December 22, 2017

Visualizing 2017 as we look forward to 2018

As we approach the new year, we’d like to look back on the year we’re leaving. As a visual communications agency, we can look back and see everything as a whole, which is a lot of creative work. A lot of branding design work. A lot of web design and development work. A lot of packaging design work. A lot of social media marketing work. Overall, a lot of work. A lot of great-looking work. However, it doesn’t tell the whole story. It shows the creative solutions, but not how we got there.

We began 2017 with a business trip to visit a client site near Miami, FL and we’re planning another meeting with them in January 2018. We can’t complain about spending a few winter days in sunny Florida, especially with a top notch client who does very impactful and important work providing life support equipment and services, but the meetings have also kicked-off important projects with them each year. This past year, we designed and developed a brand new website, updated two smartphone apps/tools, continued their social media campaigns, created multiple 3d animation videos, updated their print advertising campaigns, and helped to define and brand an entirely new division within their organization. A slick new website, social media channels, and other marketing materials were expedited so the division could hit the ground running.

We also expanded our office space to make more room for our Back Forty Creative division in January. We dusted off our paint brushes and created a massive 20’ x 12’ mural on the main wall. It was a team effort, with everyone in the office pitching in (and some extra help from family). Good times! We learned a few things about the office team during this process: Corey is good with masking tape, Tim has a way of painting himself into a corner, Amanda is better at using sponges than paint brushes, Ed is good at fixing Amanda’s corn, and Miranda is good at thinking something that actually takes five days will only take a day to complete. But at the end of that week, the mural was complete, we all survived (the paint fumes and each other), and the wall looks amazing!

Over the spring and summer, we continued working with clients on some very large projects. One project involved rebranding and redesigning a line of feed bags for a Missouri-based feed company. The other project was our third year of collaborating with a London-based non-profit organization to help rebrand and design marketing materials for their big conference. Both of these projects spanned 8+ months, but the end results were worth it.

Mid-year we began working with a Las Vegas-based sustainable feedstock drying system manufacturer to help rebrand their business. This included a refined logo design, brand usage and style manual, website design and development, a 4-minute animation video, and product specification sheets.

We also had the opportunity to expand our scope with a global non-profit organization. We have worked with their European division for several years, but this year we also started working with their Asia-Pacific division. Much like our work with Europe, we have started and continue to work on their branding design, social media campaigns, promotional materials, signage graphics, program brochure design, and more.

This fall, we exhibited at a couple of big trades shows in Baltimore, MD and Columbus, OH, and are happy to have met–and started working with–a couple of new clients. One of our new clients is an herbal supplements business with a project scope that included a massive rebrand, identity system, packaging design of nearly 600 products, direct-mail campaigns, shelf displays, trade show displays, and multiple advertisements which will take us through the end of 2017 and will continue into 2018. We will let you know when the newly branded products are available in stores.

Kleenex is not a client, but you may want to grab one while we talk about our employees, old and new. We said goodbye to Corey this summer, which was a bummer. A bummer summer. He had a great opportunity with another firm and we wished him luck. He’s a great designer and did a lot of great work while he was with us. We said hello…and then goodbye to our summer intern Lauren. She helped across the board – social media, design projects, a photography shoot at the Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago, and all-around positivity and enthusiasm in the office. She recently accepted a full-time position with a national shoe company. Way to go, Lauren! But don’t be too sad about those who have moved on because we also welcomed a key member to our team in September…Jim! Jim is our Awesome Web Developer and Sr. Graphic Designer. If awesome isn’t on his business card, we’ll be sure to add it in 2018. He immediately jumped in and took the reins of several key digital projects this fall!

Of course there are many, many more client projects, events, and extremely important announcements from throughout the year, but we can’t name them all. You can see more about them by visiting our website work page and by reading through our previous blog and social media entries. We’ll wait while you go do that right now.

Are you back? Yeah? Great. Now that you’ve seen and are completely impressed by the work we’ve done, you can hear us gush a bit more about the talented people on our team. Check out some of the awards we won this past year:

ANDA

  • SB MONTHLY FUTURE 50 BUSINESS AWARD – Awesomeness
  • AMERICAN WEB DESIGN AWARD – Deployed Resources Website
  • TELLY BRONZE AWARD – Deployed Resources Large-Scale Camp Animation
  • W3 GOLD AWARD (MANUFACTURING) – Deployed Resources Website
  • HERMES GOLD AWARD (EVENT MARKETING) – CEAC16 Branding
  • HERMES PLATINUM AWARD (MOTION GRAPHICS FOR PRODUCT) – Deployed Resources Large-Scale Camp Animation

BACK FORTY

  • AMERICAN HEALTH + WELLNESS PACKAGE DESIGN AWARD – GrowTech Farms Labels

Our design team can be attributed to our successful 2017. Tim, Ed, and Jim truly make everyone and everything look good, and we have reason to believe they will continue to make things look good in 2018. If you don’t believe us, contact us and we’ll let them show you. They’ll make you sparkle. In a good way.