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Since initially engaging with CBCA to produce their Economic Activity Study in 2014, we’ve built a strong, ongoing partnership with the organization. CBCA operates at the intersection of Arts and Business, working to advance Colorado’s creative community by connecting the two. In that time, we’ve built a number of Economic Activity Studies, Business for the Arts Awards collateral and visually rebranded the organization. To release the rebrand, we also built CBCA a new website.

Brand

While CBCA as an organization confidently straddled the business and arts worlds, they had a difficult time communicating that visually. With the rebrand, we wanted to make sure that the brand appealed to a painter on Santa Fe as much as it did a business executive working in downtown Denver.

With that in mind, we created a mark that is simple and structured, but also bright and playful. It’s bold and clean while also slightly abstract. The CBCA mark can stand alone, or with a child program label.

We also created a set of icons that CBCA now uses throughout their brand. They’re a collection of the “tools” used in the business and arts worlds, with lines connecting the two worlds. The icon set is set slightly askew at an angel parallel to the “A” in the logo.

Website

The biggest challenge CBCA presented us with at the beginning of the website project was a need for simplicity. The previous CBCA site had dozens of pages that were buried in that site’s navigation structure and the way that site had been built made it difficult to maintain and to grow.

We started the project by focusing on the Information Architecture, looking for ways to simplify the hierarchy of content and also make it flexible enough to accommodate growth.

From a design perspective, we wanted to make sure that the new website reflected the new brand. We added lots of white space, big, bold headlines, and sprinkled the icon set throughout to set the tone and give it character.

We focused on building the site for mobile users since we knew a growing number of users were accessing the site on their phones instead of a computer. We added a few “easter eggs” to the site once we were into development, too. Go to the site and hover your mouse over the mannequin at the bottom of the page (we call him Roy).

2016 Economic Activity Study of Metro Denver Culture

CBCA and EY do such a wonderful job of collecting data on the impact arts and culture have on the Denver economy and we’re always honored to design their publication of that data. CBCA produces their report every two years.

The main focus of the publication design is to communicate thorough data in a simple way. Our objective is to create a report that a reader can scan quickly and still retain some really interesting or useful nuggets of information. We worked closely with CBCA to identify the most impactful information to represent in data visualizations throughout this report. To help simplify things, we worked with a limited color palette and use large swaths of color to help direct a reader’s attention.

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