DAV (DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS) ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHIC DESIGN
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.