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posted by Julie Turner Sep 27,2012 @ 02:50AM

CreateAthon delivers for nonprofits again.

On Thursday, September 20, a group of workers gathered in West Columbia. They began when most workdays do, but they didn’t stop when most others called it a day. They worked all day and all night for nine nonprofits — one as far away as Michigan.

The WECO was again home base for the 15th annual CreateAthon, an epic 24-hour probono event imagined by two women in 1997 – one that's spawned a national network of generosity. The late-night brainstorm of Cathy Monetti and Teresa Coles is now a national corporate social responsibility vehicle. This year, 25 companies, colleges and universities, and creative collectives adopted the model throughout the year – many during National CreateAthon Week, September 17-21, 2012.

What did 41 inspired professional volunteers accomplish in just 24 hours? This:

  • 11 : collateral pieces (soup-to-nuts)
  • 5 : social media strategies with supporting graphics
  • 5 : Powerpoint presentations
  • 4 : logo designs (from scratch)
  • 4 : website (IA, design and content)
  • 4 : full letterhead/ID packages
  • 3 : brand strategies
  • 2 : logo refreshes
  • 2 : fundraising theme ideas
  • 2 : outdoor campaigns
  • 2 : sticker designs
  • 2 : brand standards handbooks
  • 1 : brand re-naming
  • 1 : marketing strategy
  • 1 : campaign creative concept
  • 1 : website content refresh
  • 1 : fully-written website
  • 1 : video (on-the-fly)
  • 1: brand jewelry design

Don’t mistake the real value of CreateAthon. It isn’t quantity. It’s the joy we bring to over worked, underpaid nonprofit staffers. It’s the hope we bring to a group that wants to raise money but doesn’t know where to begin. It’s the services we bring to life – programs that shelter pets, help children grow, protect the rights of individuals with disablities, help families in crisis and so much more.

CreateAthon is a buffet of brilliance for people who get by with what they have year after year so others need not go without.

We’re not here to create a truckload of marketing stuff the world doesn’t really need. The heart of CreateAthon is our nation’s nonprofits. Their hard work is what our world cannot afford to be without.

posted by Apprentices Sep 21,2012 @ 07:45AM

On CreateAthon 15.

It's Friday afternoon. CreateAthon 15 is over. What are you doing?

Teresa Coles
Dreaming of my annual post-CreateAthon chunk of red meat and even bigger glass of red.

Julie Turner
Feeling grateful to be part of such an incredible effort.

Kevin Smith
I'm on the sofa watching a movie.

Ryon Edwards
I'll be in a zombie-like state and will probably look like one, too.

Will Weatherly
Tyring to merembre my naem (& napping outdoors somewhere).

Cathy Monetti
sleeping a very sweet sleep

Kevin Archie
I'm probably slumped over the steering wheel in my car attempting to drive the long half-mile trek home. Somebody call me a cab.

posted by Ryon Edwards Sep 19,2012 @ 12:52PM

From the CreateAthon Archives

Tomorrow morning, we'll kickoff CreateAthon XV here at Riggs Partners and will work for 24+ hours for nine well-deserving nonprofits. As we prepare, I’m reminded of the body of work that's been produced over the past 14 years. So many people have graciously volunteered their time, talents and services to make each CreateAthon successful — for that, we are truly grateful. Following are just a few samples that have been produced over the years (beginning with work from last year).

And while it's great to reflect upon the past, it's even more exciting to think about the future — the best is yet to come. Here's to CreateAthon!

[case_vid vid_url="" bg_url=""]

posted by Julie Turner Sep 17,2012 @ 04:59AM

A power-packed website for a powerhouse brand.

I’ve written websites before. Plenty of websites. Never, however, have I written one quite on par with one recently launched by design-build powerhouse Haskell,

The site was planned, designed and implemented by truematter — my fellow WECO mates and all-around usability hotshots. All of their Interweb magic spun off of some great brand platform development work done by the fine folks at Riggs Partners. Me? I threw in a handful or a thousand of words and followed those truematterian character counts to a tee.

Haskell's new website was a labor of love so big it crossed weeks, months and a couple of seasons. One of the big constants throughout the massive project? A fantastic client. Throughout the project, Haskell folks researched, listened, debated, trusted, edited and, in the end, grew their brand on a level where too few companies have the chutzpah to tread.

We were thrilled to launch the website to great success a few weeks ago. But last week we were called down to Jacksonville for something brand teams don’t get to do a lot of any more: celebrate.

During the trip, our client team shared a few highlights that have come to pass since the site went live. As a whole, the company was proud. The new website was the talk of the elevators, cafeteria, jobsites and countless inboxes. We also learned it had already been a very effective lead development tool. Within hours of the launch, a new business lead. Within days, yet another.

The launch of a useful website carries a great feeling of pride. Doing it on a level that’s this polished and usable, just ratchets up the awesome factor. What’s best, though, is that the entire project was a best-practice lesson in teamwork.

We believed what we were doing mattered. And sometimes that’s the best sauce of all.

posted by Apprentices Sep 14,2012 @ 04:00AM

On the weather.

This weather makes me feel…

Ryon Edwards
like I have a cold coming on… cough, sniff, cough — better call in sick this week ; )

Will Weatherly

Kevin Smith
like I need to leave at 5:00 for a change.

Maria Fabrizio

Kevin Archie
like I should be camping.

Julie Turner
like screeching whoooooooo hooooooooo at the top of my lungs at a Carolina football game!

Cathy Monetti
like I just might make it.

posted by Kevin Archie Sep 12,2012 @ 06:30AM

New Work: Bug Outfitters

We recently had the privilege to develop some identity work for West Columbia's own Bug Outfitters — a local sportsman's consignment shop started up by none other than outdoorsman extraordinaire Jay Coles. Located at 807 Meeting Street (just a block from the WECO) Bug Outfitters buys and sells Barely Used Gear ranging from tents, backpacks, and bicycles to kayaks, canoes, and outdoor clothing. Jay's minor in Theater set production becomes evident when you walk in the store. You'll find a fishing pier overlooking a marina, a kitchen reminiscent of your granddad's back porch, an outhouse for a changing room, and a screened-in office complete with wooden shelving and a screen door to keep out those pesky mosquitoes. Even if you're not an outdoor enthusiast, Jay's handiwork is worth the trip alone. The work we've done for BUG includes logo design, crests, illustrations, a stationery package, product labels, and more. Have a look below to see some of it in action and don't forget to stop by the store and see the goods yourself.

posted by Kevin Smith Sep 05,2012 @ 10:00AM

Rewarding the Post-Recession Consumer

The average house size has fallen for the first time since 1973. We’re consuming less, and consuming more meaningfully. Given the pace of recovery, this isn’t a new trend. It’s a new habit.

One hypothesis is that the Great Recession is an early symptom of economic maturity. Perhaps the US’s explosive growth during the 20th century was economic adolescence. Now, our more mature economy will grow at a permanently more modest rate, much like that of pre-unified modern Europe.

I see this as outstanding news. It offers Americans the opportunity for the upgrade of a lifetime. In the mature economy model, the thoughtless consumption of disposable stuff we don’t need will be replaced with two post recession types of spending:

  1. Necessary consumption: buying basic things we need to live comfortably, such as food, heat and transportation
  2. Rewarding consumption: buying things that signify, stimulate or emotionally satisfy. These are “milestone” purchases like a birthday dinner, an anniversary gift or a kitchen remodel

Increasingly, necessary consumption will be commoditized, and will thus be highly competitive and subject to discounting. Embracing the idea of rewarding consumption is the future.

This means marketers have to look for ways to reward your consumer, even when the purchase falls into the necessary category. What if an oil change was accompanied by a car wash?

Deep cuts necessary to survive the downturn have most businesses thinking like airlines. As our slow recovery persists, whatever your business, begin to think like a chocolatier or a jeweler. These experts in rewarding consumption surprise, delight and package well. Emulate them and you’ll turn an ever more discerning customer into a devotee.




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