Baltimore’s Orange Element, a Capitol Communicator sponsor, was selected by AIGA Baltimore to serve as the official branding partner for Design Week 2016. Now in its fifth year, Design Week is held every third week of October and features a week-long series of events geared towards educating and inspiring the region’s design community.
“One of the most important components of communicating Design Week to our membership of 430-plus is a strong brand identity,” said AIGA Baltimore President Vanessa Ulrich. “Since 2013, we have reached out to a local design agency to partner with us and bring Design Week alive visually. Past partners have included Gilah Press + Design, Eye Byte Solutions and Exit10.
“AIGA Baltimore is thrilled for the partnership with OE this year, not only because they’re a group of uber-talented creative professionals, but also because their agency has made a really awesome commitment to focus on the Baltimore community and be proactive in helping make our city a better place,” she said.
To kick off the Design Week communications, AIGA asked Aaron Moore, Orange Element’s creative director and principal (back row, fourth from left), five questions:
How did OE’s mission come about?
When we established our agency in 2003, we started in the beginning with a focus on developing strong partnerships. For us, earning trust has always been as important as the design work we do, and we take that to the broader community level by making a commitment to use design and branding to help our local communities, and organizations focused on making sure our city remains a great place to live, work and play.
How is OE currently involved?
We allocate an annual percentage of our revenue to support local and regional organizations focused on improving the quality of people and places. We’re currently honing our areas of focus and where we feel our mission most closely aligns with giving back, but we have supported organizations including Parks and People, The Creative Alliance, The Girl Scouts of Maryland, The Brick Companies, Thread, The Production Club of Baltimore, The American Advertising Federation, AIGA, The Foundery, the Industrial Arts Collective, and more.
We also support local organizations by choosing one or two each year to provide either pro-bono work or reduced pricing with the intention of moving their brands and missions forward. Philanthropy is one of our core beliefs and we continue to make it a priority, both as a team and as individuals.
Tell us about the coolest thing you did last year.
The Parks and People Foundation welcomed visitors to their new Auchentoroly Terrace in 2015. The new campus will welcome community families, educators, students and leaders focused on improving our City’s green spaces and the opportunities to make each an active addition for outdoor use.
Orange Element has been involved both personally and as a company to help advance the Foundation’s mission. We were thrilled to be included and involved on groundbreaking activities, as well as engaged with helping participate in environmental graphics—from the interior entrance signage to the donor wall. We are currently working on wayfinding and outdoor signage for campus visitors. It’s so cool to think about a new community campus that will help engage our youth and provide communities the opportunities to enjoy the city’s parks.
If you could describe the OE team and work philosophy in five words, what would they be?
Integrity, Civility, Precision, Curiosity and Creativity. Along with philanthropy, these round out our core beliefs at Orange Element.
What’s OE’s vision for the Baltimore creative community?
Baltimore has nearly 500 non-profits working towards their respective missions. Each organization, in some way, shares a collective desire to believe in our great city. At OE, we are constantly looking for opportunities to share these stories with hope that we can connect our creative thinkers to organizations that would benefit from new insight.
With so many organizations working towards this common goal, we challenge everyone to find time to give back. Whether it’s a commitment to a board, committee, volunteer effort or donation, please use your creativity to lend hand. And stay here, in Baltimore, because it IS the Greatest City in America.
Photo of the Orange Element crew by John Davis