When the 2023 Kentucky legislature started making ominous noises about limiting the rights of transgendered people with SB 150 — known as the ‘Anti-Trans Bill’ — we realized it threatened to drive marginalized communities out of the Bluegrass to seek security elsewhere. Working with a small group of partners, principally Queer Kentucky, an LGBTQ+ non-profit that champions queer culture in the commonwealth, we developed the ‘Stay Here’ campaign, built on supportive messages, rather than incendiary ones.
Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit organization founded by families whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, and Whitney/Strong Organization, a Kentucky group committed to finding commonsense solutions to end gun violence, came together in early 2022 to help President Biden pass his landmark federal gun-reform bill. Shortly after the law was enacted, we deployed this common-ground statewide outdoor / digital campaign to support the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s commitment to continue to cross the aisle on this critical initiative.
We love clients who want to stand up and tell the world about how proud they are of their brands. Better yet, they want to make them look as cool as they (and we) believe they are. So when an iconic Kentucky cult product shows up on your doorstep with stars in its eyes asking you to get it the attention it deserves, what else can you do . . . but help make it famous?
Despite being one of the better-known architecture firms in the region, recognized as much for its fun bright orange logo as its insightful, creative design, Work approached us about updating its identity to match its evolution to a larger and more sophisticated company. The assignment grew from an acknowledgment that Work‘s strength lay in its ability to uncover and communicate the exceptional.
We like to think of ourselves as traditional-minded, but not old-fashioned. We believe that things should be done properly the first time. That deals can and should made on the sincerity of a handshake. That you don’t stop until everything’s right. In that shared spirit, and for want of a better phrase, we get on with the remodeling crew at French like a house on fire. Every year we do a series of three mailers that reflect how much value they can bring (forgive us again) to the table.
When based in Kentucky, everything and anything ends up being connected to bourbon, thoroughbreds, or fried chicken. And while we’ve yet to work on a fried chicken or a fried horse account, we do have bourbon-barrel-loads of experience. Cruise offers wooden merchandise ranging from six-foot-wide flags to bottle openers, each hand-crafted by veterans, which we share through inventive digital messaging.
“Welcome to a place suspended in time, somehow separated from the distractions and headaches of the twenty-first century, attracting wanderers, tourists, road warriors, and dreamers alike. It’s a place rich in history, rich in surprise, and richer still in the kind of warmth it engenders among those who stay a while and escape the modern world’s complications, divisiveness, and superficiality.”
We’re a small, ambitious group of passionate brand-first doers, thinkers, makers, pluggers, scrappers, creators, and dreamers. With decades (and even more decades) of award-winning-client-pleasing-high-ground-taking-hyphen-loving experience among us, we come in every day driven by one thing — to do the very best work with friends. And so, to paraphrase Wren, if you seek our monument, we invite you to look at our portfolio.
Call us devotees of good taste and supporters of small local businesses — or simply applaud the fact that when we see an opportunity to do good work with good people we jump on it — and especially when it involves free sourdough bread for life. The design work became loved and recognized throughout the city and was acknowledged not once, but twice by Lürzer’s Archive magazine. Win-win-win.
What’s the worst part of air travel? The canceled flights? The stale peanuts? The kid in front of you who everyone agrees needs to get off the plane midair? Well, Newport News realized there wasn’t anything they could do about any of that, but what they could do was become an ‘invisible airport.’ Newport News is a place that almost vanishes. No long lines. No waits. And, because of its location, getting there and back again is a snap. Everything is easy going.
You might have heard of the Gracies, a prestigious Oscars-like awards show named after Gracie Allen. The Gracies are a production of Alliance for Women in Media, an international association created to inspire female leaders. AWM asked us to build a website (or two) and help them with online advertising. As part of the project, we also developed AWM’s 70th Anniversary identity system, including the Voices name.
Once upon a time, a successful senior executive said to himself, ‘Screw all this. I want to help troubled young adults not only find their purpose in life, but equip them with the personal, social, and even professional tools to make a go of it.’ And so he embarked on transforming this passion into a reality, retaining us to help him name, brand, and communicate his company’s value into something that has now grown into a nationally recognized coaching platform.
Highland Coffee was one of the first coffee shops in town. In fact, they became an institution. But sadly, after 23 years, the Pandemic took its toll in 2021 and their brick-and-mortar location in the Highlands closed. The location was core to the brand, of course, but the legacy and the quality of the coffee remained, and so we were asked to position them as an online brand. We drove the initiative with a campaign of five custom-illustrated letterpress posters based on the caffeine-inspired tagline “What Are You Up For?” supplemented with a refreshed logo, a range of t-shirts, mugs, and sundry other tchotchkes.
The social injustice demonstrations of 2020 left a mark. Especially in Louisville. It happened in the belly of the pandemic and most of us felt powerless to do anything meaningful. But we knew that we could at least develop messaging that might contribute to raising awareness, and maybe even a little money to help support the critical work being done by Black Lives Matter and Louisville Urban League.
As America’s fastest-growing bourbon, Rabbit Hole doesn’t lean on its heritage and Kentucky roots, but stands up and says, proudly, “We’re the adventurers who give rise to ‘What’s next?’ The iconoclasts who ask ‘Why not?’ And the extraordinary who say ‘We will.‘” It’s a bourbon crafted to appeal to those who cherish their individuality, and who, through a life inspired by imagination and love, seek exceptional friendships and experiences. ‘The Wonderful Party’ tells their story in a way that gives a colorful, grateful nod to the brand’s wellspring, and the Sundance Film Festival work acknowledges Rabbit Hole’s place in the pantheon of creative and ambitious souls.
Breakfast in the south is a very serious business. So cue: Wild Eggs, a large, rapidly growing breakfast-food restaurant chain, which over the last decade has become one of the premier players in the marketplace. The interiors reflect their casual-but-fun-and-fresh take on cooking, an aesthetic we were asked to emulate in our social media work for them. Families, smiles, lots of light and color . . . and of course eggs.