Wyoming Arts Council

Project Overview
Established in 1967, the Wyoming Arts Council provides funding and support for literary, visual and performing arts projects throughout the state of Wyoming. While its mission has remained unchanged over the course of its nearly 50-year history, by 2012, its marketing materials and branded communications had become highly inconsistent. Recognizing that it needed to refresh its dated brand image, the Council reached out for professional rebranding assistance. After reviewing proposals submitted by a crowded field of nationally known marketing firms — many of whom specialize in working with arts councils — the Council chose its Cheyenne neighbor, Warehouse Twenty One, as its branding partner.

Discovery

After sitting down with the Council’s leadership and staff, we conducted a series of community focus groups across the state to solicit feedback about the arts from the entire spectrum of stakeholders. An online survey produced additional data we used to help determine the most appropriate creative direction for the Wyoming Arts Council rebranding. Hard data revealed the surprising breadth and depth of the arts’ impact on Wyoming’s economy, its educational system, its citizens’ quality of life and more. Creating a ripple effect that touched and connected communities throughout the state, the impact of the arts was not only quantifiable, but palpable, as well.

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Strategy

At the heart of Warehouse Twenty One’s rebranding initiative for the Wyoming Arts Council was the creation of a new logo. Seizing on the revelation concerning the arts’ ripple effect, we proposed a logo that incorporates stylized, interconnecting ripples in an expressive, organic design. We inventoried the Arts Council’s library of existing literature and determined that there was an opportunity to reduce the number of brochures significantly while actually increasing the impact of the Council’s printed communications. We also noted that the tabloid format of the Wyoming Arts Council’s newsletter was neither user-friendly nor conducive to visually representing the arts and their impact.

Create

We chose a subdued, yet impactful, color palette for the new, ripple-inspired logo design. We set the logo against a dark gray background to focus attention on the ripples and make the colors pop. To further emphasize the power inherent in the arts and to give explicit voice to the logo’s graphic message, we created the tagline: “Grow Connect Thrive”.

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Next, we created a contemporary, editorial-style design for the newsletter to enhance visual interest and improve readability. Warehouse Twenty One also produced an informative, inspirational video for use at Arts Council events and on the Council’s website. To leverage the council’s investment in the video, we produced it so that it can also be used as a TV commercial in the future, if the Arts Council’s budget permits.

Deploy

The contrast between the Wyoming Arts Council’s old brand look and the new one is dramatic. The refreshed brand is dynamic, contemporary and powerful. The new logo is prominently featured on the Wyoming Arts Council’s website, on collateral, event posters, signage and more, serving as a colorful, symbolic reminder of the statewide impact of the arts.

Speaking of the website, integrating the new brand look and feel into our website design for the Wyoming Arts Council greatly improved the website’s ability to deliver an enjoyable, highly informative and easily navigable user experience.