“Branding is how a product or service is communicated to the world, the message it wants to deliver.”
They make retail spaces come alive. They make stuff look good. They all love a good laugh. Heck, they even do classy photoshoots together!
They are Jessica Lindsey, Lindsay Malley, Michele Thomas and Jen Miller — the Interior Design & Environmental Branding team at Solidus. These four talented women are ready to bring your new project or renovation to the next level with professionalism and a creative flair.
“Detail makes a space memorable, unique, and interesting. Small details often separate a good design from an excellent one.”
Solidus is a construction company at its heart and a leading provider of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), a proven method that effectively blends architectural, design, construction, and branding services. What that means for clients is a seamless process from the outset. Everyone has a full understanding of project goals, aspirations, and the desired look and feel of the finished product – delivered to the highest quality standards in much less time than traditional construction.
“Effective branding brings personality to an environment and significantly influences the construction process.”
Solidus designers take part from the initial client meeting to ensure all project objectives are met. They listen carefully to client wants and needs, absorb knowledge of the communities served, ask about who will be using the space, and incorporate market information about local preferences to ensure a Customer-Centric Design™.
The Interior Design and Environmental Branding Team. Pictured above, left: Jennifer Miller, vice president of operations and team supervisor; Lindsay Malley, project designer; Jessica Lindsey, environmental graphic designer; and Michele Thomas, branding project manager.
Our designers are artsy folks of course, who think a bit differently and like to live a bit on the edge. And that’s a really good thing for financial institutions. Why? Well, let’s face it: Banks and credit unions are risk-averse businesses, a quality we certainly look for in institutions that handle our money! But community bank or credit union customers like to feel welcome, connected, and engaged with their places of business. Effective design and branding do just that, inviting your customers to interact with you in an environment where they feel safe, happy, and comfortable.
“Don’t be afraid to try something new and different – nothing’s better than a pleasant surprise!”
With that introduction, we invite you to get to know the Solidus interior design and environmental branding team. The Q&A below offers some insight into who they are, how they think, and why our clients genuinely enjoy working with them!
Q1: What makes a company’s “brand” or “space” memorable?
[Jess Lindsey] Branding is how a product or service is communicated to the world, the message it wants to deliver. Consider the sleek, cutting-edge message of a company like Apple – the company really doesn’t sell iPhones. It sells a way of life and an image, one that an Apple customer wants to project to the world. Contrast that with the message from a company like Carhartt, which doesn’t really sell work clothing and gear, but a lifestyle – durability and functionality.
[Lindsay Malley] A memorable space is one where everything feels balanced. Balance is an integral part of design because it creates a sense of calm. I prefer asymmetrical balance to create an informal and interesting feeling. Detail also makes a space memorable, unique, and interesting. Small details often separate a good design from an excellent one.
Q2. What’s rewarding about working on design and branding projects?
[Jess L] The best thing is standing in a space, before and after. A great example is Centreville Bank in Cranston, R.I. Before the demolition phase, the bank’s teller line was on the opposite side of the building. We completely transformed the space. Seeing that happen was eye-opening! Even ugly can become beautiful through vision, collaboration, and persistence.
[Michele Thomas] I enjoy seeing my colleagues excited when they design something new that both works and looks better. Right now we’re working on a project that centers on a 20-foot-tall lighthouse in the vestibule. Our team is making sure the design flows and serves to highlight this feature throughout.
[Jen Miller] We have the talent and confidence to show people what’s possible. It’s our job to push the limits, to move people out of their comfort zones. We love to show our clients how an idea can blossom, and how they can produce something truly special.
[Lindsay M] Nothing beats making a design project come to life – from selecting finishes and furniture, to creating a rendering, then seeing the result. I enjoy curating spaces where people can feel comfortable and thrive. When people find themselves in a beautifully balanced and calm space, they also feel balanced and calm. My goal is to create this feeling for all who enter a space I design.
Q3. What are things people should keep in mind as they launch a new or re-branding effort?
[Jess L] Information and research is key. We use various tools such as a branding survey to ensure clients’ needs are met. Well beyond collecting a logo and colors, we look to focus on certain community features or events, such as a food or clothing drive. I love exploring unexpected ways a brand can impact customers’ or members’ perceptions in positive ways. Effective branding makes a space come alive, take on a personality, and significantly influences the construction process. As I listen to a client’s needs, I start planning the environmental branding – a feature wall, large displays, or beautiful, digitally printed wallpaper. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different – nothing’s better than a pleasant surprise!
[Lindsay M] Keep an open mind: My job is to push boundaries and encourage different options. Every idea may not be to your liking, but often you may not know what you like – that is, until you know! The other thing is the need to be flexible. Often there may be certain restrictions such as building conditions or codes that can’t be changed. But with teamwork these obstacles can be overcome and won’t prevent creating an exquisitely designed space.
[Jen M] Appreciate how design and branding are evolutionary processes.
Q4. How did you end up in the design-branding field?
[Jess L] It was hard for me to decide, but I chose to major in studio art over graphic design. I have since illustrated a few children’s books, and I’ve worked as a graphic designer for a university. As the environmental branding designer for Solidus, I find ways to weave my illustration skills into the branding, and I continue to love both forms of communication.
[Michele T] Branding is a new area for me – I hold a master’s degree in project management and worked as a construction project manager. My current role as a Branding Project Manager is perfect! I’m doing project management in a different capacity and learning something new every day.
[Lindsay M] I started college without knowing what I wanted to study. I took a year off and came to realize how much I love color. I went back to school to earn a degree in Interior Design and loved the program. This job requires a mix of creative and technical skills that I use every day. It’s always interesting, and I’m kept on my toes, which I crave!
[Jen M] My college degree is in illustration and fine art painting. Professionally, I always wanted to be involved in a creative process, and after 27 years at Solidus, it’s safe to say I love the company! For one, there’s always opportunity for professional growth — I started as the receptionist and I’m now VP of Operations! Plus, the construction industry is exciting. I enjoy the challenging, fast-paced atmosphere, and seeing projects from concept to completion.
Q5. What’s it like to be part of the Solidus team?
[Jess L] The Solidus design team has great chemistry, and our constant communication enables seamless collaboration. Solidus management and staff are some of the most kind and generous people I know!
[Lindsay M] Solidus has a great reputation in the architectural design community. It’s known as a company that completes projects professionally and on time. I knew working for Solidus would be an outstanding opportunity, but I had no idea just how remarkable it would be! We work hard and play hard, and I enjoy every single person. I’m lucky to work for a company where I can push my creative limits and see great ideas come to life.
[Jen M] I love my team – it’s creative and fun. And with collaboration from the outset between architecture, interior design and branding, the results we achieve for our clients are amazing. Our company leadership is transparent and sincerely cares about its employees.
[Michele T] Our ideas and suggestions are always considered, and our office environment is friendly and professional. It’s just like a family I enjoy working with every day.
Q6. What’s something we oughta know about you?
[Jess L] My husband and I just adopted an 18-month-old old lab mix rescue dog and he’s such a good boy! I also enjoy being an amateur camera operator for the livestream ministry at our church. And I love baking – one of my favorite things to bake is pizza using a 24-hour, aged dough recipe.
[Michele T] For a few years I was home schooled with my brothers. It was one of the more memorable periods of my life. People used to ask if one of my parents was in the military because we moved so much (they are not). I was born in Colorado, but I’ve since lived in California, Wisconsin, and now Connecticut. I also spent a year studying abroad in England, an amazing adventure!
[Lindsay M] I’m a huge book nerd. I constantly carry one – you never know when you’ll have a few minutes to read! My favorite genre is historical fiction as I’m intrigued by people’s stories and how they relate to events. I often pretend to be in their shoes. I also love plants – nourishing them and watching them grow and change is a such a pleasure. At home I’m surrounded by books and plants and that makes my soul happy. I have three kids – ages 11, 9, and 6. They keep me on my toes, and I enjoy seeing them become who they are.
[Jen M] As an artist at heart. I’m always working on some project at home – a painting or collage, decorating walls, renovation projects or my gardens. I provide a home for many fur baby animals – I love the joy and chaos they bring, even the inevitable heartache. My favorite music is heavy metal. Look for me at a Korn, Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, or Disturbed concert! I also have two teenagers, 17 and 19, who are finding their way in the world as kind, loving, respectful, and smart people.