Banking on Community

Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company is a local anchor. The sign shown in this photo is visible from our window, one side features the time, the other the temperature. We often call out, “What’s the temp?” before heading out for lunch, the Glens Falls National Bank sign helps us know to bundle up accordingly.

An image of Glens Falls National Bank's flagship location in downtown Glens Falls beneath a bright, blue sky. In the foreground a digital clock tells the time.

Glens Falls National Bank has been the place for people to go for mortgages, home equity, and car loans since before any of us, or our parents were born. Banking has changed a lot, continues to change, keeping pace is a dance.

The majority of 2018 was spent delivering a message of commitment. As a society, we have become accustomed to immediate gratification. There’s no denying the joys of convenience, but playing the long game, we believe that driving home the idea of faces you can see, people you can literally turn to, and investments in the communities people live in can be a value-added benefit to local banking.

People often talk about campaigns as love letters to an audience, in this case, it’s actually true. From spreads in print collateral:

An image of Glens Falls National Bank's brick building on Glen Street in Downtown Glens Falls alongside a page reading, "Caring for our community since 1851."

to billboards in communities across the region, Glens Falls National Bank reached out to its neighbors to let them know that in addition to helping members achieve financial goals, they are putting money back into the community.

A stark billboard against a blue sky, reading a in cursive font, "Hello, Glens Falls. We're investing oin you."

Traditional messages about products they offer also flashed across screens and traveled in envelopes, sending a message that Glens Falls National Bank cares about supporting your quality of life, at home and at the office.

A man and a woman stand in a kitchen, he wears an apron while she romantically places a bite of something in his mouth. To the right of the image it reads, "Someday is now" as a lead in to an ad for home equity loans. A digital banner ad reading in white type against a deep red background, "Small Business Banking, we work for you. Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company."

As we look over at that sign and think about how many people have checked the time or the temp over the years, we can’t help but feel proud to be part of a locally committed bank.

Honoring Emotion

When I worked in theatre I used to say that “when you stop having butterflies before a performance, it’s time to stop.” Theatre is unapologetically rooted in emotion, people are literally chasing the prospect of feeling something.

Tell me a story, take me to another place, teach me something.

Pierce my world with magic.

A shot splitting the view of backstage and the house

Standing backstage, waiting to perform or poised at the fly rail to send in a drop, I always felt lightheaded. The audience and the production have different chemistry at every performance, you can’t know until the curtain flies out, the lights go up, and the audience is invited in, whether the crowd is hot or you have your work cut out for you. That’s the thing about emotion, not everyone is comfortable with it.

I’ve moved from theatre to communication and it often feels like emotion is the last thing people want. People have a feverish need for confidence and stability, which is understandable as money is invested and huge leaps of faith are taken with brand and story. What sometimes get lost is that emotion is a fuel. Nerves can help with focus, excitement can sustain interest on a team, and the rush of venturing beyond comfort can lead to remapping boundaries.

The backside of presentation boards face out from a long wooden bench before a presentation.

The other day we were presenting logo drafts to a client. There were a number of versions to show, each one the result of numerous rounds of internal revisions and edits. The work was backed by research, polling, and experience. We had rehearsed our presentation and worked through specific ways to discuss different strategies. This particular project involved pitching a small group. They are intelligent, invested in the process, and respect our opinion. Despite all of this, my palms were sweaty and my voice was shaky; I had butterflies.

A group f of people gathered in a wood paneled conference room to review a presentation.

When these moments of anticipation and nerves come, I don’t fight them. There should be pressure and I should be channeling my energy into creating emotion. Maybe they hate the logo or they fall back in love with what they’ve had, perhaps the process of seeing how things feel leads to an exciting new direction. The important thing is that as we gather to consider the work, we feel something.

People gathered around work tables reviewing artwork pinned to a whiteboard.

 

 

 

Cobleskill Through the Tramp Lens

 

An active video shoot on the SUNY Cobleskill campus. The sky is wide and blue overhead, two photographers stand on the bright green grass while another crew members holds a boom mic toward a blonde female student being interviewed.

Terese Garcia:

The Cobleskill series of collateral that we worked on was visually stunning because of its color, image selection, use of texture, a visual play on words, and overall unique physical features.

The first project of the Cobleskill series was the “Travel Piece.” This was a small piece that would cover both the school of Agriculture and the School of Business and Liberal Arts & Sciences and be handed out to potential students as Cobleskill traveled to high schools. This is often the first interaction a student will have with a new college.

Photography, Typography, and Diecuts Telling a Rich Story

The travel piece was a 12-page brochure with a short fold cover and short fold center spread. The overarching theme on the cover was to have two images juxtaposition in content visually continue across the short fold. Image selection would be necessary to make that strong visual connection while at the same time be true to Cobleskill and show all that they have to offer memorably.

Two brochures for SUNY Cobleskill sit on a dark wood table. They have photographic images of a clock tower and a cow pasture.

There was also a type element that followed the same concept. Headline words that ran across the short-fold cover would finish similarly with purposeful letters from the reveal page. The message was strong.

BE A PART OF OUR CULTURE / BE A PART OF THE FUTURE.

A SUNY Cobleskill brochure sits on a table with a page break showing how the word culture on the front, switches to future when the brochure is opened.

This concept and design that incorporated image-precise short folds with sentence-finishing type reveals would play out on two other view books and the Junior piece. Production of these pieces and attention to detail would be necessary. Having an excellent printer would be critical.

The Cobleskill collateral also tested our color matching chops. Cobleskill’s orange is very bright—Pantone Orange 021 to be exact. As often happens, that Pantone color did not translate well to the four color process. It became very muted and soft. We chose two CMYK color breakdowns that we thought worked well. One to represent that Cobleskill orange and another to compliment the clapboard texture that was being used throughout.

A photo of stacks of print poofs of unfolded brochures with images of a clock on the Cobleskill campus and a post it with Pantone chips and a color formula for accurate printing of specific colors.

This was a project we had the good fortune of shepherding on press. We were also able to have more than one piece printed at together: the travel piece, two view books, the Junior piece and two postcards to be exact. The benefit of that was that once we had the color adjusted and all of the pressmen on board, there would be color consistency across the pieces. This little tear from a color proof and chicken scratch on a post-it note served to be very important throughout the proofing and press-check process as well as for future pieces (that die-cut cow!)

Nine pieces of print collateral for SUNY Cobleskill displayed on a table. Two very pronounced pieces include a diet cow and a die cute of a building on campus with a cupola.

In the end, we were able to provide Cobleskill with a series of pieces that were bright, inviting and memorable. Important when trying to catch the eye of a prospective student or reassure a future student that Cobleskill is the college for them.

A photographer crouches and laughs as he pets the head of a flirtatious goat.

Bringing Collateral to Life Through Illustration

Oliver Derosier:

Cobleskill is an institution that stands apart from the pack. Students explore complex ecosystems in one classroom and re-assemble tractor engines in another. Cows are tended to in a dairy barn with the colorful Schoharie hills in view. A few hundred feet away, a kitchen full of eager young cooks preparing a chocolate fondue.

I was lucky enough to experience this vibrant campus culture first-hand on a photoshoot. Every classroom felt like a world of its own and yet there was an undeniable connection between each space. Subjects varied from a horse therapy class to students mapping out farmland with drones. A collective enthusiasm for the present and future was observed in every corner of campus, and we raced to capture all of it. We had the opportunity to witness the unique experience Cobleskill has to offer. For those intangible moments and feelings that Photography couldn’t quite capture, we turned to illustration.

When the time came to consider how students would receive their highly anticipated college acceptance letters, we knew It had to be big, bold and undeniably Cobleskill. Through extensive research and teamwork with the admissions department, we landed on the concept of a larger-than-life campus panorama. Instead of a realistic view, structures and scenes were arranged to create a sense of the passing of time, from the start of a day to its end. Little details like the school’s tiger mascot and the famous campus clock tower especially resonated with Cobleskill’s team. Vibrant colors and art-style helped to paint a picture that we felt could instantly feel like home to anyone.

Through photography, we were able to capture so many moments grand and small that were all crucial to the bigger picture. Illustration allowed us to depict scenes that blurred the lines between memory and imagination. Having both tools available to us and the skills to execute a shared vision lead to a suite of materials that we were all beyond thrilled with. In a poster for counselors and students, the glow of a campfire beneath the pavilion and a bright starry sky portrayed the splendor of Cobleskill’s scenery, and the limitless potential to grow and succeed there. In a piece for prospective students, the image of a class conducted in a freshly cut corn field was juxtaposed against a 3-D printer in action. Bucolic images accompanying those of tomorrow’s technology and jobs re-inforced Cobleskill’s tagline.

To capture both the spirit and characteristics of such a place requires more than a camera and more than a pen and paper. Our relationship with Cobleskill is one that flourishes with teamwork and a shared passion for thinking differently. Courage to hold firmly to values and culture, and vision to look progressively to the future.

 

The strength of our work is our people

We’ve been talking about focus this month. It got me thinking about how and why we focus on certain things. There are areas where we are deliberate, methodical even and others where our focus on one thing makes us miss something else. It’s why I like the idea of having a word for a month, it’s a mechanism for revealing stuff we might otherwise wholly gloss over.

The last year or so we have talked a lot more about a process. Before we kick off a project, we gather background information and relevant context to make sure everyone understands the objective, budget, and timeline. We talk to the client to get a sense of their attitude and how to best arrange the team and process. When we get a quote on a print job we take into account paper stock, extras, pricing, and timing. The same attention to detail happens in the hiring process—what are this person’s strengths, how will they integrate into the current workflow, will they create new opportunities, and can we offer them something meaningful.

These are all great things to do, but something stopped me in my tracks about a month ago. I was walking to my computer, and I passed Staci’s desk. It’s beside a huge window, the sill of which is lined with photos of her family. Her desk always has some sort of snack. On this day, there was an avocado which reminded me of how during Staci’s pregnancy she sat next to Allison, who signed up for emails describing the approximate size of the baby on a weekly basis. One week he was the size of an avocado.

 

Work space with personal items, a baby bottle, documents, and food.

Her chair was empty as she leaned over a proof on the work table with a junior designer. I could hear her characteristically thoughtful feedback on the layout and the way she presents a balance of constructive criticism and praise. Her son Kaiser, who just turned one, was sitting in his stroller flirting with two or three Tramps.

I am guilty of not always remembering just how much Staci has going on, or John, or Megan, or Oliver. I looked at the bottle on her desk, the datebook open with a girls’ night scheduled as well as a chiropractor appointment. These things were alongside ad layouts with notes and her computer screen open to an InDesign file brought into focus how much each person has influencing their perspective. It’s easy to get distracted by the client, the work, and the push to get things done. Nothing happens without the person.

The holidays, in particular, can be a time when each day carries the weight of family obligations, poignant memories, and extra to-dos. I can appreciate the idea that personal issues aren’t for the workplace, but in so many ways we can’t separate a person and the rest of their life.

A mom holds her baby

I am grateful for the way that the people coming into Trampoline each day are unafraid to reveal their entire selves—dysfunction, delight, and massive distractions. When we are able to focus on lifting one another up, whether it’s creating a lactation room or giving advice on how to contest a traffic infraction, it strengthens our team and our process.

We’re planning a lunchtime visit to Mik and Milo, Friday we’ll be brewing a custom beer with Staci’s husband guiding us along with our friends at Mean Max, and on Fridays, we’ve started a tradition of walking down the block to take aerial yoga classes over the lunch hour. The work is essential, but it’s nothing without the people.

 

Two Tourism Excellence Awards & a Davey!

The New York State Tourism Industry Association has awarded Trampoline in two destination marketing categories.

GoNorth: The sights, shops, and stories of Northern New York won in the Public Relations category, and the Hunter Mountain: It Gets in Your Head campaign win in the Niche Marketing category.

The Go North campaign was the result of regional collaboration across communities and counties in the upstate region. The W!LD Center’s leadership (and grant-writing prowess) allowed for the inclusion of many cities and towns to benefit from tour visits. Businesses, Museums, and Destinations from Saratoga to Tupper Lake agreed to participate and extended special offers to tourists.

Hunter Mountain’s season campaign ran in the New York City Metro market as an effort to entice skiers away from Vermont resorts and into the Catskills. Hunter is the closest mountain to New York, and this campaign reminded skiers in the city just how nearby adventure is. Ticket sales improved 15% as print and digital ads made their way into the marketplace, supported by TV spots, social graphics, and print collateral.

The Hunter: It Gets in Your Head campaign was also awarded Best in Show at the American Advertising Federation’s ADDY Awards.

NYSTIA is organized for the purposes of bringing together New York State tourism industry interests to raise consumer awareness and appreciation of travel and vacation opportunities in New York State.

Trampoline’s Award-winning work shared the stage with other incredible campaigns for destinations throughout New York, including Binghamton’s BING concept, the Niagara Falls USA rebrand, and the Unexpected Buffalo, among others. Each winner was beautifully designed by organizations and creative agencies working to say how much We  New York.
The family of Mean Max craft beer cans and the silver Davey Award their label design won
A few days after the NYSTIA event we got the word that the Mean Max Brew Works crowler suite received a Silver Davey Award. Our partnership with Mean Max has been a labor of love and hops. Designing these, as well as yet-to-be-released barrel aged series in glass bottles, allows us to continue supporting this region. We’re also able to offer guests at the studio exceptionally fresh beer.
Cheers!

Trampoline Transformation

We’re dedicating the month of October to transformation. Because we’re creative types, each person’s interpretation of transformation might take its own shape. Next month will mark 15 years since we received the seal of incorporation and began the Trampoline story.

When we incorporated in 2003 we had two full-time employees; today we have 18. Our specialty was branding when we started, fifteen years later destination marketing is our sweet spot. That said, every new brand that comes into the shop is lunged at like a tray of gooey-fresh-from-the-oven-chocolate-chip-cookies.

 

There was a time when we thought we had to change who we were to make it, turns out the most important asset has always been who we are. This isn’t to say that we haven’t had to learn new things or make adjustments, because we have. What I mean is that the partners who started this agency made it because we had skills that complemented one another.

Numbers, design, strategy, and language—threaded together with a fondness for solving problems. These elements carried us from our first client to our current professional relationships. It’s these same strengths that have helped drive our growth. Looking back there are visible periods of expansion, as well as times that we’ll always remember with a wipe of the brow. There comes a time when you have to reevaluate the business plan, not just to update it, but to make sure it reflects who you are and where you want to go.

 

More significant than the influence digital had to print or that social media had to communication, employee additions have demanded the most transformation.

Today the reality is that we’re having a lot more of the meetings we used to scoff at, “Another meeting? Just get it done.” We’re talking about objectives and inviting conversations about leveraging individual strengths. I watch headlines publish that I didn’t write, our Art Directors approve projects they otherwise would have designed. We don’t sit in on every meeting, and we don’t take every job because we’re doing what makes the most sense for the entire team.

A few weeks ago, everyone in the office selected their favorite completed projects and we had them printed. Our impetus for doing so was a desire to make the studio represent the people here. Watching the enthusiast suggestions was unlike anything I’ve experienced.

Some days I catch myself looking at the office, the workspaces decorated with snapshots of pets, children’s handprints, and souvenirs from vacations people have taken and I am moved to silence. We started a business for us, but we have built a life for many more. It’s an honor and a responsibility.

Here’s to another 15.

 

National Write Your Story Day: The Story of Trampoline

Today is National Write Your Story Day. As a partner at an agency that specializes in storytelling, through visual elements and words, I can’t help but approach this day with delight. We’re celebrating our 15th year in business and I want to take the opportunity to look back on all that has changed around us, personally and professionally.

It was late fall 2003 when we incorporated. We shook hands as newlyweds and new parents at a campground in Dorset, Vermont, pledging to create a company that put family first and would have an unerring focus on design and communication that hit the mark. The early months were lean, with late nights and light paychecks (if any). Two of us held full time jobs to keep us all covered by health insurance, the books were done after bedtime, headlines written before sunrise.

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Music, Monsters, & Jedi Wisdom

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (Side note—obscure tidbits about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off here.)

Theatre is a great excuse to stop and look. Here, we can help, sit back and watch the trailers we created for the upcoming Adirondack Theatre Festival season.

See, didn’t it feel good to just slow down for a minute? Do yourself a favor and go order tickets to make sure you slow down this summer.

 

Called Out on Your Own Turf

Departing a bit from straight up ad talk and addressing the danger of bandwagons without forethought. This goes into the #MeToo movement and related topics. Read or click away as feels right for you.

Twitter released what is unequivocally a gorgeous spot during the Oscars as a contribution to the #MeToo movement. The execution of the vision—the range of faces shown, in age, ethnicity, and size, is exquisite. The poem, performed in the voice of its author, Denice Frohman, is powerful and relevant.

The participation of Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, and Julie Dash suggests that the ad is supported by an understanding of the #MeToo movement and a genuine commitment to the #HereWeAre idea. And yet…

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Here Through It All

Communicating a message seems straightforward until of course, you add in the noise, competition, misinterpretations, and fleeting attention spans. The ability and willingness to refine a message, as well as the presence of mind to make it about the audience, is imperative.

Glens Falls Hospital wanted to use the Olympics as an opportunity to speak to a happily captive audience. Using lush imagery that fit within the epic winter vistas of PyeongChang, a message of rebounding from injury much like an athlete, and concise iconography to illustrate the services that Glens Falls Hospital offers, this general awareness spot communicated without interrupting, because there is a time and a place for disruption.

 

We enjoyed creating this spot, but even more than that, we enjoy seeing it as we cheer on the fearless athletes.

Design delivered from the 518

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