Council on Aging

A new facility is a perfect time to rethink and update how you present yourself to your clients, vendors, and employees. COA knew that and wanted to take advantage of the situation. We were asked to help with exterior and interior signage/wayfinding and interior branding and messaging.

We’ve refined our design process over the years to make our first step, in almost any project, to write a narrative of the message takeaways for each audience. It distills down into a Problem, Solution, Reward, message architecture, and this simple step in our process creates a framework that informs every design decision.

Here’s the messaging we created for COA:

The Problem—Seniors, disabled people, and their family members need assistance coordinating the help they need to stay independent in their homes and communities.

The Solution—One call to COA links people to various agencies, information, and programs that serve older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers. We provide right-sized custom care solutions tailored for each individual.

The Reward—Seniors and those with disabilities live better and more independent lives. They remain engaged and connected to their friends, family, and community. Caregivers receive support to help their senior loved ones remain independent so they can take care of their families – retain jobs – a benefit to taxpayers as COA assists in the lowest cost setting.

Once we create this outline, we use an experienced model to deliver this information in a way that “sticks” and is easily repeatable. Our goal is to make anyone who experiences your facility an ambassador by telling them your story in a memorable and repeatable way.

We also extend existing brands for uses beyond the current Brand Guidelines and integrate our elements into the architecture and interiors. We are the glue that pulls all the ingredients together and transforms “a facility” into “your facility.”

Exterior signage for Council on Aging shows the COA logo and address.

COA’s branding starts on the exterior. The building is in a 1980s industrial park. Multiple entrances required both design continuity to tie the structure together and uniqueness for the respective audiences. Our solution was to use the same physical solution to highlight each location – from the main sign to each entrance sign. Overlay signs are constructed with DiBond and use COA brand colors and graphics. Colorful graphic bands wrapped corners to highlight the main entrance. COA logos, wayfinding information, and COA’s keywords are composed into banded compositions.

Bright orange fabric frame timeline outlines COA's story. Dimensional orange letters above the timeline read "Responding to the Needs of Our Community"
Blue fabric frame with dimensional letters "Our People are the Difference". Image on fabric frame shows three smiling women in black and white.
Magnetic board with dimensional letters in black that read "What Success Looks Like". Board has magnetic 'polaroids' showing black and white images of people helped.

The main hallway features a Why, How, What wall that delivers COA’s mission statement, a timeline, and a changeable photo board featuring individuals whose lives are improved by COA’s care and services.

Giant white letters read "Compassion" in hallway. Three colored stripes sit above the word.

Large, emotional keywords are featured in prominent locations around the facility. These act as reminders to the employees on the WHY and HOW of what they do. Dimensional COA accents punctuate and add a common element to each feature.

Three fabric frame case studies line hallway of offices. Images show black and white images of elderly people helped along with their quote.

Individual case histories throughout the facility show how COA customizes its solutions for each need and the diversity in the populations they serve.

Bright orange wall with two large quote bubbles applied to it.

Quotes are a great way to inspire and ground employees. They are tailored to locations in the facility or the function or activity of a space. We treated all these as an inexpensive interior design element, locating them on painted accent walls in open areas and conference rooms.

Large graphic panel showing black and white images and COA Values on orange and blue background.
Black and white images of clients between stripes of orange and blue.
Long graphic sits along left side of hallway with a case study graphic opposite.