Author: splinternew

Phoenix Jewish Film Festival Design

This month, Phoenix will play host to the 24th Annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF). The exceptional film festival spans two weeks at three Harkins Theatres across the valley. Their aim is to present films of Jewish themes from around the world. Moved by their passion for presenting the richness of Jewish culture through the lens of film, we signed on to be their official film festival design partner.

Stemming from a collective effort, bringing together their team’s knowledge with our research and a strong collaboration of ideas, the partnership developed. Working as one receptive unit, we uncovered their vision and goals for this year’s film festival design.

We kept our focus on capturing the excitement of attending a film festival with a hint of Jewish symbolism. The concept that got the nod, dubbed the film tallit, best resonated with the stakeholders and audience for this event. In a move away from the normal glitz and glamour of typical film events, this concept set the tone. The design utilizes the traditional prayer tallit and weaves a cinematic film strip into the fabric.

Spread schedule of films
Mailer brochure. The center spread of films and showtimes.

To bring this concept to the big screen, we needed a great photograph of an authentic tallit. With a camera, lights and some action, we began the search for the right tallit. With careful attention to detail (and white gloves) we folded and manipulated the fabric in order to get the perfect shot. One that would showcase tradition in a new light. Once the perfect shot was captured, we began building out the rest of the visual identity. A strong display font with clarity and legibility was key. The decision to use the all-caps, san-serif Phosphate brought everything together. This textural font has a dynamic power that shines in display formats. It’s exactly the attention-grabbing type we were seeking.

program interior
Interior program spread

From movie posters at your local Harkins and supporting ad campaigns to the ticket design and the official program, the film festival design theme carried the look of the event. If you are in the Phoenix area between February 9th – 23rd, check out one of the many incredible films. For more information about the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival or for films and showtimes, visit their website: www.gpjff.org.

festival ticket design
Movie theater tickets

A big thank you to Mazel Tov Gifts is in order, as they granted us access to their store and beautiful collection of tallits for an in-store photoshoot.

popcorn pieces

Mazel Tov.

Phoenix Hotel Rebrand. The New Sheraton, Reimagined.

Every interaction a customer experiences with your company is an opportunity to turn them into an advocate for your brand. Each touchpoint shapes how a customer views you, and no one knows this better than the hospitality industry. When the Sheraton began their hotel rebrand they needed a way to convey warmth, comfort and community during a 6-month long renovation.

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, Arizona’s largest hotel, launched its multi-phase transformation in 2019. The “studs-to-ceiling” overhaul featured a complete renovation. All 1000 guest rooms followed by a redesign of the lobby, public spaces, and dining outlets. Phoenix would be the flagship property to unveil the new look globally –introducing a full worldwide hotel rebrand.

We realized this would be the ultimate brand test since the hotel would remain open during the entire renovation. Staying flexible was essential, as new wrinkles unfolded almost daily. Crews were restructuring the framework of the hotel itself as the project unfolded. Our role was to help provide a high-quality experience for guests that maintained the consistency and familiarity of the Sheraton brand.

Construction during a hotel stay is always going to be an inconvenience. But clear wayfinding can banish the stressful aspects of navigating a constantly changing floor plan. We prioritized informative messaging with a sophisticated delivery. Sheraton’s community-forward ethos called for solutions that welcome locals and travelers alike. With that brand promise guiding our work, we created designs that eliminated doubt and instilled trust in the minds of the guests.

Design for outdoor windows

The class and professionalism of the Sheraton brand needed to manifest across multiple platforms. With the new brand guidelines as our compass, designs were crafted to activate crucial spaces in the hotel. Elegant finishes elevated wayfinding signage to a sophisticated level. Faux walls were raised to conceal the construction spaces and to decrease noise that would disturb guests. Branded messaging covered these walls and showcased the new amenities the reimagined Sheraton would offer.

Guests were quite literally surrounded with the Sheraton’s vision of the future, making it easy to see themselves in this new version of a cherished brand.

Kachina, the Spirit Thrives in the Pack

The Arizona Coyotes, formerly the Winnipeg Jets, made the move from Canada in July of 1996, making the desert their home for the last 23 years and counting. Over the last two decades, they’ve moved arenas, had four Captains, were coached by Wayne Gretzky, and have been Pacific Division Champions. Their presence in Arizona both on and off the ice continues to make history, not only in the hockey community but throughout the state as well.

Hockey in the Desert. Inspired by Home.

Bringing a sports team to a new market is no easy feat, but the Coyotes approached the transition with grace and powerful intent. They involved the community from the start, allowing the fans to select their team name and hiring a local design firm to create their inaugural logo. There was no mistaking that this is an Arizona team. 

The Kachina is not your traditional hockey mark. The level of detail and hidden intricacies give the viewer something new to notice with every glance. Not only is it the union of a coyote and a hockey player, but it’s uniquely Arizona.

Kachina throw back jerseys
Photographer: Janelle Etzel

For the 2018-2019 season, the Coyotes brought back the fan-favorite Kachina jersey as the official third jersey, which they wore every Saturday home game as a part of Kachina Saturdays. Nothing was more impressive than seeing the arena filled with these throwback sweaters.


conference room before / after
Conference room before and after

Bringing the Kachina to Life

Traditional corporate offices can tend to feel unremarkable, dusted in the traditional Arizona beige paint. Parts of the Coyotes hockey offices were no different. The word described to us was “boring” and if you know the Coyotes, they are anything but boring. Did you see the goal scored off of Conor Garland’s face? Shane Doan’s jersey retirement ceremony? Grabner’s eye injury? All those shorty’s? We could go on, but let’s get back to the Kachina.

hand-painting
Painting

We are obsessed with its complexity, nods to the Southwest, and clever geometric patterns. When we were tasked with re-energizing the hockey offices we knew we had to incorporate the Kachina in an extraordinary way. We didn’t want to simply bring it back, but rather bring it to life. However, before we could construct this feature piece, we had to start by completely deconstructing it.

Fabricating pieces
Assembly

We envisioned the Coyotes staff being able to stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow teammate. To accomplish this, individual pieces were machine cut, sanded and hand-painted using custom mixed paint to match their original ‘96 Pantone swatches. It was assembled by laying each piece on top of the next. The pieces themselves varied in depth, adding extra dimensions to each layer. Picture the biggest, most impressive jigsaw puzzle. That’s how we felt throughout the fabrication process.

Tools of the trade

After a nail biting journey from our studio to Gila River Arena, the Kachina now stands proudly in the newly minted Kachina Conference Room. Currently, we might be the only ones calling it the Kachina Conference Room. Perhaps the name sticks since the Kachina jerseys are coming back for the 2019-2020 season.

Finished Kachina installed.
Kachina standing tall at six foot five. Baby we’re howlin’ for you.

Here’s to many more seasons of desert hockey. Keep scratchin’ and clawin’.

Constructing A Brand That Builds Our Community

Constructing a community is equal parts demanding and ambitious. Meet Desert Rose, the talented visionaries building our neighborhoods. By hand. Brick by brick.

They came to us looking for a way to gain recognition in a new market. The parent company, Rose Development Corporation, is a full service construction firm based in Chicago. Desert Rose is the new Southwest branch for commercial and residential building and remodeling. Upon entering the new market, we were responsible for constructing a brand for their new environment and audience in Arizona.

Three logo concepts for Desert Rose
Three logo concepts for Desert Rose.

Debuting the newly-minted Desert Rose Group posed a familiar design challenge common with subsidiaries. The brief made clear the need to develop a mark distinct to Desert Rose while honoring the existing identity of the parent company. This called for both visual alignment and careful differentiation between the two entities.

Trust in contractors is paramount, so we wanted to design a grounded, transparent representation of the company.  Taking inspiration from our surroundings, we began by shaping a positive customer perception. We leveraged the solid foundation the two companies had already built. The mark pays tribute to the planning and forethought required to create amazing spaces.

Desert Rose logo - full color
The mark reflects the value that Desert Rose is built on the foundation of quality construction.

The same building blocks used in their daily work became a metaphor used as the foundation in constructing a brand for their future. It was this approach that would create a meaningful connection with their audience.

Custom Business Card Design for Desert Rose.
Cards printed on ultra thick 260# stock with custom painted edges.

Utilizing an amiable typeface with classic roots is central to the logo design. Balancing type with a color palette that represents trust and vitality drove the finishing nail. The result is an identity that is capable and potent.

One that pays homage to the nature of building a secure and successful tomorrow.


Real Estate Website Design & Branding SEVRAR

Connection, commitment and community are the values that drive the SouthEast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS® (SEVRAR). Their focus is to provide support to their members through education, advocacy programs and networking events. Our focus for this real estate website design project was to build an intuitive hub for members to access the many available resources.

Website design with beautiful landscapes shown on mobile phones

A multitude of information and assets are needed to support Arizona’s largest, local REALTOR® Association. An extensive array of valuable tools, from continued education classes to political advocacy and home tours, required thoughtful restructuring. The result was a new site architecture that was both intuitive and comprehensive for the end user.

The site navigation was meticulously curated to ease the user experience and provide a clear, logical path to the desired information. Hierarchy defined through type size, color and updated brand assets adds to the value of the SEVRAR website as viewed by the realtor community.

Landing page designs viewed on an iPad

Deviating from the expected imagery you might find with typical real estate website design work, and expanding the horizons of community, Arizona’s landscape fills this website with a warm, approachable feeling that says, “Welcome Home.” 

Breathtaking imagery, inventive navigation and clever details fulfill a design solution as thoughtful as SEVRAR’s mission. 

Grow Your Opt-In Email Marketing Lists

Being passionate about your business is an admirable quality, but many small businesses make the mistake of assuming their email marketing and communications are full of critically important content that everyone wants to absorb at any time. Aside from developing great content and presenting it in a professional, easily accessible fashion, making sure your communications are sent only to those who actually want to receive them, and have asked to receive them is critically important.

The stakes are very real and often overlooked. Arbitrarily blasting out unwanted email communications to random email addresses can result in being labeled a spammer, having your email service provider account suspended and having your sending domain name blocked – including your email – all while turning off potential customers and damaging the credibility of your business.

Unlike traditional mail, email marketing must be handled as an opt-in process. Do not ever buy an email list or manually add recipients to your list assuming they’ll appreciate receiving your communication. No matter how great the urge, avoid the temptation of sending communications to those who haven’t given you express permission to do so.

A single opt-in is the minimum legal requirement, but best practice is the double opt-in method (click to sign up, then confirm a link via email).

This simple method will keep you in the good graces of both your customers and your email service provider. Additionally, when sending communications only to those who have asked for them, metrics for each campaign will improve.

In the world of email marketing, slow and steady wins the race. Growing your list organically and authentically is the best way to gain subscribers that are engaged and willing participants in the success of your business.

Follow the tips below and watch your opt-in email marketing list grow.

Optimize Your Website

Email marketing navigation

Offer an opt-in form in the navigation of your website. The shorter the form, the more will sign-up.

Dedicated Subscription Page

Create a dedicated subscription page to tell potential subscribers the benefits of giving their email address.

UX for Pop-ups

Adapt common UX practices for opt-in pop-ups to avoid alienation of current users but retaining the benefits of the popup.

Utilize Social Media Networks

Social media forms for email marketing

Add opt-in forms to Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Share Links for email marketing

Share links to your dedicated subscription page.

Contest Prize Ribbon

Run a contest offering something of value to your audience but that relates to your business.

Provide Useful Content

Download

Offer a free white-paper download upon newsletter sign-up via landing page.

Target Audience in email marketing

Learn more about target audience(s).

VIP Envelope

Offer email-only exculsives

Get Consistent

Consistent timing

Develop consistent timing for newsletter blasts.

Similar information

Blasts should contain somewhat similar information.

Find Value

Every subscriber should find value in every email sent.

Digital Tips

Sign up button

Add a sign-up button to newsletters just incase it is shared or forwarded.

Email marketing metrics

Review metrics after every blast to see what is and isn’t working.

Check Box

Experiment with a contact form checkbox.

In-Person Tips

Document sign ups for email marketing

Offer email sign-ups at events.

A gift for you

Make the “what’s in it for me” crystal clear.