Awards season is here and we’re pleased to announce a few new accolades. We strive for excellence in all that we do, and recognition of our hard work is always appreciated. This year our efforts were recognized for both print and digital creations.
“THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE” CAMPAIGN
The brand campaign we created for Cruise America took home distinctions from multiple competitions. It was selected in the print advertising category at this year’s International Design Awards. In addition, the campaign also took home an award from the Indigo Awards, another distinguished international design competition. The panels of judges look to recognize the iconoclasm of design worldwide, and celebrate work that showcases a fresh new take on design-inspired composition.
The work hinges on custom photography and meaningful copywriting, and helped take the Cruise America brand to a new level. The campaign communicates not only an eagerness for new experiences, but also the peace and clarity those moments bring to our lives. See more of our work for Cruise America here.
DROP DEAD GORGEOUS
The Indigo Awards continued to be gracious with their distinctions this year by giving our project with Phoenix Fashion Week an honorable mention in the Magazine & Newspaper design category.
Inspired by the local Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations, we created a high fashion portrayal of a storied tradition. Día de los Muertos looks at death as a part of life, creating a beautiful celebration of the spirit. Similarly, as captured through photography, the models’ glamorous depiction of death turns the typically grim idea on its head and makes it something beautiful you can’t look away from. View the full project here.
THE KACHINA CONFERENCE ROOM
The accolades keep coming from Indigo as our design for the Arizona Coyote’s conference room was honored with an award in the Mixed Media category.
For the Coyotes, the design of the conference room celebrated the original look they wore when they were introduced to the desert back in 1996. We re-energized the room with a 6’5″ custom-built, three-dimensional Kachina; a new team member we are sure they won’t be trading any time soon, The walls were coated with skated ice, adding accents of actual hockey gear to the room that allowed this environment to come to life. View the full project here.
BONUS FEATHER FOR OUR CAPS
Last, but certainly not least, top honors and recognition for the Splinter brand itself – for this very website. Our site won multiple awards this year including a Gold Addy (the highest form of Addy) from the American Advertising Federation.
We measure our success by the success of our clients and our ability to help them achieve their goals. While our website does say a little bit about us, our primary focus was to showcase the stunning design work that we’ve made on our clients’ behalf. In a sense, this award would not be possible without your success. So to all of our clients who have given us their trust and allowed us to make these beautiful projects – thank you.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
It’s not in our nature to look back and pat ourselves on the back. We stay busy and are focused on the future, looking ahead. However, from time to time, it’s essential to take note and recognize the designers and team here at Splinter. Their hard work and savvy does not go unnoticed. Not here in-studio, not from our clients and not from the international design community.
They are gifted problem solvers, talented artists, great communicators and amazing people. They deserve this moment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2018, the groundbreaking event, America’s Run for the Fallen, hit the pavement in Fort Irwin, CA. It continued cross-country through 19 states over the course of four months. Names of fallen service members were read at every mile marker through the 6,000-mile journey. Gold star families and supporters gathered to hear their hero’s name read. Each fallen hero since the bombing of the USS Cole in October of 2000 was honored in this way.
The event was led by the parent organization Honor & Remember and had the support of the Department of Defense. It became one of the most comprehensive and successful tributes to our fallen military members this country has ever seen. We were moved by the remarkable message, the energy, and the amazing team of organizers. Spend any time with their founder, George Lutz, and you will be too.
We started the partnership by designing a key piece for the event – a 30ft motorhome that provided a place to gather and rest. Over 20,000 names of fallen soldiers wove across the surface of the RV like the threads of a tapestry. Throughout the country, family and friends found solace in finding the names of their loved ones.
After America’s Run for the Fallen concluded, the organization approached us to help evolve their brand design. The run across America was a one-time event, but the program races on. Honor & Remember has held individual state runs for several years. The national event gained the attention of more states looking to hold their own runs. As the cause continued to grow, the need for brand consistency became necessary.
Our approach was sympathetic and methodical. The sentiment and power of this event live in photographs. As a result, the branding system needed to support the visuals without pulling focus. Most of the imagery from the runs contain American flags and other patriotic symbols. We developed a color palette with deep military green, shades of tan, and steel grey. These neutral tones complement the red, white, and blue imagery without overpowering it.
The new logo symbolizes stability, strength, and endurance. It is a tribute to both the fallen soldiers and the loved ones they left behind. We chose a square gothic style font for its clear legibility and bold geometric shape. The line at the bottom of the logo represents the road that participants run. As a foundational element, it supports the weight of the logo, just as Run for the Fallen supports the military community. To honor their existing logo, we refined the battlefield cross illustration with color and line work. The battlefield cross is a recognizable symbol of respect to honor fallen soldiers. Its distinct meaning adds context to designs and creates recognition of the event within the community.
Next, we implemented the new brand design system into their marketing materials and a new website. With such a large – and growing community – it was important to create a clear structure for the website. We streamlined the user experience by consolidating information and reworking the site navigation. New participants can easily find times and locations for local runs, look up where a hero’s name will be read, or offer donations. The new website is a place where the community can come together to celebrate and honor our fallen heroes.
We can’t emphasize enough the value and integrity of their team, and are very proud to be part of this incredible undertaking. Over the last two years we have enjoyed our partnership with Run for the Fallen and cannot wait for Arizona’s run on October 18th – 20th.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s to many more seasons of desert hockey. Keep scratchin’ and clawin’.
A Shutout on Home Ice
Positive brand reinforcement invites employees to be a part of something bigger. To be a part of the team. For the Arizona Coyotes, the experience off the ice is just as essential as game day. The brief was simple. Using environmental design, elevate the game of their hockey offices. Transform the space into an arena where they feel empowered to strategize, make executive decisions and celebrate wins as a team.
Read more To begin, we drafted a few conceptual plays of our own. The first blended the desert landscape with the idea that hockey belongs in Arizona. The second drew inspiration from the principal elements of hockey to echo the energy of the big game. Incorporating real hockey gear constructs a sense of preparedness and encourages the team's ambitious spirit.
Key messaging and a bit of history speak to what it means to be a part of the Coyotes organization. The environment creates a feeling of belonging – reassuring all who enter that they are part of the team.
Environmental Design, Print & Production
Our Pack. The Team.
The Team is a great deal more than the 20 players on the ice. It’s everyone. From the equipment staff to the production team, and from the sales team to box office – what happens off the ice is crucial to the success on the ice. The perpetual strategy. The frequent travel. The countless pots of coffee. The untold number of meetings. The X’s and O’s. The game. It all embodies The Team.
Building a Kachina
We needed one last element – a stand-out piece to finish off the room. Standing six feet, five inches the custom built, three-dimensional Arizona Coyotes Kachina sets the tone for the conference room. Walk into the next meeting and you’ll immediately realize they mean business. Watch the Kachina come to life.
Lumber and Biscuits
Confused? Don't be. We cleaned up at the yard sale. You know? When a hockey player gets hit so hard he loses all of his equipment. We employed real hockey gear and textures like grip tape, biscuits (hockey pucks) and lumber (hockey sticks) to add that authentic touch of the game to the space.
A small, promising tequila label sought to share their craft with kindred spirits. By re-telling their story we gave new customers a chance to discover the Cruz Tequila experience.
Read more Photography, compelling writing and narrative-centric design create a genuine experience for connoisseurs. Our designs featured the history, passion and expert care taken at every step of the production process. A taste of Cruz Tequila is not only a sip of alcohol. It is a drink from bottles hand-blown by local artisans. A visit to a nostalgic plot of land, nestled in the highlands of Jalisco. Relaxing in a century old farmhouse turned tasting room. The spirit of Cruz lives beyond the confines of a bottle.
Brand Development, Strategy, Positioning, Web design, Campaign Development, Photography
The imagery on the website celebrates the time-honored tradition of distilling tequila. Our shoots resulted in warm, rich photography capturing the smooth and flavorful essence of the product.
Tradition and patience are the two main ingredients that create a legendary spirit. Above all, the design is timeless, honoring the dedication to the product from start to finish.
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.
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.
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.
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.