Established in 1884, Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen is Florida’s oldest law firm and its lawyers have had a hand in crafting our community. The founding partner’s names can be found on buildings, streets, and parks throughout Tampa Bay. The impact the firm has had on regional business, industry, real estate, entertainment, government and so much more is undeniable. So when they challenged the Pinstripe creative team with refreshing the brand, we felt the heavy responsibility of protecting the legacy of one of the market’s most venerable firms.
While many law firms – locally and nationally – are shortening to a single name, Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen wanted to keep the full name, but acknowledge that many naturally shorten it to MFM (or even MacFac in reference to a long-gone name.) The test was to create a brand that was modern, yet referenced the firm’s tradition.
The final logo features a script MFM that references old signatures on important documents (think John Hancock) as we imagined Hugh Macfarlane, Chester Ferguson and J. Tweed McMullen working with other key Tampa Bay leaders to etch their legacies. The firm name is in a modern serif font – more fresh than Times New Roman but not a sleek, contemporary font. The color scheme is blue and black – perhaps not surprising for a law firm – but the blue is a bit more light and grey than the traditional “IBM-blue” that many professional services firms have adopted.
An additional roundel version was created, referencing the seals of those important documents.
The final deliverable for the brand refresh was the brand standards – a document outlining correct use of the logo, firm fonts, colors, and how the various file types should be used. Development of identity guidelines is an important step to illustrate the importance and to ensure the logo is always represented appropriately.
The new site illustrates the firm’s legacy, allows visitors to quickly find a lawyer with several search options, and provides the firm with a tool to keep their audience up-to-date on their latest news.
The key objectives of the project were to highlight the skills, talent, and experience of their lawyers with a nod to their rich history and role in developing the Tampa Bay region.
“We are as proud of our current lawyers as we are of our firm’s history and the legacy of our founders,” said Ansley Watson, Jr., the firm’s managing partner. “This site allows us to highlight each attorney, their practice areas, background, and achievements. It is a showcase for the professionals our clients rely on every day.”
With research assistance from the St. Petersburg Museum of History, the home page slider features photos that date back to 1890, including early downtown Tampa and Clearwater, Port of Tampa, local courthouses, and locations that now bear the names of the firm’s founders.
Bob Thompson was hired to photograph each of the lawyers for new, more modern portraits in spaces throughout the firm’s offices.
The Pinstripe public relations team also works with the firm to review sponsorships, civic and professional association involvement, guest speaking opportunities, and, of course, pitching stories to the media.
The firm and its lawyers have been featured in local, regional and statewide publications, trade magazines, and Florida legal media.