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case study

Providing a Member-Driven Nonprofit with Design Support to Extend Its Reach

Capital Public Radio (CapRadio) is a public media non-profit organization that is a treasured resource for news, talk, and music across Northern California. Supplying the region with NPR programming and coverage of state government, the station has a strong reputation for in-depth reporting and a firm commitment to serving the local community.

CapRadio connects with its listeners via its website, mobile apps, and independently produced shows and podcasts. To reflect their expansive footprint across the local media landscape, the organization revamped the brand’s logo, positioning, and messaging.

However, CapRadio lacked the internal resources to roll out its new brand. The organization needed a sophisticated brand system to support the breadth of its multichannel service to the region. Just as importantly, they needed an experienced partner to help their team execute on a modernized look in a streamlined, timely way. Here’s what we did.

client Capital Public Radio


The work on our new brand system was essential to our larger rebranding efforts, and the brand guide was universally praised by our board.”

Chris Bruno Director of Marketing, Capital Public Radio

Supporting Complex Marketing Needs through a Visual Language

CapRadio’s offerings span audio, digital, and print mediums. The organization needed a visual system robust enough to support a compelling and cohesive brand while also providing the flexibility to create unique identities for the station’s numerous programs. 

Our wealth of experience designing for member-driven organizations has included a broad range of projects from event branding and sophisticated websites to physical assets like brochures, unique gifts, and signage. We were uniquely positioned to provide CapRadio with the visually engaging framework needed to execute its new brand.

We established a brand system to support thier marketing initiatives with comprehensive guidelines outlining their use. The system includes:

Robust color palette

The brand’s signature red gains support from primary, secondary, and neutral shades as well as textures and gradients. Each color pairing is tested for accessibility to align with ADA guidelines and offers a balance of consistency and creative possibility to be applied across a complex range of deliverables, sub-brands, and initiatives.

Logo guidelines

We developed clear rules to dictate usage for the station’s logo as well as co-branding opportunities in the future. With more podcasts in development, CapRadio has the rules to develop new identities that reflect the unique perspective of each program while adding equity back to the parent brand.

Graphic toolbox

Using the organization’s existing logo as a starting point, we further reinforced a unique visual identity for CapRadio with the following components:

Audio wave: The graphic, which is applicable on its own and as a complementary pattern, captures the station’s identity while representing rhythm, energy, and growth.

Pulse wave: Similar to the audio wave, the pulse adds flexibility to echo the core brand while further reinforcing its roots in radio.

Unique gradients: Textures and color treatments can be added to subjects to reinforce the brand’s energy and streamline future designs.

Ongoing Design Support to Elevate the Organization 

For eight years, we provided project management and creative support, which enabled CapRadio’s small but mighty marketing staff to handle a range of design requirements efficiently. This enabled CapRadio to spin up and execute design initiatives faster than ever.

Working with an agency that knows and owns the brand, they were able to shrink the discovery process for each project. Providing the reliability of an in-house team with the creative horsepower and expertise of a full-service agency. CapRadio could pursue its marketing and fundraising goals knowing its brand, voice, and identity were understood and in experienced hands.

Our work encompassed:

Fundraising campaign collateral: Mailers, microsites, brochures, animations, and other assets.

Capital campaign collateral: Support for special projects, including a $10 million fundraising initiative for a new headquarters. Assets included a pitch brochure, animated video, and other materials.

Giveaway items and branded assets: Labels for beer bottles, honey jars, tote bags, stickers, and holiday cards extended that brand into various novel contexts.

Wide-ranging projects: Print ads, environmental signage, podcast identities, and more.

Maintaining a Strong Connection with their Audience

With an on-call design partner ready to deliver high-quality results, the organization could focus on pursuing its mission without worrying about the capacity to execute complex projects. Our work with CapRadio enabled the organization to express its brand story consistently and compellingly for all its marketing and communications priorities.

Is this the kind of support your organization needs to connect with its members? We’re ready to get started.

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Use the form or give us a call at (916) 572-9626. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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