Category: Clients

Making an Impact in 2016

Wow. 2016 was a bit of a doozy, eh? For all it’s ups and downs, we are #grateful because, when it comes right down to it, it was another year in which we got to do the work we love with people who care. The collaborative and creative relationships we cultivate with our clients are what make for the most inspiring outcomes.

Just because we are a small agency (and proud to be so) doesn’t mean we don’t think BIG. So when a BIG opportunity came to us out of Dallas we were thrilled—not only for a chance to do work on a national level, but to be involved in work with a lasting impact. Southern Methodist University’s Embrey Human Rights Program is a cutting edge, experiential education program that challenges societal and individual paradigms. Bringing students through all aspects of Human Rights throughout the country and the world, the Program celebrates their work every second year by awarding two recipients— one national and one international—with the Triumph of the Spirit award.

New Ground’s Art Director, Falyn, was the design lead on the project and we were excited to have been chosen from a bunch of other agencies throughout the South and East Coast to brand this event. We were brought on to help brand this year’s theme, Voices.


“It always feels good to be chosen to work on something that really inspires you.”


The team working on this event wanted something that spoke to diversity and inclusion, joy and unity, knowledge and expression. The team included Music2Life, who coordinated the event, directors from the Embrey Human Rights Program, and ourselves. The energy between everyone involved in the project was awesome throughout all stages of the process. It was a truly collaborative experience, with every viewpoint and perspective heard and honored—creating an atmosphere of incredible creativity.


“Here’s the thing about working with NGC. You’re getting an excellent skill base, of course, but what I found is that they became engaged partners who were truly invested in the successful outcome of our project.”

 – Elizabeth Stookey Sunde, Founder & Creative Director of Music2Life

Working on a design for a community and culture that is very different from where we live is particularly engaging because it naturally shakes up our process.

We developed a logo, color palette, and style guide for them which we used to create a broad array of collateral for this year’s event. An example of our “out of the box” thinking is how the logo, for certain uses, was interactive; participants and audience members filled in parts of the logo to show their own thoughts and hopes for Human Rights. One of the intentions of the Triumph of the Spirit Awards ceremony was engagement. We wanted the imagery to inspire and motivate participants to embody the mission of the event in their everyday lives.


“[New Ground Creative’s] responsiveness and intuitive get-it factor made them feel like extended staff people vs. a contracted vendor. Unlike a staff person, however, their perspective was fresh, always honest and unencumbered by any baggage.”

– Elizabeth Stookey Sunde, Founder & Creative Director of Music2Life

Projects like this one inspire us and they feel like a natural extension of all the non profit work we’ve done over the years. Now, more than ever, we want the work we produce to have the biggest impact possible. We put intention behind what we produce and the relationships we build in the process. We succeed when our clients do and, when the mission is protecting the rights of all humans and paving the way for a better world, well… count us in.

All event photos by Dylan Hollingsworth.

HOW Conference 2015

HOW-Conference-2015Carrie and Falyn went to the 2015 HOW Conference, while David and Joe stayed in the boring, dull office with jealousy in their hearts… I mean, we were so happy for them that they had the opportunity to partake in HOW (sigh).

Carrie introduced Laura Foley and Tom Tumbusch, two badasses, during their talk on Marketing Your Freelance Business. Which was nice because she got to plug New Ground to a room full of awesome.

HOW splits its sessions into different tracks, so Falyn got super-inspired by attending the creative lectures while Carrie spent most of her time in the business track—keeping up-to-date on the changing dynamics of our industry.

There were an abundance of AMAZING speakers, including Simon Sinek and Tina Roth Eisenberg. The level of encouragement, inspiration, and awesomeness present at the conference was nearly migraine-causing (but, like, in a good way).

HOW-Conference-2015-ChicagoNot only did the ladies return creatively rejuvenated, but they were able to relax and soak in the beautiful city of Chicago in their spare time (there may have been additional shenanigans). They were so excited to have made new connections and relationships with people from around the world that they only slightly minded coming back to Joe and David.

We at New Ground Creative look forward to continuing our involvement in the HOW Design Conference.

Will we see you next year? In case we did not have the opportunity to connect with you at the event, please reach out to us and say hello.

HOW-Conference-2015-Pins

Insights abound

Vermont Insights LogoThis was a fun project that we just finished working on and we wanted to share with you what some of our thinking was. Vermont Insights is a data site for policy makers, philanthropists, nonprofits and a host of other users to make sense of who we are as a state. An extension of the amazing nonprofit, Building Bright Futures, Vermont Insights provides the tools and resources to make better decisions for Vermont communities.

They approached us to create a logo and tagline for the site. It was challenging because we wanted to make it engaging and friendly without being too cute. After a couple of really, well, insightful conversations, we created a lot of possible concepts and settled on the pie chart within a lightbulb. The thinking was that it was important to make it clear that this was about data—especially as the name doesn’t mention data and Vermont Insights could mean a lot of things. We also wanted to bring out that visual of great ideas coming from the resources on the site. We all have tremendous access to information these days but it’s harder to sift through it to build an actionable plan. That is exactly why this site is so necessary.

As for the tagline, Communities Connected by Data, we wanted to reiterate the data-driven nature of the site but balance that with the sense of community that makes Vermont such a cool state. The concept of connection—in both the human meaning and the information meaning—was also important.

All in all, we think these pieces are pretty cool and they feel like a natural extension of all of the nonprofit work we’ve been doing over the years. We’re sharing this because it’s a project that, like so much of the work we do for our clients, will have a big impact.

What’s in a Name?

The right name will be timeless, tireless, easy to say and remember, stands for something, and allows for future growth.

The right name will be timeless, tireless, easy to say and remember, stands for
something, and allows for future growth.

Background questions to consider

  1. Think about your current name: What about it is working? What isn’t working? What is your purpose in changing it?
  2. Think about your company or product: What does your company or product do? Why does it matter? Who are your audiences (Primary, secondary, tertiary)? What is your company or product’s personality?
  3. Think about your audience: How are they finding you?
  4. If a brief name will be more easily remembered and used, what are the essential words to be included? What can be sacrificed for the sake of brevity?

Qualities of an effective name

  • Meaningful: It communicates something about the essence of your organization
  • Distinctive: It is unique, easy to remember, pronounce, and spell.
  • Future Oriented: It anticipates an organization’s growth and change.
  • Positive: It has positive connotations and no strong negatives. (Including initials.)
  • Visual: It lends itself well to graphic presentation in a logo and on a website.

Try Creating and See What Happens.

We are ready to make something from within ourselves that we can express outside ourselves.Remember when you were a kid and an adult, whether it was a teacher, your mom, or a babysitter, would draw squiggly lines on a piece of paper and give it to you with crayons to fill in the circles? Please tell me you do and that isn’t just something that existed in our little worlds.

Anyways, the point here is that we were creating something out of nothing. It was a simple project (maybe to only occupy us into silence) that in the end gave our young minds a sense of accomplishment and creativity.

These days, our clients are the ones giving us a creative problem to solve. How do we reflect who their company is with an image? How do we fit all that copy into an attractive and easy to read format? What structure would best serve their website? This is our modern day “filling in the circles.”

Sometimes, however, we need to create off the computer. Something with our hands. Something that uses a different kind of creativity. And sometimes we don’t even know what it might be when we start.

Carrie loves to sing and play guitar. That is an outlet that opens up a different way of being inspired. She also writes music. You can’t get more creatively raw then when you sing and play a song you have written.

Falyn finds solace in the medium of charcoal. Starting with a blank sheet, and covering it with black to form an image that is unique to her is a rewarding experience.

When we start, either with a pen or piece of charcoal in hand, we don’t necessarily know where the journey is going to take us. All we know is we are ready to make something from within ourselves that we can express outside ourselves.

We suggest you try it.

Listening Goes A Long Way

Before we start the creative process we sit down with our client and get to know them.We received a great compliment from a client today about how well we listen and ask the right questions.

Our job is more than creating beautiful designs, but a partnering with our clients. Relationships are important to us, and we believe in doing business in a way that respects, strengthens and brings joy to everyone.

There are many ways nowadays to get a website or a logo done, but that doesn’t mean it is done with meaning, integrity, or with the client in mind.

Before we start the creative process we sit down with our client and get to know them. What sets them apart? Who are their competitors? What is the image they want to portray? What do they like? What do they not like? What features, functions or materials do they need?

All of this is important to deliver a design that is representative of whom they are as a business or organization. Yup, you can go online and get a template website and plug in a generic logo for half the price, but it is going to have no reflection of your spirit. The adage, “You get what your pay for” exists for a reason.

Woodward Design wants our clients to thrive and we know that thoughtful design and marketing materials have so much to do with that. But you can’t achieve that without knowing whom you are designing for. That is what you get with us, excellent skill coupled with the desire to understand everything about you.

So come in, we’re all ears.

Mixing Business with Pleasure

We took in a great exhibit at the Fleming Museum called High Trash.Woodward Design took a trip up to Burlington a couple weeks ago for a business trip. We were meeting with a potential client and decided to turn the trip into something a little more than work, work, work.

We took in a great exhibit at the Fleming Museum called High Trash. It was all about, well, trash, and the affect it has on our world. Almost every piece was made up of “trash” and was reused and made into a thoughtful art form. This exhibit got us thinking, both environmentally as well as artistically. If you in the area we highly recommend going. It is running until May 19.

We also took an obligatory walk around Church Street and admired Ben & Jerry’s from afar. Carrie purchased some sweet purple sunglasses while Falyn ogled some really cool earrings from a line called Polli.

We of course went to our meeting, which was a great one, and then headed home. It was a long day, but a really fun and productive one. Isn’t that how all days should be?

 

Who is Woodward Design: Falyn

Falyn is the art director at New groundFalyn has been with Woodward Design for seven years. She loves what she does and the people she gets to work with. The variety of clients, the myriad of jobs and the fun atmosphere makes her want to come to work every day.

She is a native to the Brattleboro area and moved back here after getting her BFA at The Art Institute of Boston. She couldn’t stay away from her family, friends, and the fresh air.

When Falyn isn’t designing, she is reading, taking a spin class, lying on the beach, watching movies, spending time with her loved ones, snuggling with her kitty, or adding to her jewelry collection.

The reason she loves design is because she believes she is helping people’s eyeballs. That is right, eyeballs. Since everything in this world needs to be designed, her philosophy is why not have it be designed well. Function and beauty are achievable and that is what she wants to put out into the world, something that does its job well and looks good while doing it.

We strive for Plan A!

New Ground strives to work on Plan A every day.How do you want to fill your time? What have you always wanted to be doing? Will you spend time working on Plan A or Plan B?

WoodwardDesign strives to work on Plan A every day. We are blessed to work with such wonderful clients that keep us inspired to create new innovative designs. We love our job!

This summer we have some great Plan A adventures coming up. Jeff is traveling to Alaska with family and will be taking lots of photos. Falyn is planning on being outdoors more—riding her new bike, hiking, and gardening (without getting lyme disease). Carrie’s Plan A for the summer is eating a lot of ice cream…one of her favorite places to get ice cream is The Blueberry Haus in Guilford, VT. 32 Plan A Favors! Carrie’s current favorites: Chocolate Chip Cookie Monster and Blackberry Chocolate Chip.

What’s your Plan A?

The Type of Type is Important

Type has a personality all its own.There are many aspects to graphic and web design, and we here at Woodward Design is sensitive to all of these. Every single one. Color, size, shape, photography and typography. Yes, I tell you, typography. Type has a personality all its own.

This is helpful because our clients have personalities all their own as well. Well, most of them. I can think of one who has absolutely no personality at all. That aside, if you take a look at our portfolio you will see a wide variety of clients and type used. The font used for North Hartland Tool is much different than Senior Solutions because their audiences are different.

A thick font gives a strong presence whereas a cursive font expresses a softer feel. When we design a logo, brochure, website or ad we think about what the message is and what our client is intending their audience to understand. Our job is to pull all the design elements together to get that message across visually. That way, on first look, the audience will get a feeling before they even dive into the content.

Add other elements like color and scale and you are on your way to telling a visual story. You just need to have the knowledge, and luckily for the people in Brattleboro’s surrounding area (and beyond) we do!