Big beer from the humble South.
We've had the pleasure of partnering with great minds behind Holy Toledo on some ongoing creative work for Kinston, NC based Mother Earth Brewery. Harbor tackled a homepage refresh that included splash image sliders featuring popular beers, events, and special releases. To honor the warm, southern charm so prevalent in their brand, we created the imagery using a painterly collage technique.
We've also had the opportunity to produce a series of print ads for Mother Earth. We wanted to capture the love & devotion that the brewers pour into every batch, so we built the ad to feel like a shrine to beer and to the quality ingredients that go into every bottle. Joseph Cornell was particularly inspiring for this visual direction.
AD: Brendan Ward
CW: Adam Cohen
Fresh vegetables on Fayetteville Street? Yes, please.
Back in 2010 I had the opportunity to work with the City of Raleigh on their new downtown farmers market program. Work included logo development, style guide, posters, and a few ad concepts.
Done while working at French West Vaughan in downtown Raleigh.
Advantage Tennis is a new retail tennis shop located in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Aiming to be much more than a pro shop, Advantage hopes to reframe preconceived notions about the game with young athletes across the state. By offering free lessons through local high schools and community workshops at regional events, Advantage is trying to revive enthusiasm for the sport and create a new generation of players.
We worked with Advantage to design their identity, and helped them roll out their brand across a number of marketing assets.
A car. An education. A house. A diamond. Milestone purchases that can define a lifetime. The emotional impact any one of these investments has on a person is profound. These are buying decisions not taken lightly. So how would that decision be affected if one of these purchases could be grown in a lab?
Gemesis Diamonds introduced the world to lab created diamonds. The process replicated natural processes but with an exponentially faster growth rate. The point being - these were completely natural, genuine diamonds with virtually no distinguishing characteristics from those tediously acquired from mining apart from the tendency of being virtually flawless. And not only did they come at half the cost to consumers, they avoided the profoundly inhumane diamond acquisition processes.
So what was the challenge? Convincing consumers of the diamonds' authenticity and stripping away romanticized associations of diamonds 'found' in the wild.
We (at French West Vaughan) worked with Gemesis from the ground up on their launch. We helped them craft a brand position, developed their identity, built a robust e-commerce experience that rivaled Blue Nile in functionality, shot and edited hundreds of diamonds and settings, oversaw both product and lifestyle photoshoots, and oversaw the brand launch via trade, social media and digital marketing.
All work was done during my time at French West Vaughan. We had the pleasure of working with Tony Pearce and Christopher Wilson on the photography for the project.
From 2011 - 2014 the majority of my work at Capstrat was focused on Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC. I worked on a range of campaigns for the insurance giants including projects for their brand marketing department, corporate communications, and sports marketing division.
Most of my time was spent on the annual Let's Talk Cost campaign. An educational campaign at heart, Let's Talk Cost aimed to deflect blame over rising health care costs. I worked on three iterations of the campaign, overseeing creative for digital executions in 2013 and 2014. This meant representing the creative department in a tight knit digital collaboration between the creative, analytics, development, and media teams. I led a team of designers to execute across a number of digital channels including: the website itself, rich media ads, traditional banner ads, social ads, and web videos.
All of this work was done in collaboration with a huge cast of characters from Capstrat's BCBS team including Creative Directors Jonathan Wisely and Adam Cohen, copywriter Lori Douglass, designer Brittain Peck, animator/editor Brian Lee and lead developer Les James.
When life gives you the chance to work on a lemonade brand, you say yes and try not to make lemonade in your pants.
In June of 2015, amidst the sweltering North Carolina heat, we were presented with an opportunity to partner with Calypso Lemonades to help them overhaul their aesthetics. With over 30 years in the industry and distributing across the U.S., Calypso is a wildly successful brand that continues to grow.
As with any company of that scale, change has been slow, but through a series of varying projects, we've slowly started putting our stamp on Calypso's marketing.
Work includes point-of-sale ads, brand merchandise, social ads, digital promotions and packaging concepts.
There are plenty of dream projects floating around in our heads, but our favorites are the ones that actually come true. And our client ARCA made it happen.
ARCA is a global operation specializing in automated cash processing. Think cash machines in self-checkout lines or automated cash dispensers for tellers at banks. (Now think cash dispensers at nearly every bank in the world.) You get the idea.
ARCA recently acquired an Italian group of companies founded by former Olivetti employees. Yeah - THE Olivetti. You've probably come across some of their commissioned posters from the 60's and 70's at some point in your life. Throughout its history, Olivetti commissioned 100's of writers, designers, architects and artists: from BBPR, Louis Kahn and Le Corbusier, to Gae Aulenti, Walter Ballmer, and Milton Glaser. To honor Olivetti and make them feel welcomed, the good people at ARCA decided to commission art posters celebrating ARCA in the same fashion. We had the honor of being the ones commissioned.
The challenge: capture something about ARCA (could be their business model, their mission statement, their groundbreaking technology, ANYTHING) in the form of an art poster that would be distributed and hung in their various offices around the world. Stylistically we could pay tribute to the Olivetti aesthetic from 40 years ago, or we could break new ground - it was up to us.
After hundreds of sketches and hours of ideation, we presented 8 different poster concepts that we felt struck a stylistic balance between ARCA's contemporary aesthetics and Olivetti's vintage posters.
Since then we've continued to partner with ARCA on additional projects including an immense one-hundred page guide to their flagship cash automation product.
We had the pleasure of partnering with the Coalition to Unchain Dogs to help them promote their concert fundraiser 'Music for Fences.' Learn more about the organization here.
From the inspired minds behind the iconic Revolution restaurant in downtown Durham came L'UVA Enoteca - an Italian eatery located in the historic American Tobacco District.
Some of the most memorable meals I've eaten typically make profound use of contrasting flavors and ingredients. That same technique seemed to guide the L'UVA team in their entire undertaking. The plan: capture the traditional, earthy quality of authentic Italian cooking and pair it with a minimal, contemporary ambience.
We developed a brand, a website and print collateral that embodied that contrast. Saluti.
The Whole Hog Barbecue Series, sanctioned by the North Carolina Pork Council, celebrates the history and artistry of whole hog cooking through a series of cooking contests held throughout NC. Working with Rick Binger, a local creative director, I helped develop a number of identity concepts for the series.
Since its inception in the early 1900s (then known as the Catawba Power Company) Duke Energy had never run a brand campaign featuring TV ads. That all changed in 2013 when the power giant approached Capstrat looking for an agency to take the reins on their first ever major brand campaign. That was also the year I joined Capstrat and I was lucky enough to be a part of the Duke Energy team.
As you might expect, public opinion around Duke Energy, as is the case with any power company for that matter, wasn't exactly glowing at the time. Power is such a universal, expected part of our culture that people never really notice it, or think about where it comes from, until we lose it. In fact, the large majority of public opinion around power companies is shaped by power outages, regardless of the reasons behind the outage. It doesn't matter if it was inclement weather that spurred the issues, what matters is how quickly lines are repaired and power is restored.
With that in mind, we decided to focus on a reliability message grounded in empathy. Both the TV an print executions framed the conversation through the granular lens of the light switch - how often you use it everyday and how little you think about it. And - importantly - you shouldn't have to, you have enough on your plate.
While the conceptual direction was conceived through an entirely collaborative process, production was divided amongst the team. The Creative Directors on the project, Lindsey Bennett and Scott Ballew spearheaded the TV portion of the project, while my copywriter partner Amy Cozart and I handled print executions.
CD: Lindsey Bennett
CD: Scott Ballew
AD: Brendan Ward
CW: Amy Cozart
For the past 5 years we've worked on an variety of marketing materials for Channel Advisor - the world's leader in e-commerce optimization. Some of the work included a complete website redesign in 2012, the 2014 annual report, branding for their global e-commerce conference (Catalyst), various infographics, and a digital marketing animated video. All work was done in partnership with local creative director Rick Binger.
One of the core objectives of the American Institute of CPAs is to nurture interest in accounting among college students. Among a variety of digital marketing tactics, we at Capstrat pitched the idea of an accounting guidebook for career fairs and collegiate events. The book, as with the majority of the materials we developed for AICPA, was rooted in a youthful, irreverent tone that worked to disarm students around preconceived notions of the accounting industry - particularly as being a boring career path. The book we developed was titled The Future CPA's Guide to Work and World Domination. The book consisted of spreads relaying proverbial bits of advice organized thematically by chapter. I got to design the core book elements - cover, chapter intros, etc. - and worked on a number of fun spreads. The book was recognized nationally with a gold Addy award.
CD: Lindsey Bennett
CW: Amy Cozart, Colin Dullaghan
Where the bean speaks!
Back Alley Coffee Roasters is the product of husband and wife team Tracy and Beth McKenzie. With roots in farming communities in rural Kansas and Pennsylvania, they value the skillful and hard-working ethos of the coffee process from cherry to bean to cup.
We were delighted to help Back Alley redesign their website and develop coffee labels to use in their shop. With a newly opened roasting center and coffee house, the business to continues to flourish. Keep an eye on the coffee aisle at your local grocer - Back Alley is on the march.
Coming off a string of delicate PR issues, CaroMont Health was in need of a new marketing campaign that both demonstrated the hospital's understanding of patient grievances but also outlined plans of its commitment to improving patient care throughout the CaroMont system.
We developed a campaign that walked the fine line between positively bolstering CaraMont's brand and admitting some culpability around the negative feedback that had been weighing it down. The issue - as is so often the case - boiled down to poor communication. Misunderstandings between doctors and patients in a hospital room leads to further health problems and higher costs. By addressing this throughout the campaign we were able to reflect CaroMont's commitment to improving communication between the institution and the public.
AD: Brendan Ward
CW: Lori Douglass
Working with the Director of Lending out of Coastal Federal's Raleigh headquarters, we developed a series of illustrations for internal training campaign.
Nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina, Pavillon is a rehabilitation center dedicated to a holistic approach to drug and alcohol treatment. Their mission is to guide individuals and families along the path of hope, healing and lasting recovery.
The center needed a new look for their marketing materials that better reflected the spiritual, holistic philosophies they embodied. Previous iterations were riddled with stock photography and a glaring absence of design thinking. It was imperative that their new aesthetic shed the notion of a detached, procedural recovery and better communicate the spiritual journey that individuals would walk once committing to Pavillon's treatments.
We developed a refreshed visual palette, in the form of a 20 page style guide, to help guide future marketing initiatives. This consisted of a new color palette, photography guidelines, typography recommendations, a revised messaging matrix, and a library of illustrations and iconographic treatments to use moving forward.
All work was done during my time at Capstrat with a team of copywriters, strategists, and creative directors.
During my time at Capstrat, I was charged with revamping the agency's website. As you can imagine, an agency refresh comes with a long list of challenges. From coordinating internal teams amidst client (billable) work to departmental disagreements over content hierarchy. We were up against it. Thanks to a small, dedicated team and a trusting c-suite, we were able to completely overhaul the Capstrat site from the ground up. Antiquated code languages (FLASH!) were replaced by HTML 5 and a custom CMS. A confusing UI with a content architecture lacking prioritization was replaced with a streamlined interface and a reworked site map.
I served as art director on this project and worked with a mix of fantastic people from Capstrat.
In late 2011, Hood River Distillers approached FWV (where I was art director at the time) for help launching a new line of Whisky in the U.S. Hood River acknowledged the growing popularity of flavored spirits in the States and wanted to get in on the game early. Flavored vodka and rum had been around forever at that point, but flavored whisky, specifically with cinnamon, was new on the scene. We had the opportunity to work with Hood River on building the brand from ground up. Everything, barring the name, was developed in our creative department. I created the identity, designed the packaging, and even coined the brand's tagline: 'An Evil Spirit.'
A lot of brands. A lot of years. Here are some favorites.
For a hot minute there, we felt a little like Marcel Duchamp. We got to create an ad for toilets! Mansfield toilets specifically. Founded in 1929, Mansfield Plumbing is one of the largest manufacturers of toilets in the world. Every toilet is proudly American made.
Every year the Raleigh-Durham chapter of AAF partners with local creatives to help craft a new identity and theme for the next Addy awards gala. During my time at Capstrat, I was fortunate enough to work with the AAF on the 2013 awards program. We developed a film noir theme that consisted of an irreverent but true-to-form mystery plot that was woven through promotional materials and brought to life during the show itself. We worked with teams of local creatives who all donated their time, talent and resources to bring the event to life. We hired a few local actors to play the lead roles of our story and used them for all of our marketing materials. We invited local creative directors to play small roles in our storyline and captured them alongside our actors in a large scale photoshoot that spanned two days - all shot by Natalia Weedy.
By the time we were wrapped on the project we had created: a teaser trailer, an event website, promotional collateral (4 posters and a flyer), event category videos, and the official awards book.
I oversaw two photoshoots and the video production, as well as serving as the art director and lead designer on the project. Jim Doughty was my copywriter partner in crime behind all of the show materials (as well as the voice in every video!) and the two of us worked closely with Todd Coats, Jim Regan and Hannah Hoffman on all of the marketing materials.
Photography: Natalia Weedy
Videography: Martin Brown
The big cheese came to Durham 5 years ago and has never looked back. Back in 2008 our good friends Paul & Alycia Inserra quite their jobs and moved to Durham from New York in search of better weather and a more affordable way of life. Their friends and family deemed them crazy considering their decision coincided with financial meltdown.
The foodie scene in Durham was just taking off and one or two food trucks starting popping up on the scene. Inserra saw the opportunity at hand and begged, borrowed and stole his way into a mammoth truck outfitted for grilling where he would launch his grilled cheese dream. Coined after the financial crisis that was so integral to their story, American Meltdown started slinging gourmet grilled melts soon thereafter.
We worked with Paul & Alycia on his brand identity, designed the truck wrap, redesigned his website, and continue to help them with ongoing marketing and collateral work. We've done posters for pop-up restaurants they've conceived (don't miss it if you hear of one) and promotional print material for their truck.
In 2015, American Meltdown (along with compatriot truck Porchetta) was tapped by Southpoint Mall to open a brick and mortar shop in the mall dining court. We worked with the AM team to develop the look and feel of the shop from top to bottom. Everything from signage to tile color was considered at Harbor.
Our work with AM is a great example of a client/contract relationship developing into a longstanding partnership that we couldn't be happier about. Lastly, if it's available, do yourself a favor and order a Kubla Kahn melt next time you spot the truck in the wild.
Would you look at that. Art school graduates running legitimate businesses. Now we've seen it all.
Jody Cedzidlo has been a dear friend since our time together in the art department and she now runs an incredibly successful clothing line from her studio in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Flytrap Clothing is an inspired operation with a fierce dedication to local artisanry. To put it in Jody's own words:
"Flytrap is a steadfastly local business, even if we are not your local business. Our fabrics, leather, inks, dyes, and paper goods are all US-made. The seamstress that creates many of our garments lives in the same county. The milk and eggs in our refrigerator come from cows and chickens that graze just down the road. We trade t-shirts for breakfast at the local B&B, beans from our favorite local coffee roaster, and hearty greens from the farmer's market. We invest our profits in a network of farmers, artisans, and small businesses, so when you buy our products, your dollars support local enterprise and help our small community thrive."
Jody came to us last year looking for help refreshing her brand and we couldn't have been happier to be involved. Working with someone as keen an eye as hers certainly provides some challenges, but we were up for the task.
Jody tasked us with developing a mark that made use of a literal representation of her beloved plant. The venus flytrap is truly beautiful in form, but surprisingly difficult to represent via iconography. With a large plant head and a leafless, skinny stem - it's proportions are too imbalanced to have one flytrap stand on it's own.
In the end we created an organic, hand drawn type treatment that directly incorporated the flytrap illustration. This way the flytrap mark didn't have to stand on it's own, but also wasn't relegated to secondary or tertiary branding elements.
We partnered with local creative director Rick Binger to help House of Raeford overhaul their web presence. The large-scale chicken producer was in desperate need for a new look on the web. It was important that the family values and conscientious personas behind the company make it's way into the brand aesthetic. We developed a concept that made use of gorgeous photography, warm tones and subtle texture to help capture that sense of familiarity and approachability that was eluding them.
We spent a good portion of 2015 working alongside the friendly folks at APCO Worldwide serving as a creative partner for a variety of clients. Among these projects was our work with Novozymes - a biotechnology goliath based in Denmark with facilities in Morrisville, NC. For Novozymes everything begins with enzymes and microorganisms. Enzymes are catalysts for change. When one substance needs to be transformed into another, nature uses enzymes to speed up the process. As you can imagine, the applications for such a biotech product are endless, and it's no surprise that Novozymes operates in nine different industry verticals ranging from household cleaners to biofuels.
Our relationship with Novozymes was centered around helping their bioenergy team rethink their b2b marketing strategy. We then had the opportunity to bring our recommendations to life through trade print ads and a complete overhaul of their tradeshow presence.
When it comes to a brand that's all about being organized and being productive, marketing via infographics tends to be a pretty damn obvious fit. And we were, obviously, thrilled to help the good people at APCO create a suite of infographics for Office Depot Office Max (they did the whole 'everyone keeps every part of their name thing' after they got married).
After a couple of iterations that explored photo and product driven layouts, the team decided that they wanted the approach to feel less sales driven and more academic in nature. So we took an illustrative approach and we had a lot of fun doing it.
We created infographics for three key sales targets - back to school shopping, small business demographics, and holidays. The trick was to create a consistent thread of illustration techniques throughout the vastly different target concepts.
It ain't every day that you get to make a poster for the winner of NBC's The Voice. Lucky for us - we got the call that day.
We developed a bunch of concepts - too many really - that we were really proud of. The Wildhorse Saloon and Craig opted for the first poster shown here.