The good shepherd

Playback Cafe’s new, improved brand, consistent with the parent company’s brand and other program brands under development.

I’d been my oldest pro bono client’s sole design resource almost since its inception, so it grated to discover that, while I’d been carefully crafting the parent company’s public image, the spinoff had stitched together an ad hoc identity package of its own, one that bore no resemblance to the parent company’s materials, and a second spinoff was about to do the same.

1-Adam-12, balkanization in progress.

Many months and not a few earnest conversations later, all is well in the garden, but the experience has reminded me that clients rarely are as loyal to the methods and materials they commission as are the designers who produce them.

This is why it’s the marketing professional’s responsibility to be proactive – as I was not – in shepherding a brand. More than once, as the horses were leaving the barn, I thought to myself, “those horses, man, they are totally getting out of the barn,” but I never did anything about it, and as a result, the eventual branding process for the spinoffs was much more difficult than it needed to be.

The client I’m talking about in this case happens to be one of my all-time favorites, The Applied Theatre Center. Its executive director, Dale Savidge, is a latter day saint, and the work his company does is, in many instances, profoundly important. To what extent my own efforts have furthered ATC’s various causes I’ll never know, but I’m sufficiently invested in its wellness to kick myself for dropping the ball.

Enough about that.

Our latest collaboration is a makeover for ATC’s Playback Café. New brand, new posters, apparel, sandwich board and banner. And a photo session. There’ll be more. Posted here are the brand, a few proposed Facebook ads (derived from the photo shoot), and a video that dropped January 24, 2016.