Solstreet in Times Square
Our latest branding was launched in Times Square this week. We've been working with Solstreet over the last few months to brand their new company and product. They are bringing completely solar-powered street furniture to urban areas, starting with New York City. Their first product - a bench with integrated phone charging and community message board made its debut in Times Square as part of NYCxDESIGN.
Vote for us in the HOW Logo Awards!
We are proud to announce that the identity system we developed for the Parkinson's Foundation has been chosen as one of 10 winning designs in the Identity Applications category of the 10th Annual HOW Logo Design Awards. And now we need your help - the winners are being voted on to award a Reader's Choice Award.
Fighting Parkinson's. Together.
We are proud to announce the launch of our brand for the new Parkinson's Foundation. Formed by the merger of our longtime client the National Parkinson Foundation with the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, the new organization is one of the global leaders fighting Parkinson's Disease. Parkinson's affects an estimated one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, making it the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's.
What Will We Build Today?
Better Work. Better for All.
For the past year, we have been working with Better Work - a joint partnership between the UN's International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank, that works to improve conditions in garment factories - on a strategic rebrand.
World Population Day
Yesterday was World Population Day, an annual event to raise awareness of global population issues. This year, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund chose the day to kick off a yearlong push to improve investment in adolescent girls. Girls around the world face greater challenges than their male counterparts. Yet with the largest percentage of youth in history, we - as a global population - have a great opportunity to improve the future of humanity by improving the fortunes of girls around the world right now.
Caring and Coping wins Health + Wellness Award
Our ongoing work with The National Parkinson Foundation continues to gain recognition for excellence. The recently-launched publication Caring and Coping has been awarded with a Health + Wellness Design Award.
Empowering a community to Empower Women
When UN Women approached Ultravirgo to provide a visual and messaging system for the "Knowledge Gateway for Women's Economic Empowerment," they had a complex web site with a great mission: "dedicated to empowering women to achieve their full economic potential." However, the site was burdened with a long name and an uninspiring design. Launched in 2011, the Knowledge Gateway had been gaining passionate supporters, but lacked a brand vision.
A new kind of dynamic identity
The Tow Center for Digital Journalism, part of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, explores how the development of technology is changing journalism, its practice and its consumption. Last year, we launched a new identity for the Center based on a radical idea - what if the logo itself analyzed journalism and morphed based on current activity in the industry?
UN Women: Beijing+20 iconset
We're proud to have recently added UN Women to our growing list of United Nations agency clients. We have some exciting projects in the works, but the first is this series of thematic icons. Honoring the 20th Anniversary of the landmark Beijing Declaration, each icon illustrates one of the twelve key critical areas of concern detailed in the document.
College Hill, in the heart of Macon, Georgia, has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years, and has become a case study in revitalization of economically-depressed areas. The Knight Foundation has been heavily involved in the turnaround, and released a report last week to share eleven lessons learned that can help other similar communities. Written and reported by veteran radio journalist Dan Grech, the report offers great insight, and we were thrilled to be able to bring it to life online and in print.
Putting the education in education law
When we built the first website for Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost (affectionately known as F3) back in 2007, they were a young law firm with a handful of attorneys. In the ensuing years, they have grown in size (over 60 attorneys in six offices), services, and reputation - becoming the leading education law firm in California, and counting roughly half of the school districts in California as clients.
A new site for an 142-year old energy leader
As part of our brand update for Sprague Energy last year, we delivered conceptual stills to guide the web team in rebuilding their site. And we're happy to say that the new site following our template is now live.
Bringing accountability to sanitation & water
At the end of last year, we launched a bold new site for Sanitation and Water for All, a global partnership of the foremost leaders working to provide clean water and sanitation facilities around the world. A direct extension of the brand platform that we launched last summer, the site is built to express the core attributes of coordination, transparency and accountability that SWA pledges to bring to the sector.
Designing data for nonprofit news
Today, the Knight Foundation launched another of their breakthrough reports, this one taking a deep look into the fast-evolving Nonprofit News industry. Titled Finding a Foothold: How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability, the report features tons of data and analysis on 18 different nonprofit news organizations. We are proud to work with Knight, to design the report and bring clarity to the mountains of data, and illustrator/journalist Susie Cagle to bring levity to the subject.
The most progressive UN Declaration ever
One year ago, The United Nations Population Fund asked us to help engage youth in a global discussion to help set UN population policy for the next 20 years. Hundreds of youth leaders met at the Global Youth Forum in Bali - joined by thousands participating online representing every country in the world (even Antartica!)- and drafted what has become known as the Bali Declaration. Setting specific, bold targets for improving the status of women, LGBT, and underprivelidged youth, as well as improving health, education, and employment worldwide, the Bali Declaration has been hailed by some as the most progressive UN Declaration to date.
Sanitation and Water - For All
Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) is a global partnership working to provide exactly what its name proclaims. While access to water has improved in recent years, 800 million people still do not have access to safe drinking water; and sanitation lags far behind with over a third of the world's people living without adequate sanitation facilities.
Spirit of ABNY Awards
Last week we attended the Spirit of ABNY Awards presented by the ABNY Foundation, honoring those who have provided a distinguished level of service to New York City. We were honored to provide designs for the invitation and event graphics. While last year honored the tech community of NYC, this year the recipients were chosen for their commitment and generosity to the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Honorees included the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, the Empire State Relief Fund, and US Senator Chuck Schumer.
Happy Earth Day!
To honor Earth Day this year, our friends and longtime clients Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost decided to do a little more for the environment by planting trees in urban areas across California. To help them commemorate the occasion, we made a short video in honor of California, home to some of the most iconic trees in the country.
A more usable Usablenet
Usablenet is a leading provider of mobile usability solutions to global brands. They provide the strategy, design and technology to create websites and apps tailored to each user's device and context. When you pull up the New Jersey Transit website on your phone, and get a mobile site optimized for train schedules, that's them.
Whatever It Takes to Beat Parkinson's
As we approach Parkinson's awareness month in April, we are proud to share our latest work for the National Parkinson Foundation. What started as a project to design branded merchandise has become a national campaign involving NPF chapters around the country. The campaign, called Whatever It Takes, is designed to empower individuals and raise awareness of the many things that can be done to combat Parkinson's Disease. While other organizations are working on a cure, the National Parkinson Foundation has a unique mission: to improve the quality of life for the estimated 1 million people with Parkinson's in the US.
Special Education Animation
We've been hard at work on a number of exciting projects that we can't wait to announce. In the meantime, check out this short 45-second animated video we did last week for the lawyers at Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost to promote their upcoming Special Education Symposia.
Last night we had the pleasure of attending the Young Audiences Arts for Learning Gala at the always-glamorous Waldorf-Astoria here in New York. Celebrating their 60th Anniversary, Young Audiences is the nation's leading source of arts-in-education programs and services. As an agency co-founded by a visual artist and a writer with a Master's degree in Educational Technology (and parents of two very creative kids), we are huge believers in the value of arts and creativity in education. And were thrilled to be able help Young Audiences celebrate their 60th by designing the anniversary book for the event.
From whale oil to biofuels, with a ribbon
We are currently rolling out a complete visual branding system for Sprague, a 142-year-old energy company based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The impetus for the rebranding was operational: Sprague is separating into two companies for regulatory reasons, offering similar products and services aimed at separate markets. With an array of products (including diesel, jet fuels, natural gas and biofuels, as well as material handling services at 15 ports), potential for customer confusion about the new entities drove the strong need to develop a comprehensive brand. The challenge was to create a visual system that would unite the separate companies while clarifying the overlapping offerings of each.
Spirit of ABNY Awards
Last night was the Spirit of ABNY Awards, an annual awards ceremony and fundraiser for The ABNY Foundation, honoring those that make New York City a better place to live. This year, the focus was on the tech industry, honoring the "visionaries who connect tech to the big apple", including Foursquare, ideeli, Dawn Barber from NYTech Meetup, Alan Patricof, Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, and of course Cornell & Technion for their forthcoming applied sciences university on Roosevelt Island. And with presenters including Mayor Bloomberg, NYC Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, it was great to see firsthand the commitment that city government is putting behind the tech industry as the next big engine for growth in NYC.
7 Billion Actions featured in Google Zeitgeist 2011
UVC had a great year in 2011, working with clients we love to create design and branding for meaningful campaigns, products, and companies. One of our favorite projects was the UN's 7 Billion Actions campaign, which encouraged people to take action to help the other 6,999,999,999 people on Earth. So, we were thrilled to see the banner we created for the campaign appear in Google's Zeitgeist 2011 Year In Review video. With over 7 million views on YouTube (not to mention over 300,000 people who have seen the banner in person in front of the UN headquarters in NY), it might just be our most-seen project to date. Check out the video to see our work (at the 0:10 mark) and the other events and campaigns that changed the world in 2011.
Sometimes the answer is already in front of you
In working on the promo materials for Premiere Commission's 10th Anniversary Gala, I couldn't help but notice the '10' hidden in the logo, just sitting there awaiting it's turn in the spotlight. A simple color change, and we have an instant anniversary logo - one that perfectly fits the master logo we designed in 2007, with it's embedded 1 nodding to the premieres the Commission supports.
Empowering Global Reproductive Health
Here at Ultravirgo, we are passionate about projects that improve public health. And we believe everyone has the right to enjoy quality reproductive health. But quality supplies and reliable information are often hard to come by in low-and middle-income countries, jeopardizing this right. Which is why we were proud to work with the United Nations Population Fund to help launch AccessRH, a new approach to reproductive health supplies procurement that also offers access to the largest database of contraceptive procurement statistics in the world.
The second disk in Bruce Levingston's Night trilogy was just released today, entitled Night Break. We've had the pleasure of working closely with Bruce and photographer Tony Notarberardino to create the cover designs for the series, starting with the first release, Heart Shadow. (The art for the final album in the trilogy, Still Sound, just went to the label yesterday).
Hello, number 7 Billion
As of today, according to the United Nations Population Fund, the global population has reached 7 billion people. It's a difficult number to comprehend. For example, when we were creating the 24 foot banner that is hanging outside the UN headquarters in New York (and other countries around the world) my first thought was to use the extra-large canvas to create a grid of 7 billion dots and recolor them to create the message. Until I did the math, realizing it would require 352,254 dots per square inch. To me, however, the number is just an abstract figure anyway, and not what is important about the milestone. What is important are the 7 billion individual people that it represents.
We've been honored to be doing a lot of work lately for the United Nations Population Fund. We recently wrapped up a complete brand package for a new initiative called AccessRH. Combining their existing procurement system for ordering reproductive health supplies with the largest database tracking reproductive health supplies ordering in the world, the initiative is a giant leap forward in improving access to contraceptives, especially in developing countries. With 201 million women around the world expressing need for contraceptives that they cannot obtain, there is a huge need for improvement. Meeting their needs would avert some 52 million unwanted pregnancies each year. We are honored to be able to help UNFPA communicate the power of their groundbreaking efforts.
As part of our ongoing work for Premiere Commission, we had the pleasure of designing the album covers for Bruce Levingston's new Night trilogy. We just received a copy of the first album released: Heart Shadow, which was recently named WQXR's album of the week. We were fortunate to work with the talented photographer Tony Notarberardino, a close friend of Bruce's who took the portraits used on each of the covers, during a series of photoshoots on top of the infamous Chelsea Hotel. He perfectly captured the twilight atmosphere we were looking for, with subtle variations to fit the mood of each album.
Launching 7 Billion Actions
This week, we attended twin launch events for the 7 Billion Actions Campaign that we have been developing with The United Nations Population Fund. As you may or may not know, the global population will be hitting 7 billion on October 31, and the campaign aims not just to raise awareness of not just the population issues involved, but to highlight the efforts (big and small) that individuals and organizations have made to make the world a better place.<
A global movement for all humanity
We are thrilled to be working with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to help support the recently-launched 7 Billion Actions campaign. With the global population set to hit 7 billion people (!!) late this year, UNFPA is taking the lead by starting a truly collaborative global movement. Partnering with corporations, NGOs, and non-profits around the world, the campaign aims to inspire awareness and action around the issues that impact our global experience - by moving the focus beyond the numbers, to the stories of the 7 billion individuals that share our planet. The entire Ultravirgo team is honored to be part of this historic moment, and look forward to contributing our expertise to the movement.
Impressions + Influences
Today we launched eMatters - a new practice group focused on technology issues within the education system - for long-time client Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost (or F3, as they like to be called). We have been working closely with F3 to launch the new brand, starting with creating the name and tagline, and culminating with the video and email announcement. Taking the theme "Navigating the e-education revolution" we animated the video to visually navigate through the key issues that F3 guides their clients through.
Stadium Tennis Center
We just launched a new web site for the new Stadium Tennis Center at Mill Pond Park. Working with our long-time clients at Gotham Tennis Academy, this was one of our fastest web sites to date - designed and built in under 3 weeks. But with a large image slideshow header, clearly-organized content, and online registration forms for programs and court reservations, it provides easy access to everything you need to know about the facility. We've also been making some upgrades to the Gotham Tennis Academy web site that we designed as well, so take a look. If you have any interest in tennis, they're the kings in NYC.
Oh, and we have some unused tennis dome graphics from a previous project. Who wants to see a couple of friendly 282' long caterpillars over the East River?
A BOOM hits the web
The launch of BOOM!, a planned community for gays and lesbians in Palm Springs, has created quite a stir in the blogophere - with coverage in dozens of press outlets including design blogs like Core77 and Fast Company Design, gay magazines like The Advocate, and mainstream news outlets like The Huffington Post and The LA Times. We were fortunate to help get the project off the ground - working with the developer on brand strategy and positioning, and Bruce Mau Design, who developed the identity and web site graphics. BOOM is an unprecedented collaboration of ten of today's most talented architects (including Charles Renfro of DIller Scofidio + Renfro, Juergen Mayer H, and our friend Matthias Hollwich of HWKN), who collectively present a bold new vision for community and architecture. This is definitely a project to keep an eye on, as we feel it's influence on the way we live in the future will be widespread.