Annual Reports Don’t Need to be Boring. Part 2

TomTod Ideas is anything but boring OR typical. Their approach to what they do is simple. Uh sort of.

TomTod uses an experientially-oriented, project-based approach to giving students the skills and abilities to impact change in their world. Ranging from What If You Could a 6-12 month long experiential mentorship adventure, to our in-school collaborative What If 101, to our week-long summer Camp What If, we meet middle school students where they’re at and connect them to the wisdom, resources, and experience of adults.

Middle school students live in this unique space of intellectual ability, imaginative capacity, and passionate energy. We believe that this incredible combination is ready to unleash all sorts of wonderful ideas into the world, but often students are overlooked instead of empowered.

So when we were asked to design their 2015 annual report, we knew we had to give them anything but a typical and boring layout.

Feeding off the excitement of the students, staff, community and volunteers, we threw out the traditional and expected annual report elements and went with a bold, colorful, graphic approach. Here is a sampling of the pages we created.

Who said annual reports had to be boring?

Annual Report Spread-lo


Wake up and smell the coffee

Our friends over at Mandy Yams Coffee Company asked us if we’d be interested in developing the brand for the newly launched coffee roasters. Well, being lovers of coffee, of course we wanted to. Their Mandy Yams Facebook page has this description of the business, “MandyYams roasts high quality coffee to support nonprofits and make your taste buds happy.” We wanted to design a brand that would make your eye happy as well.

We wanted the brand to convey the process of roasting coffee bean, which if you didn’t know, start out as green and get their rich brown color from the roasting process. The color chosen for the logo concepts represented that with rich browns of varying tone. Our initial concepts were presented and one was ultimately chosen to represent Mandy Yams. Mandy Yams is “my” coffee.

We look forward to furthering the brand and exploring all it’s possibilities.






Annual Reports don’t need to be boring

People are bombarded with information everyday. Time is limited and so are attention spans. So why complicate an annual report with a long, drawn-out document. The North Canton Public Library had their story to tell about their successes in 2015. Site 14 developed a one page, easy to look at, easy to read, easy to comprehend annual report. The colors are bright and engaging and the playful, casual feel of the report is a fresh approach to doing things the traditional way.

NCPL 2015 Annual report FINAL

ChoreChaser Corporate Identity

We wanted the brand to be visually appealing and humorous (sort of) to reflect the sense of humor of the owner Vicki. We presented three logo and stationery concepts, each having a different look. The top two are shown below.

The final choice incorporated a “to-do” list and check-marks, just like someones’ actual to-do list.

The brand development, now in phase two, includes the design and development of the ChoreChaser website and other support materials. Stay tuned to see what get checked off “this” to-do list.




Ermanno’s Rebranding

We love pizza. So when we were asked to redesign the logo for Ermanno’s Legendary Pizza… we were all over it. The old logo served Ermanno’s well but it was “time for a new look,” according to Alan Frank, owner and president.


“We want and need something that’s going to bring us up to date. Can you help us?” Of course we can. Did we mention that we love pizza too? We not only designed their new logo, but took applied that new look across the board. Logo, shirts, pizza boxes, chicken boxes, menus, website redesign, banners you name it we did.





The Rebranding of National Software Escrow

“I like traditional “power” colors,” said David Baka, President of National Software Escrow, in our initial branding meeting. “Dark blues, greens and the deep reds, you know like financial institutions use.” Although not a financial institution, National Software Escrow (NSE) is very similar. NSE protects assets, and in the case of NSE, that asset would be information. Get the whole NSE story.

On a sunny December day in 2010 Trailer Trash Design and NSE had their first meeting to discuss the possibilities of either revamping the current NSE brand or start from scratch and rebuild it. David felt that the current brand looked a bit tired and could use a little “something”. We discussed the pros and cons of each and the decision was made to move forward with a new brand.

With the similarities of a financial institution, it really wasn’t out of the question to follow in the mindset of a traditional corporate/financial institution color scheme for the new NSE brand. The new branding we were developing had to convey a sense of strength, confidence and longevity among other things. Let’s face it, this is serious stuff that NSE is involved in. Happy puppies and cartoon daisies just weren’t going to cut it.
Long before fonts or icons were thought of, attention was focused on the color palette. True, David spoke of traditional power colors and those were taken into consideration. But, and we all know there’s always a but… this was our opportunity to really make an impact. This was our chance to show NSE’s current clients that while maintaining it’s strength and confidence, an investment in the future was being made and to show new clients that NSE is strong, secure and progressive. I decided that I would take those traditional colors and brighten them up. “You’ll still have that power suit in your closet” I said, “but instead of coordinating it with the traditional “expected” colored elements and blending in, you’ll be adding the “kick” that will make you stand apart.”


Once I determined the palette I wanted to present, so that work could progress. The doodles, napkin drawings and full blown logos (at least in my brain) started happening. Followed quickly by rough ideas in Illustrator. Some good, some not so good. Three logo concepts and coordinating stationery packages were presented for review, but this was the logo that was ultimately chosen.



The outer cube representing NSE, the inner, representing its client’s asset.The excitement and energy was high at the presentation, I told David to take the concepts and live with them before making changes or the final decision on anything. One thing that brought up concern was the repeating pattern of the cube portion of the logo on the back of the business cards and envelope flaps. David felt that they may be a bit overpowering… a slight adjustment. I told David that we could utilize the cube pattern elsewhere. The rebranding continued with other elements, a corporate pocket folder/brochure and corporate website. Along with email and direct mail campaigns, of course all branded with the new NSE corporate identity.


National Software Escrow

Oh and as far as using that cube pattern elsewhere, well, they’ll appear on the pocket folder/brochure as well as the website. But how about this for utilization?


David Baka says:
National Software Escrow, Inc. (NSE) is pleased to announce that we have launched a new corporate identity that better represents our continuing commitment to providing secure, cost-effective Technology Escrow Arrangements to technology vendors and licensees. As a result of our long term view and financial strength, introducing a new corporate identity is just another milestone as we enhance our leadership position within the competitive technology escrow industry.

What makes this new corporate identity truly special is that it reflects NSE’s commitment to stay progressive with not only the services we offer, but our identity as well.

Specifically, our new corporate identity represents security, stability and protection.  Since the foundation for National Software Escrow, Inc.’s success spans over 17 years, it is very important to us to maintain these key attributes as part of our ongoing identity.

The new corporate logo reflects the progressive and forward-looking initiatives being implemented across our company.  It also is a symbol of NSE’s deep commitment to continuously finding new and better ways to serve our valued customers.

Since the initial launch of the new NSE Corporate Identity multiple pieces have been designed including a direct mail program and the 2011 Holiday Card which won a Gold Award for Design in 2012.