Investing in Digital Brand Building

Experts in real estate investment, development and property management, Hines is one of the largest and most respected companies of its kind in the world. It was time for their website to better reflect their evolving and expanding business model.

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Hines logo in red
An old portrait of Gerald D. Hines, the founder of the company, sitting in a cushioned chair.

Branding a Global Giant

How does a real estate investment powerhouse build a recognizable, beautiful brand for the web that builds on their reputation and appeals to a broader audience?

Hines came to One Design looking to better tell their story, with a specific request to highlight their leadership in real estate investment without detracting from their other areas of success and expertise. Photography, video and content—everything was in play for expanding the conversation away from solely property development to focus on the firm’s prowess as an investment platform.

The San Francisco skyline
View of the Shanghai waterfront with the Oriental Pearl Tower in the center.
The Sydney waterfront at twilight

A Solid Strategy

Appealing to the needs of a different audience

Already one of the largest real estate development organizations in the world, Hines was interested in bringing their real estate investment expertise front and center through impactful digital strategy and storytelling. Rather than simply telling a different story, we needed to expand the story with a shift in focus, narrative and perception to appeal to visitors perhaps familiar with Hines but eager to learn more about their real estate investment capabilities.

It’s hard not to be impressed by the company’s history and position, if the story is told right. The One Design team worked to create a content strategy worthy of the global position Hines has earned. From that solid strategic foundation, we could then move on to execution: positioning for the web, content creation, photography direction and video direction.


Redefining a visual identity for the web

Our design team worked with Hines to provide a modern aesthetic direction that’s both consistent with the caliber of Hines’ work and better suited for the web. Beyond a real estate portfolio site, Hines needed a vehicle to tell an investment story through data-driven, impeccably presented content.

An updated circle graph showing Hines statistics
Views of different property pages on the Hines website showcasing beautiful photography and clear details.
The Hines home page
"About the Firm" page
The Hines Company timeline feature on the website


Complex made simple

The technical challenges of the site included working with integrations built in-house by the client. And, despite the sheer size of the site, it needed to be a tool Hines could easily maintain in the long term.

Good thing ODC is an official Craft CMS partner. Our Craft integration works with Hines’ existing IT team’s property data. Craft makes it easy to access and manage new content creation, offering a high degree of control across all pages. We also gave the Hines team a toolkit allowing them to build flexible, new layouts as the site expands in the future.

The result is a robust experience that can be easily maintained, even as new robust content is added down the line.

Navigating five continents with a single click

We created a custom property finder that allows a broad spectrum of users to intuitively navigate Hines’ global property database, finding exactly what they need with a minimum of effort.

A tool and a point of view

The site has been met with universal praise, elevating the digital presence of a real estate icon while shifting the narrative to focus on where the firm is headed in the future. Functionally, the site has become a flexible tool for a wide variety of users: a centralized hub for data, a robust research tool for individuals both inside and outside of the organization, and a content publishing house for marketing teams around the globe.

More Work
A globe made of white nodes connected to each other with a blue background.