Communica Creates Brand Experience for Bard Innovation Center Lobby

Bard Manufacturing Company has cut the ribbon on the James R. Bard Center for HVAC Innovation & Design at their Bryan, Ohio headquarters. The 15,000 square foot center consists of collaborative work spaces, product development areas and a new psychometric test lab. The James R. Bard Center will become a hub for HVAC engineering and innovation and is a welcome addition for northwest Ohio and the HVAC industry.

Like any new construction project, the planning stage of the innovation center presented several design challenges. This became clear as Bard began developing the building’s interior. One of the biggest challenges for Bard was finding ways to marry their 104-year history and the heritage of its founders, with the Bard of today and tomorrow. The Bard leadership team had the opportunity to visit and tour other family-owned corporations and innovation centers to see how they addressed similar challenges. Then, they turned to Communica to create a brand experience for the lobby area of the James R. Bard Center that would do just that and more. It was, after all, the offices of Communica that sparked the idea to begin with. Pam Bard Steel, Bard Chairman of Managing Partners, was inspired by the recently remodeled office space of Communica which was completed under the design direction of Communica’s CEO, Jeff Kimble.

To begin the process of creating the brand experience in the lobby, the architects on the project —Beilharz Architects—provided Revit files to Communica so that we could leverage our 3D modeling and design experience. Communica then created four main areas within the James R. Bard Center lobby.

3D concept developed from Revit files provided by Beilharz.

The first area is where primary artwork greets visitors as they enter the lobby. It includes a large display made of Bard steel panels along with a colored plexiglass weave that frames the Bard tagline and vertical markets. The second area is a brick wall that was discovered during construction; it acts as the starting point for the brand experience and includes a welcome sign highlighting James R. Bard and the history of the brick building.

Final lobby installation.

The third area features a history wall that walks visitors through significant milestones of this fourth-generation company and conveys the determination and spirit that weathered the storm and turned Bard into the innovative leader it is today. Finally, the vertical market area features art showcasing Bard HVAC units in schools, telecom and e-buildings, modular, light commercial and mobile, residential and international applications around the globe, plus a prominent brushed aluminum logo.

The following Communica team members collaborated to create the brand experience from concept through execution: Beckett Baither (Production Manager), Ryan Gast (Writer), Garrett Kimble (3D modeling and renderings), Jeff Kimble (Creative Director), Lynne Kusmer (Senior Account Director), Anna Vecchi (Designer) and Ashley Vetter (Senior Designer). Clients Pam Bard Steel and Bill Steel, CEO, were also instrumental in the project, along with Steve Oravecz, Alloy, who served as Brand Experience Installation Leader. The Spieker Company was the general contractor for the innovation center, which was constructed thanks to its namesake, Jim Bard and his wife, Joan. After 43 years with the company, Jim retired as President in 2003.