Opening more doors.

Sibcy Cline

Brand Identity | Campaign | Video

A new direction for a classic brand.

CHALLENGE: After 62 years as Greater Cincinnati/Dayton’s leader in real estate marketing, Sibcy Cline needed a brand refresh and new agent recruiting materials. The challenge was, how do we update their long-standing logo and positioning yet still maintain a valuable emotional connection with the past?

IDEA: Reinterpret the logo without sacrificing recognition, while creating messaging that positions Sibcy Cline’s unmatched training, technology, support and experience as being at “At the heart of all great moves”.

STORY: As the largest independent broker in the region, Sibcy Cline is known for its commitment to its agents. Creative Department’s brand immersion process, which included interviews of current agents, revealed that their training program and agent support – including technology and tools – was unparalleled. The company stood perfectly positioned to leverage the story-rich mission, expertise, and reputation established over the last 62 years, and to gain momentum with new recruits and the communities Sibcy Cline serves. They just needed a brand refresh that would lead the way.

We started with logo exploration. The color red had been Sibcy Cline’s signature color for decades so there was a lot of equity in, and company love for, the color. The logo itself, however, was dated and not representative of the modern, technology-focused company they’d become. While our task wasn’t to completely reimagine the mark, there was opportunity to evolve it.

We decided to simplify it, using a clean font that works harder within the technology space. The lantern was their signature icon, conveying warmth and welcoming. We moved away from the lamp post to a more streamlined lamp, still preserving the suggestion of an inviting light that guides you to your new home.

Beyond the logo, the positioning and messaging were aimed at recruiting new agents, with the tag line “At the heart of all great moves.” as its foundation. We executed a robust collateral system that pushed out the brand, revealing it all in an inspiring video for the brand launch at the annual sales conference. The video received a standing ovation. The client continues to applaud the new brand, too, as recruitment efforts and home sales are stronger than ever.

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Saving 50,000 Shelter Dogs

Chico’s Promise

Website Launch, New Logo

A salute to loyalty and trust.

CHALLENGE: Through a new website design and strong identity, significantly boost awareness and drive donations to Chico’s Promise – a nonprofit with an unusually bold objective: saving the lives of 50,000 no-kill shelter dogs.

IDEA: Celebrate every dog as a hero. Highlight the story of an exceptionally loyal Vietnam service dog named Chico, and his unwavering bond with a partner who never forgot him, to inspire people to join in the mission of Chico’s Promise.

STORY: At the end of the Vietnam War, an estimated 4,300 service dogs were euthanized or abandoned in Vietnam. One of them was a Silver German Shepherd mix named Chico.

Chico’s handler was 20-year-old Mike Monahan, who served in the 46th Scout Dog Platoon in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. By alerting Mike and his platoon to live tripwires, Chico saved many lives and would forever be a superhero in Mike’s eyes.

After his Vietnam tour, Mike had to leave his canine partner behind and return home, but the sorrow of abandoning Chico weighed heavily on him for five decades. To honor Chico’s bravery and the bond they shared, Mike recently wrote a book about their story called “Chico’s Promise”, and used the proceeds to start a non-profit of the same name. Mike realized there was no better way to say thank you than by helping to save the lives of 50,000 shelter dogs. He hopes to accomplish that by paying adoption fees at selected no-kill shelters throughout the U.S.

In 2022, Chico’s Promise turned to Creative Department to help further its mission. In our conversations with Mike, his immense passion for all dogs became apparent, as he spoke fondly of the canine companions he’s had over years. Inspired by his heartfelt devotion to dogs, we landed on the idea that all dogs are heroes in their own way. Supporting Chico’s Promise is an opportunity to not only honor Chico, but also to celebrate the love, laughter, and unconditional loyalty all dogs bring to our lives.

To enhance the digital presence of Chico’s Promise, we took a comprehensive approach. In addition to creating a new site with powerful imagery and messaging, we designed a new logo and an email newsletter campaign. Moreover, we streamlined e-commerce functionality by consolidating the donation and book purchasing processes, which were previously managed through separate sites.

Our partnership with Mike and his ongoing efforts to honor Chico in a profound way are showing consistent success – more and more shelter dogs are being saved each day, thanks to Chico’s legacy.

We created a user-friendly site with strong, ownable imagery that captures the unique and enduring bond between a dog and their owner.

The messaging and design celebrate not only Chico but also the role dogs play in all our lives – they are everyday heroes.

To build a loyal subscriber base for the email newsletter, readers were offered a sign-up incentive: a complimentary download of the first chapter of the Chico’s Promise book.

As part of our process, we developed a moodboard to communicate the overarching concept and site design.

Deep roots. New growth.

Three Oaks by Neyer Properties

Brand Identity

A strong brand from the ground up.

CHALLENGE: Create the brand identity and foundational messaging for a neo-urban, multi-generational residential community being developed in the Oakley neighborhood of Cincinnati. The community would be the first of its kind in the area.

IDEA: Tap into the rich history and geography of the development site to inspire the name, logo and messaging.

STORY: Three Oaks is a planned 30-acre residential community by Neyer Properties, scheduled to open in the fall of 2021. Designed to be vibrant, inclusive, and unlike anything else in the area, Three Oaks will feature beautiful architecture, ample and lush park-like common spaces, and hike and bike paths for easy connection to the surrounding community – an ideal example of “new urbanism.”

Highly progressive, yet with a nod to history, Three Oaks will accommodate families in all phases of life with three separate types of residences: multi-family homes (apartments and townhouses), single-family homes, and senior living which includes independent living, assisted living, and memory care.

To create the brand identity, we looked to the site’s past as well as its future. Our naming exploration included researching the origins of the city of Oakley itself – which owes its name to the many oak trees within its limits. The trees’ legendary strength, beautiful canopy and resilient root systems are all characteristics reflective of the quality of the community’s exciting neo-urban design.

The tall straight lines of the logo suggest the trunk of an oak while its branches reference the site’s history of connection – it was once a bustling railyard – as well as its new purpose of bringing together people who want to live a healthy, active life of community and connection. In addition, messaging – from the tagline to headlines – also communicate growth and connectivity.

For Neyer Properties, growth is a recurring theme, as enthusiasm and anticipation for this unique community is quickly expanding throughout the Cincinnati area.

From the tagline to headlines, messaging includes references to growth and connectivity.

The tall straight lines of the logo suggest the trunk of an oak while its branches are a  reference to the site’s history of connection – it was once a bustling railyard

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Clink Barware

Branding | Digital Design | Social Marketing

[Clink] Here’s to bringing a brand to life.

CHALLENGE: Clink makes custom monogrammed high-end crystal and glass barware. It’s beautiful stuff. Yet the company was founded as a wholesaler, and they didn’t know how to translate their exceptional product into a consumer-focused retail brand. Fortunately, we knew precisely how to proceed.

IDEA: To engage their target audience – affluent man-cave dwellers – Clink needed an identity and attitude that could stand apart in a crowded industry.

STORY: The first thing we developed for the brand was a name. We wanted something fresh, fun and memorable, and “Clink” was an obvious winner. It played nicely to the sound of high-end crystal “clinking” together.

Additionally, we developed a mark for the brand, as well as an e-commerce-ready retail website. And all of it with a fresh, engaging look and feel. The brand was ready to compete and win.

Yet there were additional challenges. Because while the product is excellent, it’s no easy task to reach their more affluent target. We needed awareness for our products, as well as clever messaging to differentiate our product offerings from the everyday.

Next, we developed consumer engagement ideas for the brand that were both introductory and promotional. Our crowning campaign achievement was a national e-mail promotion we built with Groupon, which resulted in nearly 7000 purchases and created a database we can use in future promotional efforts.

Of course, we built the brand a consumer-facing e-commerce website, as well as a comprehensive advertising campaign featuring both digital and traditional executions.

We made Clink part of a bigger celebration, one that called for raising a glass to endless lesser-known – but arguably more epic – occasions. Those moments in life where an ordinary glass just won’t do. The new campaign, and the results, were definitely cause for celebration.

From branding to measurable promotion, a highly successful partnership. #We’llClinkToThat.

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Benken Garden Center

Brand Refresh | Campaign | Digital Design

Bringing new energy to a long-established garden center.

CHALLENGE: Breathe new life into a family-owned Cincinnati nursery in order to compete with big-box garden centers with volume-based, value-priced inventory.

IDEA: Modernize the Benken brand with a fresh, imaginative visual style and messaging, engaging both current customers as well as a broader, younger audience of plant enthusiasts.

STORY: Benken Florist & Garden Center is a Cincinnati institution. For almost 80 years, Benken has prided itself on quality and service, combined with a friendly, expert staff armed with a knowledge of plants and flowers unmatched in the city.

But while the Benken name reflects the dedication to quality established by Harry and Johanna Benken in 1939, chain garden centers were drawing customers away with lower prices and numerous locations across the city.

To support this effort, we undertook a brand refresh and pushed it out through site design, social media, display ads, and outdoor, deploying attention-grabbing headlines tied to rich visuals of beautiful plants and flowers.

A major driver was social media engagement. We wrote attention-grabbing headlines, tied them to rich visuals of beautiful plants and flowers, and shared them across social platforms.

To support this effort, we undertook a brand refresh, site design, social media, display ads, and outdoor, deploying attention-grabbing headlines tied to rich visuals of beautiful plants and flowers, We even proposed a series of truck wraps. It was beautiful work for a client that understands how beauty can improve lives.

We helped Benken attract younger consumers through aggressive social media and a spirited attitude.

Seasonal changes provided clear opportunities for engaging messaging and product promotion.

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Never go solo


Brand Identity

Making beautiful music together.

CHALLENGE: Help a Nashville-based online music booking startup find their distinctive voice with a strong brand and campaign materials in support of their launch.

IDEA: Celebrate EVA’s proprietary booking technology, but deliver the brand expression in a youthful, energetic way – reflecting the energy and passion of the company founders, and their commitment to ensuring event planners and artists never have to “go solo”.

STORY: EVA is a time-saving online technology that helps event planners find the right artist or act, depending upon genre and budget.

The company was founded by two recent college graduates – Channing Moreland and Makenzie Stokel. Both have fantastic energy, experience booking talent for college concerts and festivals, and a passion for professional entertainment.

EVA is a connector; they make a nerve-racking experience simple and easy.

It was clear to us that this idea would be a success, and we were eager to help Channing and Makenzie finalize their brand and share their story. We wanted to create something brilliantly simple to help them stand out in the category, and they were enthusiastically open to that thinking.

We built the brand around the “better mousetrap” concept, celebrating reliability, professionalism, and ease of use, as well as the energy of great music. The brand focus became the stress-relief benefit to event planners.

Our most important contribution, the foundational element, was the creation of the EVA identity, which communicates the brand’s distinctive vitality and positions them miles away from their competitors.

Beyond their identity, we helped EVA formalize their branding and advertising, including brand promise and expression, brand guidelines, website design, copy, and an entire campaign of communication touchpoints, both digital and traditional.

Their business continues to grow, and they are well on their way to becoming  music industry superstars.

Our tagline “Never go solo” stated our benefit to event planners.

The brand reflects the energy and passion of its owners.

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Brand Identity | Campaign

The perfect fit for a struggling brand.

CHALLENGE: Over the years, competitive fitness operations have come and gone. FITWORKS, an exercise and fitness gym with multiple locations throughout Northern Kentucky and Ohio was in a fight against newer, sleeker, cheaper fitness chains. How could they compete with that? They needed real transformation, inside and out.

IDEA: We set out to unify their brand and messaging system-wide, and strengthen the core of what they do and why. We started with the concept at the heart of FITWORKS equity: “fitness works.” That simple truth became the foundation of all brand communication.

STORY: To help our client meet their business goals, we brought serious strategic and creative muscle to the assignment. The business target was middle-class adults who found fitness centers intimidating and were seeking a more welcoming and laidback alternative. They were looking for a supportive environment rather than the aggressive “no pain no gain” approach to fitness.

But there were numerous barriers to business success – a very crowded market, and near constant member turnover, since 70% of people who start a gym membership stop using it after 90 days.

The plan was to motivate people to believe they could get the results they want, and live healthier lives.  We created the tagline, “Do what works,” a simple, clear call to action. Do what works so you can look better, feel better, and live healthier. But the path is different for everyone, so FITWORKS helps members choose the program that’s best for them: their “custom fit” fitness.

These concepts came alive in our campaign, as we focused communication on FITWORKS’ supportive approach, world class training, and laid-back staff.

We started by creating a clean new identity, and built a platform of complementary materials around it, from a website and social media campaign to print advertising and out-of-home. We also implemented SEO to make sure our digital presence remained healthy.

All with a consistent, target-friendly look and feel through art direction, graphic design, photography and copy.

The FITWORKS brand offered something unique and appealing to their target. Our creativity make that uniqueness work even harder.

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The Summit Country Day School

Brand Identity

A test of our strategic thinking.

CHALLENGE: The CD challenge was to help a venerable Cincinnati Catholic school communicate its distinctiveness in an increasingly competitive landscape, resulting in an advantage in student recruitment.

IDEA: While Summit Country Day has much to offer, including a beautiful urban campus and state championship-level sports, our idea was to establish the benefits of a SCD education that aren’t immediately apparent, but revealed through students’ acts of self-sacrifice and leadership. Our idea was to establish the Summit brand around turning students into leaders.

STORY: The Summit Country Day School is Cincinnati’s only independent Catholic school educating children from pre-school through the 12th grade. Founded in 1890, Summit has recently seen increased competition for students from a number of newer schools. Enrollment was declining, especially between 1st and 8th grade.

Their point of difference is developing students of high moral character under a strict program of academic rigor.

The objectives were clearly established. Our task was to refresh the SCD brand with a new identity and visualization framework that elevate their key point of difference to prospective and existing families. Increase the easy recognition of the Summit brand within a crowded marketplace of competing private and parochial schools. And to forge a deeper sense of affiliation among current and prospective community members.

We were faced with a number of challenges. Chief among these was Summit’s history which, while admirable, needed to take a secondary role in informing our brand refresh. Research indicated that Summit’s innovative teaching and progressive administration mattered more to potential families.

We presented to the Summit marketing committee a number of conceptual approaches, then finalized the SCD brand with a new visualization framework that celebrates their points of difference. Our work included refreshed identity, complete brand guidelines including essence pyramid, and website design.

The brand guideline formalized brand promise, organizational values, written tone of voice, tag line, and proper use of graphics, typography and photography. Second, we created a broad campaign of branded touchpoints.

The resulting elements, based on strong Creative Department thinking and precise design execution, position the brand strongly for competition for the hearts and minds of both parents and students. Our success was driven by a combination of old-school hard work and new school vision.

Communicate brand distinction in an ever-more-competitive landscape.

We updated the Summit sports logo with a sleek, modern approach while respecting the team’s legacy and history.

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America’s Jobsite.

CHALLENGE: CraftForce came to us as a start-up in need of a strong identity to match the strength of its clientele. Designed to be THE force in connecting skilled workers in manufacturing, engineering and specialty trades to the jobs that need them, CraftForce is essentially LinkedIn for blue-collar professionals. They were trying to revolutionize the way blue-collar professionals get hired – and when you’re remaking the hiring model for an entire industry, you need a big voice.

IDEA: We gave CraftForce an identity as loud as a steel mill. We brought a modern, bold design and voice to the collateral of the skilled trade industry along with an easily navigable, mobile-optimized website that allowed applicants and employers to handle the application process from any device. We then developed gritty, stirring videos and trade school materials that match the tone, mindset and attitude of the people we were trying to connect.

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The Reliance Premiere Collection

Haag-Streit Reliance

Campaign | Branding | Video | Digital Design

Built to last. Designed to love.

CHALLENGE: Reliance Medical Products exam chairs have long been known for their durability and reliability. We were tasked with launching a brand-new lineup of chairs that shifted the focus to style: they featured sleek new designs with a variety of upholstery options. Our target was physicians who care about the “aesthetics” of their office. This time, it was all about the look.

IDEA: The big idea was to compare the chair’s sleek look to trends in retail interior design, promoting the chair’s high end, premium look and feel. Customization was also key to the initiative. These chairs were “Built to last. Designed to love.”

STORY: Doctor’s offices don’t usually scream “style,” but the Premiere Collection sought to change that. New design themes plucked from spa and retail environments brought beautiful, modern aesthetics to Reliance’s already durable and reliable procedure chairs.

In every way, the Premiere Collection was a new opportunity for doctors to draw patients to their practices. The only thing left to do was convince practice owners that decades-old interior design didn’t have to be their future.

We concepted four chair styles: Industrial, Lucent, Woodland, and Harmony. The names and narrative for each came from a unique inspiration of visual elements and sensory appeal.

To highlight the bold new designs and features of the Premiere Collection, we created inspiring digital and print assets, from swatch books to trade show videos to direct mail. We also developed a digital sales tool for laptop presentations.

Of course, we communicated the benefit to the physician – setting one’s practice apart with designs that reflect a unique sense of personal style, making patients feel more welcome, and adding legendary Reliance durability to the office.

We succeeded at putting customization and modernization in the hands – and minds – of our prospective customers, making it easy to envision how the Premiere Collection could transform their practice.

The Premier Collection made its debut at the ASCRS show. The designs received rave reviews, and the sales team was excited about the interest and sales potential.

We created high impact direct mail featuring inspiration and photography for all Premier Collection designs:  Industrial, Lucent, Woodland, and Harmony.

Sales tools featured a swatch book and beautiful microsite communicating the benefits of modern aesthetics in a practice’s clinical setting.

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