for colored girls

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Since its debut in 1974, for colored girls has electrified audiences with its blend of mesmerizing movement and fearless truth-telling about women’s experiences. Penumbra Theatre honors Ntozake Shange’s work as a ritual and rallying cry for women of color to heal, connect, and imagine a better world together. We worked with the Penumbra team to develop the strategy and execution of the social and print media campaigns.

Logos, Logos, Logos

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For over 20 years we’ve crafted brand identities for organizations big and small. Let’s take a moment to take a look back and celebrate a few of our greatest hits.

Truth to progress.

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In 1976, Lou Bellamy created a forum for African-American playwrights, actors and artists in the heart of St. Paul’s Rondo Neighborhood. Penumbra Theatre has gone on to widespread acclaim, not only for its singular artistic productions and famous alumni but for its role as an essential truth-teller in the community. 40 years is a milestone worth celebrating. We had the good fortune to help pitch in. 40 years is only the beginning!

Jacob’s Hope Lives

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We were fortune enough to contribute to the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center by designing the medals for their inaugural 5k race. The mission of this event is to raise awareness to the issues of safety, prevention and a unified goal to create a world where kids can grow up safe. In the spirit of Jacob, it is a day for community, hope and prevention as we strive to end child maltreatment in all forms. In addition to the medals, we created a handout communicating the 11 traits that promote a culture of compassion and kindness. We couldn’t be prouder to lend a helping hand to this worthy cause.

A Little Pretty

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Our video for Penumbra Theatre’s Summer Institute gives you a peek behind the curtain with extraordinary young people finding their voice and creating deeply personal art. We created a short documentary showing how Penumbra turns personal truths into art with five graduates of its Summer Institute education program. This production was truly a team effort with monumental contributions from the internal team at Penumbra, and some heavy lifting from our longtime writing/strategy pal Jake Nassif. The piece was beautifully shot by wiz T.C. Worley and edited by Joseph McMahon.

From Belgium to Bayport

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Made from scratch meals, handpicked wines, beers and artisan coffees roasted on location. For the crew at L’Etoile du Nord Cafe these things aren’t just lip service, it’s a way of life. And clearly the masses are on high alert, as LDN has been lauded with accolades since it’s inception, including the Star Tribune’s “Best Waffles, Best of MN 2015” and a City Pages writeup, amongst others. We rolled up our sleeves and tackled every aspect of the L•D•N brand including their digital strategy and a squeaky clean new website.  Joie de vivre, y’all!

What’s the Scoop?

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Following our rebrand of the oldest operating general store in Minnesota, we had the good fortune to contribute to other aspects of their business. Marine General wouldn’t be complete without the requisite “old tyme” hard serve ice cream parlor. Next time you’re biking through the St. Croix valley, don’t hesitate to pay a visit to The General Scoop in historic Marine on St. Croix Minnesota, you’ll be glad you did.

I Know What’s Next…

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The International Interior Design Association has long been one of the premiere professional organizations in design. We had the honor of reimagining the IIDA Northland’s student awards competition for 2013. Naming, rebranding and concepting the video challenge was par for the course. The result is IIDA Next, a video based multimedia challenge for the NEXT generation of designers, creators and thinkers. A drastic departure from the usual Interior Design competition. In two minutes or less students are challenged to, surprise, provoke, and intrigue. Did the winning video rise to the challenge? We think so. Our efforts earned us a national award of excellence from the HQ. High fives all the way around!

 

Simply better, by design.

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For over 10 years we’ve worked closely with our friends at KING to provide support for everything from tradeshows to retail packaging, videos and brand development. KING is an industry leader in mobile electronics, with an expertise in developing products for DIRECTV, DISH, and over-the-air television. They had been selling outdoor TV antennas on their website directly through a wholesaler, which meant that the product was shipped from an overseas factory, but never appeared in any retail locations. They asked us to assist with strategy, naming and brand development. Which ultimately resulted in a product packaging that takes a fresh approach to the TV antenna market. We came up with the short, friendly and memorable brand name “JACK”, and the tagline “TV for Free”. We also developed packaging that is consumer-friendly, in a category where most competing products are marketed with lots of technical mumbo jumbo that is often overwhelming and confusing to many consumers. The result was a coup for KING in the mobile television market where the name JACK is now an industry leader. Next time you are on a road trip, take a look on top of almost any RV vehicle, and you’ll likely see the signature shape of a JACK TV antenna,  providing TV for anywhere life takes you.

Ride it High, Rub it On

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The end all be all of the hoity toity world of fly fishing is the dry fly. For the uninitiated, this is the quintessential methodology to subdue a rising trout. An often overlooked piece of this delicious puzzle is that of the fly dressing or floatant. Few advancements have been made in floatants in many moons. The category is inundated with a brand attitude and product assortment on par with wart removers. That’s where High Horse Fly Dressing kicks into high gear. HH helps your fly ride high in the water column with the added accoutrements such as UV, or scent infusion. In a sport where the participants have the darndest reputation for taking themselves, and their pursuit a bit too seriously, we’re proud to have engineered a new brand from the ground up. So step on up to your High Horse and rub it on!

Urban Roots Rebrand

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Since 1969 The Community Design Center of St. Paul has provided a range of community development services in Minneapolis, St. Paul and southern Minnesota, including architecture, urban planning, economic development and organizational development—with a common thread of empowerment, engagement and innovation. They’ve operated food and environmental programs on the East Side of St. Paul since 1996, engaging thousands of youth in education, training, and work projects that provide service to the community, develop young leaders and improve health and the environment. Our all encompassing rebrand of the organization included strategy, identity standards, print collateral, environmental signage and a website overhaul. Here’s to the next 40+ years of doing good work on the East Side!

 

 

Dusting Off the Spray Cans

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We had the pleasure of creating some custom graffiti work for Joel Pilger of Impossible and his ReKnew project featuring Greg Boyd. Hitting the abandoned Fruen Mill site in north Minneapolis with our pieces was a bit creepy, it felt like a scene right out of an episode of Scooby-Doo. The video was shot by the boys at Telegraph Studios. Check out their killer B-Roll promo piece as well. Nice job fellas! I felt compelled to throw down a few Adrift™ tags as well just for good measure. I’m sure the other graffiti writers will be wondering WTF when they break into the mill and see the HouseFly!

 

 

This is Fly

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Labor and our Adrift™ fly fishing blog are featured in the June/July issue of This is Fly Magazine #35. We did an interview and designed the cover for the fine folks at Brooklyn-based TiF. Here’s a sneak peak at a few of the concepts we created for the issue. Tight lines y’all!

Welcome the Accounting and Creative Mixer

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A rebrand effort is well underway for our friends at the MNCPA. We’ve been designing conference materials for them for a number of years. This is our first crack at doing some branding work, in addition to the usual print collateral and website development. They’re overdue for a shout out from team Labor.

Ooozing with Goodness

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Sure doughnuts may not be the most healthy choice for breakfast, and are wholly inappropriate for high end culinary inspiration, but there’s no questioning their appeal. I’ve always been partial the Krispy Kreme variety (amongst others). I love the textural quality of the freshly fried dough dipped in sugary goodness.

It’s with this in mind, that we approached a new round of business cards for our long time compatriots at Cooks of Crocus Hill. I’ve often joked with Cooks for years that I’ve designed everything imaginable for them except business cards.

The idea of thermography  had been on “the list” for awhile, just sitting there waiting for the right opportunity. In my book thermography gets a bad rap, often being associated with the cheap and “undesigned” handouts from the ubiquitous small businesses of the world. The “creative types” often go for the beautiful and passe qualities of letterpress or screen printing. For the Cooks cards we wanted a thick field of thermonuclear love.

I wanted these bad boys to look like they’d been dipped in the dip cone tank at DQ, though they look eerily like a square of Neopolitan just begging for the scoop. Is that such a bad thing? There’s nothing quite like the decision when staring down the open box, do you go Chocolate or Strawberry? Forget the Vanilla in the middle, it’s not a real flavor it’s just white space.

Cook, Eat, Live – LifeRecipe™

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A Labor of Love. Our buddy Karl has been killing it this year, after many years of preaching the LifeRecipe gospel. If you’ve seen the Andrew Zimmern Health Partners / YumPower spots on TV the last few months, then you can appreciate his efforts (it’s a spin-off of our core LifeRecipe program).

We finally got around to developing a proper interactive sales app for LR (amongst other marketing pieces). Live better, my friends.

 

Thanks Gutenberg…

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Man what a run it’s been! Since the invention of the printing press, has it been seriously challenged for communications supremacy? While print certainly isn’t dead, we’ve seen a significant shift in the way that our clients value print.

These days when we do fire up the press, we have to be “extra” certain that the choosen vehicle provides a unique brand interaction. Case in point, our own business cards. They provide a cornucopia of earth-friendly options, and possibly serve a dual purpose (if you’re lucky). Give us a shout, we’d be more than happy to meet and have and old school business card exchange. Who knows you may find a hidden gem in our stash? Just know you have a friend in Labor, Johann.

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