work, whatever the sector.

This ‘multi-company; single brand’ concept isn’t new of course, particularly in Europe where larger conglomerates often move beyond their original industry. However a successful application to industrial or construction businesses with different enterprises such as hospitality in the UAE is less commonplace – and is one that has the advantage of immediately commanding confidence.

Putting in place the design foundations

With KOA’s refreshed identity in place, we next considered the core brand elements that would hold all aspects of the project together. These were a combination of custom graphics and a carefully considered attitude to photography. With the KOA icon having sharp, angular elements, we devised a scheme of interacting, overlapping triangles which, when combined, suggested the letter K.

Central to the whole brand design was including the natural and cultivated landscape in Al Barari, the area just outside central Dubai where all KOA’s operations, including their real estate business, are based. In particular many of the properties are planted with varieties indigenous to the area. Our photography concept was to embrace the natural desert landscape as well as the organic-feeling textures of the buildings that form Canvas, the central hub around which all KOA’s activities revolve.

In October 2022, I travelled to Dubai to work with photographer Nik Stokanovic to create custom brand photography – a wide ranging mage library for the project. These textural shots have formed the backdrop to each of the KOA projects and been used particularly in areas where more specific shots of interiors, food or industrial imagery needed messaging and a cohesive visual theme.

By the time we’d finished this element of the work, we had created a highly appealing combination of overall and secondary branding, graphics and custom photography. When we approach branding and web design for Dubai construction and industrial firms we appreciate that not every firm needs to go this far. However at very least approaching a project by thinking ahead to where website visuals will come from and the impactful way they make an immediate first impression on prospective clients is one step ahead of the competition.

web design for Dubai construction and industrial firms

Collaboration, construction, then a perfect fit and finish

Central to the success of a project of this kind is a smooth running of many moving parts. Successful collaboration is key and we understand that invariably we won’t be the only contributor to the finished product. To that end it’s worth mentioning the wider team we worked on the KOA project. First and foremost, the team locally in Dubai oversaw every aspect of the work. In addition we were supplied with incredible imagery, both from photographers we directed and several that KOA commissioned and directed themselves. We also worked alongside søster, a specialist branding company, also based here in London, who curated the brand direction concept as well as writing the copy for the websites.

It’s worth mentioning here that all our web design projects follow a carefully thought-through process that keeps our client in the loop and able to offer feedback at every stage. Particularly when completing web design for Dubai construction and industrial firms from London, it’s vital that first the design and then build of the site is completed in a way that allows a swift journey from initial creative to final go-live.

What was particularly interesting on the KONO Contracting project was the way in which the imagery on the site showcases the construction process, featuring both heavy equipment and scaffolding, front and centre during the build of beautiful buildings. It’s not something I’ve seen applied in this way, speaking directly to the end user who commissions the hire of their wares, in such a targeted way.

This goes to the heart of our belief in all the work we do: to put the end user first. It means you’re talking directly to your customer, getting the message about your products and services, whatever sort of industry you work in. The fascinating thing about KOA is that all their services and endeavours are delivered both in a way that puts their brand personality and potential client side by side with a consistent feel and language. It’s a sound principle that, with custom design for every business, is a proven path to success.

We can help with web design for Dubai construction and industrial firms

At Richard Chapman Studio, we’ve worked extensively with international clients across different business sectors. In the Middle East alone these have included KOA‘s three core businesses, Abu Dhabi-based financial services specialist startup incubator Anamcara and Riyadh-based interior designer Yasmin Alsdais. We believe our straight-talking, end-user focussed perspective offers a great deal to firms in Dubai. The end result is a thoughtful analysis of each business and how to position it best, applied with creative flair.

If you’re interested in an approach to corporate identity design and a website which considers the best way of presenting your business, we’d be interested in your brief. Whatever industry you work in, we think local and global. Our creative process can help you achieve your aims, working imaginatively to rethink your business’s approach to design.

Call us on +44 20 7351 4083 or email direct to tell us all about it.