A Little WTF Goes A Long Way

The Hippodrome Theatre or Hipp as everyone calls them, is our next-door neighbor here in Gainesville. They stage Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, screen art house films and offer acting workshops to the public. First impressions might lead you to think they’re a little stoic or stuffy. But nothing could be further from the truth. They’re really kind of wacky, fun, irreverent and boy do they like to swear. This perception vs. reality situation is something they’ve been dealing with for a while, now. So, when they came to us asking for help, as good neighbors we didn’t hesitate to jump in and give them a hand.

Campus Buildings

The first piece we created was a logo with a six-legged horse. Yes, a six-legged horse. You may be scratching your head, but they got it completely. Like I said, that’s the kind of people they are.

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Actually, there’s more going on here than meets the eye (and I’m not talking extra legs). Hippodrome in Greek means horse race. There were six original founders of the theatre. And it’s a thought-provoking image that forces people to stop, think and have to use their imagination.

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Whether it’s a logo or a play they’ve staged, the Hipp wants to get into people’s heads and shake them up. If they can make them laugh, cry, scream or even squirm that’s a good thing because they’ve gotten a reaction. And when you evoke a response like that, you’ve managed to show someone a different side of themselves and the world they live in. Which is always a good thing.

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The Team:
Chief Executive Officer and Principal, Shannon Slusher
Chief Creative Officer and Principal, Darryl Cilli
Group Executive Creative Director and Principal, Jim Walls
Group Director of Client Services and Principal, John Campanella
Director of Client Services: Maggie Slomiany
Creative Director: Greg Ash
Account Supervisor: Kelly Thompson
Associate Creative Director: Alex Liebold
Associate Creative Director: TJ Aseltyne

A Gator Purpose in Life (See what we did there?)

The Welcome Center is one of the first points of interaction a prospective student and his/her parents have with the University of Florida. Recently, we were asked to create an admissions video for these future Gators to watch during their initial campus visit.

There’s a philosophy here in Gainesville that as a member of the Gator Nation, each person has a purpose much larger than themselves. It’s a mindset that starts as soon you step on campus as a student at UF, and it pervades everything you’ll do for the next four years. (Five if you are a super senior.) We tell this story through a series of “chapters,” each one focusing on a particular aspect of the student experience at UF. The camera follows a handful of different students as they move through their lives on campus. At the close of each chapter, all of the individual experiences combine to reveal a greater purpose or impact.

The final product took us about 12 days to shoot and about a month to edit. I think we captured four terabytes of footage, which was about half as much captured for the last Iron Man film. (Shane Black, eat your heart out.) In the process we flew drones, saw a whole bunch of sunrises, and jumped into Lake Alice. (Well, Tom did, anyway.) The best part was just seeing the amazing lives these students are living. Some days we were shooting them from breakfast to well after dinner, and their lives are jam-packed with really interesting stuff. Not sure how many of you have ever made a canoe out of concrete, for instance.

Here are some stills of our favorite moments.

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Band

Canoe

Dance

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Farm

Lake

O-Dome

WY

You can see a condensed version below. If you want to see the full-length version you’ll have to sign up for a campus tour.

 

The Team

Chief Executive Officer and Principal, Shannon Slusher
Chief Executive Officer and Principal, Darryl Cilli
Group Executive Creative Director and Principal, Jim Walls
Group Director of Client Services and Principal, John Campanella
Creative Director: Greg Ash
Associate Creative Director: Alex Liebold
Senior Copywriter: Larry Werner
Executive Producer: Tom Ammon
Digital Creative Director: Konstantinos Psimaris
Director of Client Services: Maggie Slomiany

[GEO]GRAPHIC TREATMENTS

Last fall we were charged with branding the new Chicago HQ for Hub Group, a leader in coast-to-coast transportation management.

We needed a simple concept to tie together all the varying spaces within the building. The idea of ‘movement’ represents both Hub Group’s services and where they are going as a company.

With wayfinding applications, colorful murals, and multi-layered wall graphics, we created a vibrant environment immersed in different aspects of transportation. With four floors, we could really play up Hub Group’s coast-to-coast services. Time zones, color-coding, and geo-specific visuals bring this idea to life.

The second floor—marked in blue—falls in the Eastern Time zone, where an oversized highway graphic stretches the length of the main office walls.

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Up on the third floor, Mountain Time is denoted in red, and has call-outs to the region’s notable cities like Phoenix, El Paso, Salt Lake City, and Aspen.

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Light green marks the fourth floor: Pacific Time. Here, we took more literal steps with the design inspiration, using exact replicas of shipping containers to divide common spaces.

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Even the executive lounge features a large wall graphic that is both directional and motivational.

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More, we designed geo-specific murals for each floor’s kitchenette. We tied them all together on the first floor, piecing together the kitchenette murals to create a cross-country panorama in the cafeteria—complete with moments of surprise like Hub Group trucks on the highways.

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This design of the space pushed Hub Group’s office outside of the [intermodal] box.

 

Then you saw a Gator

It was a little less than a year ago that we experienced our first Gator football game. After moving from Philadelphia, the home of the Eagles and the City of Brotherly Love, it’s hard to imagine discovering an equally passionate fan base, but we’d also never been to Gainesville on a Saturday.

Your first stroll down University Avenue on game day can be a little jarring if you aren’t prepared. This seemingly sleepy college town transforms overnight from quiet, moss-covered trees to walls of orange and blue adorned with every Gator hyperbole within reason.

On this particular Saturday the Gators were gearing up to play Tennessee. Accordingly, the rival shades of orange were in full swing. We arrived just in time for the players’ entrance with the legendary Gator Walk. The pageantry was on par with the greatest show on earth. The band, cheerleaders, students, and hundreds of fans welcomed these men as they prepared for battle. At times it felt like the scene from Gladiator, when Russell Crowe led his men into the Colosseum. In this modern day version, Coach Muschamp led the way. Although none of us had any real attachment to this team, we were compelled to reach out our hands for a high-five. I guess that was the first time we saw a Gator.

As that story goes, quarterback Jeff Driskel went down in that game, but the team rallied for a victory. Overwhelmed with a growing sense of pride for this newly embraced nation, we locked arms with strangers at the end of the third, and by the end we knew motions to every chorus. Unknowingly, this was the beginning of a love affair.

There is something truly unique about belonging to the Gator Nation. Something that never really leaves you, no matter how far you are geographically separated from The Swamp. It’s hard to explain, but come Saturday you sure can feel it. Ultimately, we celebrated that commitment and flair in typical 160over90 style with a 2:32 minute video.

The video debuted during the Eastern Michigan game. By game two of the season against Kentucky, the students were reciting the words. We’ve been told that watching it gives fans the chills, but if you really want to feel your hair stand up you have to experience it eight minutes before kickoff alongside 90,000 of your brethren. Kinda like this:

 

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Shannon Slusher
Chief Creative Officer and Founder, Darryl Cilli
Chief Creative Officer and Principal, Jim Walls
Group Director of Client Services and Principal, John Campanella
Creative Director, Greg Ash
Associate Creative Director, TJ Aseltyne
Director, Konstantinos Psimaris
Producers, Nick Pitcavage and Tom Ammon
Editor, Anderson Bradshaw
Director of Client Services, Maggie Slomiany