• CBO Financial, Inc


    CBO Financial had a wonderful story to tell; unfortunately their voice was so garbled that the impression it left was pretty much, “Wah wah wah,” à la the teacher from the Peanuts TV specials. CBO helps social service organizations develop and finance new facility projects to revitalize communities and benefit populations in need. Having garnered $500 million in New Markets Tax Credits, CBO needed to communicate its financial and tax credit expertise without appearing too corporate or out of touch with the day-to-day experience of those in the trenches. Conversely, CBO needed to project a level of respectability and trustworthiness to governmental and financial institutions likely to invest in their programs. Trying to be all things to both groups had previously left them with an outdated identity suite which communicated to neither audience.


    By working with the in-house marketing team to distill their message, the true offering emerged: CBO assists facilities serving down on their luck neighborhoods in the hopes that it will start a domino effect, bringing these communities back from the brink. Considering how many ruined neighborhoods CBO has helped return from the ashes, there was only one visual which made sense: the phoenix.

    TREATMENT II: Collateral

    CBO’s vocation is carried through each of its marketing pieces, many of them with the campaign’s headline, “You see challenges. We see possibilities. Your community sees change.” Even when that message isn’t written, the hope it contains is still implied; the holiday card shows an image of three warmly lit luminaries, one emblazoned with the CBO phoenix.

    The work we created includes the following: business papers, marketing kit design/writing, direct mail design/writing, holiday card, website design/writing, newsletter design/writing, trade show booth and presentation materials.

  • Grace Episcopal Day School


    Grace Episcopal Day School, a private pre-K through fifth grade institution, wanted to expand to include middle school grades but cookie dough sales, car washes, and leaving children at traffic intersections with cardboard signs asking for money weren’t cutting the mustard. Believing that the middle school was something which could be achieved in the two short years prior to its 50th anniversary, Grace’s Board of Directors launched a capital campaign called “Bold Vision”.


    We were tapped to create the Bold Vision logo, communicating the school’s Episcopal foundation, involved alumni community, and hopes for the future. The logo became part of a successful campaign, which led to the school graduating its first eighth grade class during its 50th anniversary year.

    TREATMENT II: Collateral

    To celebrate Grace’s 50th anniversary, we were asked to design a commemorative logo which then led to a redesign of Grace News, the quarterly newsletter to parents, students, alumni, and staff. This newsletter was so well received that we were asked to redesign several other institutional publications based upon its design.

  • Attune Development Consultants


    We were originally contracted to assess the brand of CDT (Comprehensive Development Team) Design Consultants (CDTDC), a construction management company that handles every aspect of commercial development and acts as the business owner’s representative, allowing them to focus on their core responsibilities.

    Our initial review revealed that the CDTDC acronym confused their target market, decreased their likelihood of being remembered, and sounded more like a shadowy secret government agency populated by ninjas. We also discovered that their marketing materials weren’t clearly showcasing their services—so much so that potential clients frequently said, “I didn’t know you did that!” during presentations.

    TREATMENT I: Naming

    We created the name Attune Development Consultants to reflect how the company truly assists its clients by saving them a considerable amount of effort, time and money. The word attune has several very positive definitions, including balance, integrate and coordinate. It infers that Attune’s goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for their clients and that the company is knowledgeable (and attuned) to all facets of the construction industry. We included the word development in the name to reinforce the fact that the company can coordinate everything–from finding the building site to ensuring that their clients are satisfied with their completed space.

    TREATMENT II: Logo and Tagline

    The Attune logo offers a slightly whimsical yet grounded approach to the company’s mission. Three balls convey the idea that the construction process has many facets and that Attune deftly juggles/coordinates them all. The tagline, “We manage the possibilities.”, summarizes Attune’s fresh outlook on every project.

    TREATMENT III: Collateral

    We took a warm yet professional approach with Attune’s collateral and direct mail. The brochure concept utilizes a daylong timeline to highlight the numerous challenges that must be addressed in order to keep a construction project on schedule and on budget. The photography illustrates key steps in the development process while the colors reinforce the Attune brand color palette. With the headline, “We get dirty so you don’t have to.”, the direct mail piece engages the reader and serves as a teaser encouraging recipients to visit the website or call to receive the informational brochure.

    As Attune’s capabilities expanded, we developed a brochure showcasing the environmental and fiscal values of hiring their LEED certified consultants. Reusing the initial brochure’s dotted line along the bottom, we enlarged the dots to include imagery representative of LEED-focused areas. Pairing what could have been overwhelming statistics with approachable content supported the play on Attune’s tagline, “We can manage that.”

    Finally, the brand’s visual voice was extended through trade show banners, t-shirts and advertising. Aria was also contracted to take care all of Attune’s print and online copy writing.

  • Electrograph Systems


    Display technology magazines offer page after page of ads filled with embarrassingly obvious stock photos, excessively Photoshopped product images, and less meat than a chicken wing. Professional display technology installers need to “wow” their customers and Electrograph helps them do it; however, that fact wasn’t coming across in their current advertising.

    TREATMENT: Consistent advertising campaign

    After years of ads following a very safe yet very dull pattern, Electrograph’s new marketing director was willing to step out of the company’s comfort zone and take a new tact by working with us instead of her in-house team. We listened to her concerns and her hopes that the new campaign would pop visually yet also convey the product knowledge that makes Electrograph stand out from other display technology distributors. We chose a completely fresh approach by focusing instead on the end users—the people who actually sit and enjoy watching TV. While no actual product is featured in the ads (except for a few small images at the bottom), the emotion of the viewing experience heightened by having a really great home theater system is the selling point, while the body copy succinctly states all of the reasons why installers need to partner with Electrograph.