Polarmax-Technical Base Layer

June 27, 2010 No Comments

The Initial Call

In May of 2009, we got a call from Donny Stanley (former Airtype designer) regarding his new position as art director at a company called Polarmax. The company was looking for a brand overhaul through print+interactive applications. After gathering some initial information we arranged a meeting for June to pitch our ideas & services to them.

Our favorite projects are re-brands, especially with national brands based out of North Carolina. Polarmax’s green story was remarkable, and their products were truly innovative.

Mocks & Layouts

After digging into some market research & core needs, we developed the wireframes, mock layouts & initial brand platform. We’re pretty plugged into the action sports world, so this was a territory we were really comfortable with. However, like most we didn’t understand the importance of a “base layer” or what it really did.

Our first initiative for the new site was focused around base layer education and the brands story.


Homepage Wireframe


Products Wireframe

Polarmax has been around for 25 years, but there still needed to be some sort of big promotion surrounding the launch of the new identity & website. So while we were developing creative for our pitch meeting, we were toying with the idea of holding a national contest to send 2 people to the X Games, along with Polarmax.

A few of the 18 pages we presented in our meeting are below.


Current Site & Branding


New Homepage Mock

Product Details

Product Details Mock

Green Story

About Us/Green Story Mock

Needless to say the pitch meeting went great & we walked away with the job & began digging in.

Logo Development

As we were refining layouts and brainstorming promotions, we were working alongside Donny to establish a unique mark and icon for the brand. We created some initial roughs along with the color palette, handed it over to Donny, and let him execute what became the final logo.

It’s key to A/B your designs alongside the best in that target market, getting a clear view of the impact of your mark. Below are some initial comps and final logos, as well as a brand comparison which helped seal the deal on the logo.

Rought to Finals

Comps to Finals

AB Test

Competitor Comparison

Once finalized, we created a 10 page Brand Standards Manual for company use, sales reps, media and online distributors.

Style Guide

Brand Standards Manual

Style Guide

Brand Standards Manual

Featured Sections

We were also tasked with developing & executing all of the special sections on the site. For the lifestyles section, we sent David Newey of Recast to Argentina to document his experience wearing the product.

Other features included producing a Green Story documentary, a video bumper, and photography of their manufacturing process. David was in charge of the video shoot, and we flew down Dennis Chueng of Daft Kraft for post-production and animation needs.

Green Video Shoot

Green Video Shoot

Mfg Photo Shoot

Manufacturing Photo Shoot

The Team

The Production Crew

Dave in Argentina

Dave in Argentina

By this time we had secured Polarmax as a sponsor for X Games 14 and were ironing out contest details and event logistics.


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As the owner, Ledbetter’s been a designer, developer, CFO, and a janitor among other things. When he’s not running the show, you can find him with his family, on his BMX bike, or behind a drum kit.

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