A new national headquarters for a 100-year-old institution

We designed, produced, and installed all interior and exterior branding elements for DAV’s new National Headquarters in Erlanger, Kentucky. Our goal was to embody the DAV experience by making all of our design elements accessible to veterans, staff, and stakeholders of all ability levels.

“White Design Studio took the time to learn about our mission and create design elements that would make us more effective at serving the million-plus veterans we assist each year. They worked hand-in-hand with our stakeholders and focused on efficiently developing an experience for veterans and staff based on current and future operations. We appreciate the thoughtful, proactive approach they took to creating a unique space that honors our contributors’ investments and enhances our collaborations in every way.”

Barry Jesinoski – DAV National Headquarters Executive Director

We aimed to bring DAV’s iconic brand to life from every vantage point – from passing by on the freeway, to the approach and on into the facility. The experience begins with its prominent view from the I75/71 expressway. We wanted the building to be its own brand statement. Simple, clean lines frame the DAV logo on the structure, and an iconic exterior monument sign marks the entrance using DAV geometry and colors. The individual elements combine to form a balanced 3D composition from almost any viewing angle.

Photo of exterior of the new DAV building in background. Large, monumental exterior wayfinding sits in foreground at right.
Front doors of DAV headquarters in Erlanger, KY. Strong angles, and DAV green frame the door way. Dimensional text sits on a marble wall facade to right of entryway.
Reception area of DAV headquarters, with brushed metal angled wall backdrop, featuring bright green light stripe.

The DAV story unfolds as different audiences move through the interior, with each interaction building upon the previous one. Our goal is to make every visitor, employee, and veteran a DAV ambassador. We deliver the DAV story in a way that is memorable and easy to repeat.

A simple reception desk uses DAV logo geometry. It provides a landing and launch point for visitors. A gun-metal angled reception wall features an LED, “night vision” green light band. An adjacent satin silver panel highlights DAV’s historic seal. A retail store, interactive video tower, and an impressive 100 Years of DAV historic exhibit flank the desk.

DAV entryway features custom built reception desk and layered, angled backdrop, an interactive video tower, and 100 Years of DAV historic exhibit and timeline.

DAV’s story begins in the lobby. A 11’ tall interactive video tower trumpets the latest messaging from DAV. Other DAV content, including current and past leadership officers and staff, are available for viewing. The vertical video format allows for eye-catching animations that play off of the physical structure blending 3D and digital.

Monumental 14' interactive video tower centers the exhibit space. The tower has custom designed casing. 100 year timeline of artifacts surrounds the tower.
A veteran in a wheelchair uses the DAV interactive tower. Historic exhibit is in background.

Visitors, veterans, and employees can learn about DAV using the touch interactive video tower. It features DAV videos, announcements, and even customized presentations. All the latest news from DAV, which we call DAV TV, is also featured in recognizing donors, celebrating veterans’ stories, and trumpeting employee accomplishments. Specialized sound equipment allows for one-on-one or group audio. All interactive elements were designed with veterans of all abilities in mind and include handicap accessible menus.

100 Years of DAV exhibit includes historic artifacts donated by veterans including uniforms, flags, weapons, and more. A young family of four stops to read more about the artifacts in the exhibit.
DAV historic exhibit features black and white war-time images above and a detailed timeline with artifacts below. A reader rail continues the story. A young family of four walks through the exhibit.
Detailed image of DAV exhibit and timeline. Exhibit title "The Battle Never Ends" with a custom timeline of artifacts starting with World War I.
Back of the 14' interactive video tower has info graphics informing visitors of key DAV statistics. Timeline and DAV store can be seen in background. A woman looks at the timeline in the foreground, a man stands in the store.

Surrounding the interactive tower is an impressive 100 years of DAV exhibit. A DAV timeline begins at the end of WWI through the Middle East’s latest conflicts. As the nature of war has evolved, the returning veterans’ needs have also changed. DAV has adapted to those needs over the past 100 years. DAV helps veterans with post-military service life.

Woman walks down hall toward lobby. At the right is an interactive, two monitor database with custom casing.
Interactive Donor Wall display has two vertical monitors centered on a display of printed infographics and logos. Green LED lights create soft glow behind display.

Our interactive donor display outlines all the ways supporters can give and uses personal stories to illustrate the varied and touching ways that the DAV has helped different family’s loved ones. We designed a custom database to keep track and display the many different donor programs. Top donors and supporters are recognized on the surrounding graphics. A colored LED lighting system halos the display and can be used to change the color to visiting donors to honor and recognize them.

More branding elements deliver messaging tailored by location, audience, and activity. For example, circulation hubs such as elevator lobbies and break rooms feature DAV TV’s kiosks. They share some lobby tower content plus department metrics and other customized messaging. 

Retail store inside the DAV lobby features vinyl glass treatment and a custom, dimensional, colored LED back wall. A woman looks at hats in the store.
Dimensional, colored LED wall acts as backdrop to angular cash counter in DAV retail store. Two mannequins are on display behind the reception desk.

A DAV retail store is next to the interactive and exhibit area and offers a wide range of DAV-branded clothing and accessories. Our dimensional-colored LED back wall is an eye-catching back wall to the cash counter and complements the green light used in the reception back wall. 

Large-scale medallions line wall of conference room on white, 2D pieces of material cut on DAV diagonal
Memorial under the lobby stairs at DAV's new national headquarters. Dimensional text reads "American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial" and shows four large images on wall with text. Three monuments made up of layered pieces of glass sit below on floor.

Cushman & Wakefield managed the entire project. We partnered with Champlin Architecture, Bayer Becker, and Danis Construction to bring the project to life. The new headquarters opened in October of 2021.

White Design Studio is a multidisciplinary design firm located in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in the design, production, and installation of integrated branding solutions. Our solutions orchestrate corporate identity, marketing, storytelling, environmental, photography, video, print and interactive elements. At White Design Studio, we believe the best way to communicate your brand’s story is through branded environments and experiences. We work with manufacturers, service providers, non-profits, architects and developers, agencies, distributors, governments and municipalities, and museums. First, we identify the work that a campaign, space, or interactive needs to do. We can then model a vision of what success looks like, and design to meet that vision. We are passionate about helping clients communicate their value through well-crafted storytelling, a consistent 2D, 3D, and digital design approach and expert production techniques.
Strategy: White Design Studio is your strategically-focused design source. Our marketing communications are custom-tailored to meet our customers’ objectives. Our creative solutions take many forms, but all are designed for maximum effectiveness. Each solution delivers key brand messaging to a wide variety of audiences.
Branded Environments: Sometimes called Environmental Graphic Design or Experiential Graphic Design, White Design Studio designs and creates strategic, compelling and memorable experiences. Our solutions deliver key messaging, branded specifically for each target audience. Workplace, Corporate Briefing Centers, Showrooms and Lobbies, Museum Displays and Exhibits, Retail Showrooms and Store Design are all great examples of White Design’s sweet spot of design, fabrication and installation capabilities.
Interactive: We combine unique technologies and fabrication techniques to create impactful interactive solutions for conveying our customer’s messaging objectives. Our installations deliver critical information to all of your audiences in a way that is entertaining and memorable. RFID, Projection Mapping, Touch, Proximity Detection and the use of Motion Activated Devices are just a few of the tools we use to deliver your message. White Design Studio’s goal is to make the technology invisible so nothing comes between your audience and your message.
White Design Studio operates most efficiently in the design sweet-spot between environments, identity, and communications. Comfortable stretching any direction, we are at ease designing for one element. But, we are at our best when we can combine each element to develop a fully integrated brand and messaging system. We collaborate with industry-leading professionals on large-scale projects, but can also comfortably operate as your single-source design partner. We partner with Developers, Architects, Engineers, Facility Managers, Creative Directors, Marketing Departments Advertising Agencies and other Design Studios.