The Power of Stepping Away

“Step away from it for a bit.”

I give that advice to designers and writers who are stuck on an idea every so often. And while it sometimes means I’m covering up that I don’t have the answer either, I do believe that getting out of our insulated little world of marketibrandvertisingdesign can help clear our heads.

And thanks to a very cool employee perk at 160over90, our team stepped away from the office for a day this summer. 160 employees get two days a year where we can take off and partake in charity or service of our choosing. Our individual team of writers, designers, account folks, and project managers–known ’round the agency as Team Whatever, Man– decided to take our day off together and help out a truly awesome organization: the good people of Schuylkill Banks.


If you live outside the 215  area code, the word Schuykill might sound like a disease, and for far too long, the Schuylkill River felt like a body of water that could, in fact, make you ill. But over the past 10 years, the banks of the river have been transformed from a muddy wasteland into one of Philly’s urban gems.

That transformation is because of people like Josh Nims, who helped supervise our day of painting and sprucing up several of the trail’s sheds and storage units. Josh was an interesting character and the type of guy who makes cities the great places they can be. He was a longtime skateboarder who somehow ended up as a disgruntled lawyer. He took his knowledge of law, advocacy, and public policy and put them to good use: he was one of the driving forces in the creation of Paine’s Park, a riverside skatepark that upped Philly’s radness quotient by a solid percentage. He turned this dream:

Into this reality:

Now he’s been working to make the entire riverside into a space for a whole city to enjoy. He was an inspiring dude, even as he whipped us into a painting powerhouse that day. When you get outside your own walls, you meet guys like Josh and organizations like Schuylkill Banks. And what was supposed to be a day where we helped them, they actually ended up helping us see what can be possible.

And our team? We bonded, had a great time, and even had time to create our submission for Awkward Family Photos.




Hartford’s Got A Story To Tell

On paper, there’s a rich diversity in University of Hartford’s academic offerings—across The Hartt School performing arts conservatory, the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture, The Hartford Art School, The Barney School of Business.

Diversity is equally apparent in the campus architecture. No two buildings look the same. But while structurally different, each building fronts a common gateway—University of Hartford’s central quad. A place that unites the student body. A place where a tuba player passes a group of sculptors, where entrepreneurs bump into patent holders, and where D-1 athletes jog past aspiring chemists.

After getting to know the University, we sat down to create a new viewbook with one goal in mind—to embody that sense of unified diversity, coupled with devoted faculty who mentor students every step of the way. To exemplify the fact that, with so many distinct characteristics, the Hartford Hawks have one thing in common—unparalleled opportunity.

And, that’s exactly what this book does. Front to back. Start to end.

Hartford Viewbook Cover

The cover is unconventional. It uses a multi-format design that draws inspiration from the dimensions and colors seen on campus. And it graphically tells the story of students’ growth potential—academically and personally—over the course of a Hartford education.

Hartford Viewbook

The messaging—‘Where You Go Becomes Where You’re From,’ ‘What’s Inside Sets Us Apart,’ and ‘Anywhere Starts Here’—greets students where they are now, faced with the decision of where to pursue their futures.

Hartford Viewbook Inside

Hartford Viewbook Inside

And the story arc unfolds with the turn of each page, opening the eyes of prospective students to a whole new world of possibilities.

Hartford Viewbook Back Cover

The viewbook is also getting looks from the design community, including our friends at The Inspiration Grid and UnderConsideration.

Have a read. Because Hartford’s got a story to tell.


The Team

Chief Creative Director: Darryl Cilli

Group Executive Creative Director: Jim Walls

Creative Director: Sig Gross

Associate Creative Director: Travis Ludwig

Account Supervisor: Chelsea Krueger

Designers: Dan Kent & Ben Harrison

Copywriter: Kris Blake

Production Managers: Beth Julian & Ryan Greenberg

Photographers: Tom Ammon & Ryan Greenberg

Project Manager: Michelle Shekari


These walls talk. And they’re telling stories of Colgate students’ transformative experiences.

One week ago today, Colgate University cut the ribbon on the just-renovated Hurwitz Admission Center. A year-and-a-half in the making, the space features a new design, digital touch points, and interactive technologies that completely reimagine the college visit experience.

Our big idea was to show—through technology—that Colgate is ‘in the middle of everywhere.’ If you’ve been to the school, you know that it’s actually pretty well off the beaten path, nestled in a remote part of upstate New York. But in our time spent on campus, we learned that Colgate is uniquely positioned to launch students anywhere they want to go in life, and in the world.

Like cross-country for a documentary filming on local music scenes. And to the Republic of Cameroon to oversee a nonprofit startup.

We conceptualized an interactive, motion-sensitive feature wall that plays a series of Colgate video shorts, transporting prospective students and their parents across the U.S. and overseas.

Colgate Interactive Lobby

We designed an outcomes wall, themed “From Here to Anywhere,” that’s touchscreen activated to show Colgate alumni success stories.

Colgate Interactive Lobby


Colgate Interactive Lobby

And, in a nod to the school’s founding story, we produced a ‘Project 13’ digital art installation, featuring abstract photography of Colgate’s lucky number 13.

Colgate Interactive Lobby

Which brings us to today, Friday the 13th—riddled with superstition, but widely celebrated by the Colgate community. Here’s to #colgateday, to many more visits to 13 Oak Drive, and to the middle of everywhere.


The Team

Group Executive Creative Director: Jim Walls

Creative Director: Cory McCall

Account Director: Paul Gladney

Copywriters: Elliot LeBoeuf, Josh Poag

Director of Production: Brian Tennyson

Interactive Designer: Tim Beitz

Interactive Team: Konstantinos Psimaris, Cameron Baney, Mike Medoro, Chris Lee

Video: Elizabeth Kalbach, Jimmy Simpson

Producer: Nick Pitcavage

John Lithgow, a Bubble Baby and the Super Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy

These are just a few of the pieces that went into a video series created by 160over90West.

Last week, UCLA launched its Centennial Campaign—a five year push to raise $4.2 billion leading up to their 100th anniversary in 2019. An ambitious goal for an even more ambitious university. That’s because UCLA can make the claim that no other higher education institution has achieved, innovated or impacted the world more in such a short period of time.

Imagine what it can do in its next century.

We capitalized on that notion with ’Let There Be …’ an open-ended play off the the school motto of ‘Let There Be Light’ that serves as an invitation to be a part of defining that future for us all.

As one of the very few top tier institutions that is truly public, we wanted to capture the idea that UCLA’s story is not UCLA’s alone. It belongs to all of us. Everyone has a voice. Everyone has a stake.

We created a video series to bring the Centennial story to life in a tangible, emotive way. Who better to tell it than the everyday citizens of LA and California whose lives are being affected by UCLA each and every day? This approach allowed us to speak to UCLA’s achievements and innovation—which at times can be technical and hard to grasp—in a voice that is more relatable, more inclusive, more “we” than “us.”

The main video reminds the LA community that UCLA is not a bubble of academia. It touches every inch of the city, state and beyond. John Lithgow narrates.

From a baby born without an immune system to honoring our veterans through actions instead of just words, UCLA is figuratively and literally reshaping lives. With such great human interest stories, we cut a series of videos that offer a deeper dive into these individual stories.

The Team
Creative Director: Kyle Arango
Account Supervisor: Marcus Clark-Black
Account Director: Isaac Bodenhamer
VP/Executive Creative Director: Tammo Walter
Director of Client Services: Megan Pomplas
Copywriter: Kyle Arango
Designer:  Bryan Hill
Project Manager: Anna Mumford
Agency Producer: Tom Ammon
Production Company: Neighborhood Film Co
Executive Producer: Kris Barton
Director: Anders Lindwall
DP: Hunter Hampton
Editor: Dominic Liang
Producer: David Martinez
VO: John Lithgow