Happy Trampsgiving

We enjoyed a bit of time off for the Thanksgiving holiday. As a matter of fact, on Wednesday we all walked out to our cars together. We swapped stories, shared plans, and maybe talked about the quirky relative we were looking forward to seeing (misbehave). Traditions, though they vary, offer a common thread. It’s often that connection we seek to unearth in the design process—creating unity through an unexpected, familiar, or striking element in communication.

Design can bring a community together, forward a mission and do good. Streamlined communication helps organizations to cut through some of the commercial clutter to deliver messaging that hits the mark.

Below are 10 non-profits that Trampoline has contributed to in 2017. As a group we’ve proudly donated design, funds and volunteer hours to assist as needed. Our reward has been seeing the impact of the effort. Whether the result is improved awareness, or an uptick in gifts—we’re on a mission (pun!) to have an impact on our region.

1. Double H Ranch

The Ranch was one of our very first clients, circa 2003. Maybe that’s why working for Double H always feels like coming home. Our team spent some time on campus in the fall, cleaning and preparing for an October Survivor’s Weekend. Getting our hands dirty in a brand always makes the design mean more. This year’s biggest triumph was a 25th Anniversary book that chronicled a quarter-century of camping and caring. Currently: drafts for the Winter 500 event branding!

2. Canal Street Marketplace

A Farmer’s Market in-the-making needed a representative logo to communicate the rehab of an unused barn in downtown Fort Edward, NY. We’re big fans of using what you’ve got, so the whole concept of placemaking was exciting on a number of levels. The lead designer was a Fort Edward native and Rob poured some local love into the creation. Next harvest: Merchandise!

3. Glens Falls Community Theatre

The Magee family’s involvement in the Glens Falls Community Theatre production of Oliver! The Musical led to the creation of a series of videos that featured cast members and costumes. This actor-friendly, community based content was shared hundreds of times and the series of vignettes racked up over 20,000 views in the week before the show.

In the spirit of the Lionel Bart’s opening song: Food, Glorious Food, the production set a framework in place to donate items to the Open Door Mission. Cast members led by example, arriving at tech rehearsal with over 200 donations, but that was surpassed by the Glens Falls community who attended the performances. Social media messages encouraged audience members to donate items as well, and at the end of the run, over 600 non-perishable food items had been collected and delivered to the Mission.

4. The Open Door Mission

A new facility—still under construction—and a recommitment to the homeless population in our region, meant that the Open Door Mission was ready for an updated identity. Staci has managed a team of designers since the summer to create and develop a mark that will connect with users and donors alike. There is much in store for this organization, and their good works in Glens Falls. We’re honored to have a role in their process.

5. Queensbury Schools

Music is a big part of everything that we do at Trampoline, and music education is something we’re passionate about. We’ve contributed to the orchestra and band programs at Queensbury, where our own artistic children play, creating wearables that make the musicians the envy of the school. Crescendo: we’re at work on merch for the Select Show Choir.


6. West Mountain School

As passionate as we are about the arts, the outdoors might matter even more to this Adirondack Agency, and skiing is at the top of our activities list. Local learning programs and access to training are essential to the future of the sport. To help put planks on kids we turn to West Mountain—their after school programs and ski-team development help to instill a love for the sport, and the season. The expenses associated with skiing and riding can be prohibitive for some, but the West Mountain School is doing all that it can to make the mountain accessible to as many families as possible. Oliver is working hard to create marketing pieces to help support the school. In the race gates: Snow!

7. SerioüsFun Children’s Network

Paul Newman’s legacy lives on at camp. The parent company of Double H Ranch, SerioüsFun, along with their sister organization: Newman’s Own Foundation, operate camps around the world—offering unforgettable experiences to critically ill children and their families. It’s important work, and cannot happen without support. This year’s annual report, designed by Leslie, will help deliver the SerioüsFun message, and show their effective use of donated funds. Next up: the SerioüsFun Gala in New York. Save us a seat (and a pint of The Tonight Dough or Marshmallow Moon) Fallon!

8. The Rotary 5k

Each and every April we lace up our kicks and hit the pavement for the race that raises money. Glens Falls Rotary uses the event to generate donations (there’s a different beneficiary each year). We’ve worked with Jim Goodspeed and company since the event began, and have had a team in place to run it every year, as well. We rub shoulders with some of the community’s best, and sweat side-by-side with clients and friends including teams from Mannix Marketing, Hudson Headwaters, and Glens Falls National. Pro-tip: bankers talk a surprising amount of trash during, and after the race. Here’s to healthy workplaces, and healthier donations!

9. Pitney Meadows Community Farm

Access to fresh food and the knowledge of how to grow it is an important issue in Upstate New York. Families continue to struggle with availability of produce and the understanding that some of the best food available can be grown, not bought. Pitney Meadows in Saratoga Springs is a farmstead that was rescued from the sprawl of development in order to help educate and inspire a new generation of agriculture.

For Trampoline, the project was a natural evolution from our work in the Capital Region with Capital Roots, and other agri-brands for small businesses like CLS Farms in Moxee, WA and Lakestone Family Farm in Rochester, NY. The project became a tapestry of old friends and new clients as familiar faces like Kim Feeney and Kevin London mixed with the Arnold Family and overlapped with the butchering program at SUNY Cobleskill. Give thanks for good food!

10. Paul Smith’s College

The College of the Adirondacks produces a different breed of graduate—leaders, doers and resourceful entrepreneurs. Smitties are the stuff of legend, and we’re proud to tell the story of the college. Recruitment materials for PSC continue to tell the story of Adirondack ingenuity and drive, and the staff at Trampoline is ready to jump to the task—no matter how immersed in the St. Regis they become. Next semester: A pro-bono logo for the Osgood Pond Program. In the classic words of John Cougar: “Yurts So Good.”

Making Payroll in the Gig Economy

There’s a thing that happens in our studio. Inevitably, someone ends up dressing like a coworker. We all point and laugh. Knowing that next time it might be us. With an ad agency in the Adirondacks, there’s bound to be repeat flannel.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

This anecdote illustrates that our shop is full of creative professionals, every day. Some of us have worked side-by-side for 15 years, others have contributed for 15 months. We look out for each other, riff off of one another and rely on the strengths of our cohorts.

Our studio is 3,000 square feet of open space, dedicated to design, production and concept sessions.

The staff trades barbs, album reviews and Stranger Things commentary as we tackle communication campaigns for clients.

The partners arrive with groceries and everyone works together to fill up the fridge and stash chips in cupboards. What does any of this have to do with business? Why should you care that a designer is setting type while crunching on agency-bought Doritos?

Camaraderie, culture and support make for better ideas, that’s why.

Stability helps to create an environment where concepts can flourish. These people are familiar, they’re regular. Each talented in their individual ways, that contribute to what we do as a team.

Why risk it?

At creative conferences and in business pubs, we’ve seen the gig economy celebrated. The flexibility of low overhead, the freedom to dodge and weave around process as it suits.

The gigpreneurs guffaw and hook their thumbs at agencies like we’re all wearing the same outfit.

Lunch & Learn at Staci’s station.

“Why would you pay for that office space? I have meetings in cafés. No rent.”

“Why pay all those people when you could contract out?”

It’s a fair question, and a tough one to argue, from a savings standpoint.

Then again—soloists are, by nature, accustomed to a singular perspective. The benefits of staff and space are seen from a client’s viewpoint: where issues of timing, volume, and consistency are every bit as important as design.

Back when we started out, the advice was “Be brave enough to hire people who are better than you.” Now it seems to be “Make sure you have them fill out this W9 form.”

If being a free agent is so great, why, I wonder, do so many virtual creative companies take great pains to appear as robust agencies, with a deep bench of talent?

Halloween 2017

There are freelancers, and LLCs that are true to their size. Partnerships who don’t misrepresent themselves as more than a dynamic duo. There’s something confident and wonderful about that. Those who are successful, and selective, have had the talent and dedication to take a client to market and rise to the deadlines.

At Trampoline, having dedicated pros to the left and right of us is inspiration to do better. It’s a push. You celebrate wins together, and when a difficult situation arises, there’s support.

There’s always more inspiration to be found, though. And so, we happily announce the addition of Mikaela Shea as Marketing Production Specialist. Mikaela’s creative path has been a Long Trail that winds from Burlington, Vermont, through Purchase College and television networks to Glens Falls. She’ll help to manage the design workload, and see projects through production, packaging and merchandising.

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