OTR Made Awards

OTR Made Awards

At the beginning of the year, my friend Nolan approached me to see if I wanted to collaborate on a local project for Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce. I was ecstatic – of course this was an opportunity I couldn’t say no to. Especially for an organization that has such a positive impact on our community. The best part of this project wasn’t just the chance to network and meet local business owners who have made a name for themselves, but it was also a chance to collaborate with a group of young, creative trailblazers. Three companies: Nolan Shea (freelance copywriter for Writerly Things), Crosier Creative (graphic and website design), and Streetlight Studios (videography & photography) – coming together to rebrand this Cincinnati staple event.

The first part of the project was actually winning the bid – what an adventure! From staying up until 4:30 in the morning creating a kickass proposal with initial logo & name concepts to anxiously waiting weeks to see if we won – this entire experience was a thrill ride. After we found out that we had successfully won the project, that’s when things started moving fast. Nolan, our genius wordsmith, worked with the Chamber for countless hours to come up with the perfect name that embodied not only what OTR was and what it has become, but also the people and businesses in the community that have made an impact on it. From OTR Rise, O2 Opportunity and so many more names, we finally decided on OTR Made; a name that pays homage to the group of Cincinnatians willing to make a name for themselves in a neighborhood we all know and love.

Throughout the entire naming process, I worked to come up with logo concepts while the Streetlight team interviewed past award recipients to create a video to showcase the rebrand and history of the awards. When it came to logo designs, this project was probably one of the most challenging I have taken on, but in a completely positive way. This project forced me to step out of my creative comfort zone and truly think about all the history, architecture, and stories that make OTR what it is, then instill those elements into a logo. Let’s just say in this entire process, I got a lot of practice in, learned a lot of new tools in Illustrator to make me more efficient, drank a lot of wine, and created a lot of great designs! Below you will find an image of all the designs that didn’t make the cut – a great representation of how the design evolved with the naming and finding the elements of OTR that were most important to incorporate.

After the logo was finalized, the Streetlight team finished up the promo video in the same timeframe, and wow. I’ve worked with a lot of video production companies in my career at the corporate level and the quality of work they produced, for being as new as they are – they are truly going to shake things up in Cincinnati. Seeing the finished product at the event literally took my breath away. Seeing them capture the passion of past winners talking about OTR, watching the sun come up over all the buildings, catching moments of people dancing in Findlay market on a Saturday or buying donuts from Holtman’s – I was so incredibly proud to not only work with a team this talented, but to also live where I do.

This project was a beautiful chaos of creativity – I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Seeing our final logo design prominently displayed at the entire event and getting to watch a beautifully filmed video with 400 other OTR entrepreneurs was an honor. It was even more of an honor to work with my new collective, Six Trails Creative – the name that myself, Nolan & Streetlight Studios decided to call ourselves for this collaboration because that’s what we are – a collective of 6 young, crazy talented trailblazers making things happen.

Check out the designs & event night below!