AK Building Services
Web, Design, Identity
Upon writing "graphic, photo, and web services" on my laptop with a Sharpie, I caught the attention of Vice President Shari Cedar and began long-term partnership as her Strategy Advisor and Senior Designer. We now win seven figure contracts by helping people shine (not just businesses).
In 1973, AK Building Services was founded as Action Kleen Systems by the father of current CEO, Mark Cedar. Since then, the brand name and services have evolved from humble garbage cleaning and vacuuming to full-scale building maintenance. With a force of over 500 employees servicing 400+ locations ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 SqFt, the commercial cleaning provider needed a brand system that honored its past and scaled for the future.
Acknowledging the importance trust plays in letting a business clean your, well…business, Michael leveraged the humanity behind the AK family. With the anchor statement of “helping you shine,” messaging echos AK’s commitment to fostering clean, safe, and organized places for everyone to thrive in.
The reimagined visual style preserves the 25-year-old mark and extracts context from its circular nature. Updated in 2017 with the sans-serif (without “feet” or footprints at the typography base) typeface Montserrat by Argentine graphic designer Julieta Ulanovsky, the brand maintains a cleanly structured yet friendly appearance.
The wordmark and circular “AK” stamp forms the basis of the brand system, which is used in AK’s RFPs, promotional materials, social content, print assets and brand collateral. The circular form echos the shape of various tools used in the industry to clean surfaces. Reflecting these, the shape is used to visually “clean” imagery by removing the green to blue (dirty to clean) brand gradient. It also acts as a container for highlighting staff, clients, and patrons of clean facilities across various brand extensions.
Michael has actively collaborated with Vice President Shari Cedar to develop a library of RFP assets, expediting the process of successfully winning six-figure bids for local contracts with Cleveland Clinic, Broward Health, and other multi-location businesses. These materials aim to lift the curtain both figuratively and graphically to reveal AK’s commitment to DEI, rigorous hiring practices, ethical products, quality controls, innovative staffing technology, and conflict resolution protocols.
Along with creating the website, promotional assets, social media strategies, apparel, employee badges, evergreen facility materials, signage, task tracking sheets, business cards, and misc. brand collateral, Michael remains on-retainer to support AK for any strategy, marketing, and design needs.
Messaging emphasizes the importance of empowering people at work and the responsibility facility managers have to helping their staff and patrons feel safe enough to shine their best. By focusing on the individuals that AK stands to benefit, the company separates itself from metric-laden competitors. They are pioneers in commercial cleaning, empathetic as they are dependable and efficient.
Photography plays an important role in communicating what AK has to offer; inspirational and confident, it pays homage to the brands bold yet humble roots. Photos of business owners, medical staff, and office employees are clean and carefully upbeat while preserving crucial professionalism. Messaging is centered on providing value for the type of facility owners that need AK’s services to prosper. Photographs of corporate and janitorial staff were taken by contracted photographer James Jackman and feature an authentic and disarming look at the people who work in the field every single day.
After a whirlwind of a year providing pandemic-specific disinfection services, AK Building Services is helping every kind of facility put their best space forward. The refreshed brand identity helps AK scale this vision to a wider audience of safety-focused facilities and provides a scalable system for a successful future.