Portaluca Part 1

February 24th, 2014 by Lauren

In 2013, Hyperquake partnered with Dress for Success, one of the nation’s most influential charities that benefit women. The Dress for Success marketing team asked that Hyperquake lend our strategic and design expertise to help redesign the logo for their biggest driver of revenue, 4th Street Boutique. 4th Street Boutique is located in downtown Cincinnati and has been keeping women fashionable for less since 2002.

What started out as a simple re-branding project, soon evolved into much more. To accommodate 4th Street Boutique’s growing business success, expanding to multiple locations, it became clear that it needed a powerful identity system to support business growth and stand the test of time. Hyperquake, in collaboration with 4th Street Boutique, created the name and designed the identity for Portaluca.

Portaluca stands for personal strength and the power to truly realize and achieve your dreams. This is everything that Dress for Success stands for and helps women achieve everyday. We are so thrilled to have been a part of this inspiring cause and having the opportunity to create a powerful identity system that truly speaks to the cause.

4th Street Boutique will be debuting the brand later this year — more photos to come soon!


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Zoofari Part 2

September 27th, 2013 by rachel.robbins@hyperquake.com

As Jen McLaughlin, Client Manager at Hyperquake, mentioned in our last blog post, we were named Zoofari’s Creative Partner for 2013. We had a lot of fun partnering with The Cincinnati Zoo, as we crafted the event’s visual style and print collateral…almost as much fun as we had celebrating at the event!

It was a night of wild weather as well as “A Night of Luxury” at Zoofari 2013. The heavy rain could not stop the more than 2,500 guests that attended the Zoo’s annual fundraiser. And, as you can see from the pictures below, the Hyperquake team had a fabulous time at the event. Not only was there amazing food (I think I made it to more than half of the 50 restaurants that were present), festive decorations, signature cocktails and African entertainment, it was wonderful to visit with friends and clients. Zoofari truly lived up to its tagline “A Night of Wild Luxury” (what brainiacs came up with that?) and we cannot wait until next year’s event!

Inside the tent

(it was equivalent to the length of a football field!)

Hyperquake's best dressed couple

Zoofari client leads

Framester fun

Part of the Hyperquake team

Jen, Dustin, Christopher & I


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Zoofari Part 1

August 27th, 2013 by jen.mclaughlin@hyperquake.com

In January the Cincinnati Zoo selected Hyperquake as its Zoofari creative partner for 2013. Hyperquake and client team members gathered August 20 at the Zoo’s new Africa exhibit to celebrate the project’s successful completion. Hyperquake collaborated with the Zoo to develop the event’s visual style and created print collateral including a corporate sponsor piece, save-the-date mailer, poster, invitation, and program.

We look forward to attending Zoofari’s “A Night of Wild Luxury” on Friday, September 20. Thank you to our friends at the Zoo for being a wonderful partner!


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An Incredible Internship

August 5th, 2013 by lauren.schultz@hyperquake.com

First, I would like to apologize for not posting more blogs during my two-month internship at Hyperquake. The fact of the matter is, I have been so incredibly busy that I haven’t had time to blog. However, I don’t consider this a bad thing.

While at Hyperquake, I have had the opportunity to learn about the capabilities and activities of multiple departments, including Strategy, Client Leadership and Operations. And, I worked on numerous projects for each of them.

I particularly enjoyed working in the Strategy department, where my responsibilities included brand-building, brand identity, brand equity and story mapping. I also created Front End Innovation (FEI) content and identity development for a new consumer products (CP) technology. One of Hyperquake’s senior strategists became a valuable mentor, offering me great career advice. We even started a book club and discussed Brand Portfolio Strategy by David A. Aaker.

But my role as an intern didn’t stop there. I researched and analyzed local and national competitors to assist Hyperquake in its corporate rebranding program. I conducted trend and cultural research to analyze market  research data, creating a holistic summary of the findings. Along with editing and proofreading internal and external documents, I also generated agency awareness through blogging and social media tactics.

Project leaders asked me to present in numerous client meetings and on conference calls. I felt honored that Hyperquake allowed me to interact with clients; most interns don’t have that opportunity.

As a result of my experience at Hyperquake, my interest in the branding, marketing and advertising industry has skyrocketed. Additionally, I have gained valuable skills that will help me solve problems in a creative and constructive manner, analyzing unconventional and challenging angles to find the most inventive solution.

I want to thank everyone at Hyperquake for investing in my future by providing me with fun and unique opportunities for training, mentoring and hands-on work experience. Thanks, also for welcoming me into this creative, collaborative community. I will miss you all. Now… it’s time to return to Hanover College and hit the books!

International lunch day at Hyperquake. One of the many fun events this summer!

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Trending in Otavalo, Ecuador

June 12th, 2013 by lauren.schultz@hyperquake.com

Who would have thought that while traveling in South America, I would experience first-hand two important market segmentation trends: celebration nation and targeted messages?

This past April and May, I embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! With my professor and fellow students from Hanover College, I traveled throughout Ecuador and Peru for nearly a month for an intensive Spanish language and culture class credit. One weekend, we visited the Ecuadorian city of Otavalo, home to one of the largest, and most famous, indigenous markets in Latin America.

Shopping is one of my favorite pastimes so, naturally, I was thrilled when I entered the artesian market, which was composed of a maze of stalls, draped with colorful textiles and sparkly silver jewelry. It was amazing to see all of the Ecuadorian artisanal goods so proudly and beautifully displayed. Otavalo truly celebrates the beauty, talent and pride of Ecuador.

Otavalo’s connection with my internship here at Hyperquake hit me when I read an article from trendwatching.com entitled “10 Crucial Trends for 2013.” One of those trends is celebration nation: According to the article, emerging markets (like Ecuador) are “exporting and flaunting their cultural and national heritage.” Cultural uniqueness is infusing the marketplace, and is evident in everything from high fashion to furniture. This influx of new identities and ideas is incredibly exciting, creative and inspirational!

Otavalo’s streets were lined on both sides with dozens of vendors, each displaying their products in hopes of catching shoppers’ eyes. Vendors would call from their stalls, encouraging me to buy from them and not their neighbor. When I found something that intrigued me, I would ask the vendor the cost of the item in Spanish. Bartering is an accepted, and expected, practice in Otavalo so it is very important to ask for a price point in which to start the negotiation process.

Prepared to converse in Spanish, I was very surprised when some vendors responded to my Spanish inquiries in English. This puzzled and frustrated me. I’d been studying Spanish for nearly six years and the main purpose of my trip was to improve my speaking skills. I wanted to use Spanish in all situations—especially a business atmosphere.

I purchased beautiful scarves, jewelry and artesian goods at Otavalo!

It wasn’t until I returned home, started at Hyperquake, and read another article, “Designer of 2015 Trends,” on Aiga.org, that I realized why some vendors immediately switched to English when speaking with me. They were using the trend of targeted messages—sales pitches in English—to better appeal to their customer, me. “Designer of 2015 Trends” reports that broad messages intended for large audiences are shifting to personalized messages for a smaller audience. One way to make messages more specific is to examine the culture of the audience.

By my accent, most vendors could probably tell that I was American. It is possible that based on their previous experience and knowledge of Americans, they assumed my knowledge of Spanish would be limited and I would prefer to haggle in my native tongue. After all, I was the potential customer and they wanted to make my buying experience as easy and enjoyable as possible, so they targeted their messages to me in English.

My experience in Otavalo demonstrates the importance of understanding and respect when interacting with people from different cultures. From appreciation stems celebration!


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A Captivating COOP

June 7th, 2013 by lauren.schultz@hyperquake.com

What do most college students crave during their summers? Sun and fun? Sure. But, the majority of students also are looking for an opportunity to work in the “real world.” An internship or COOP is one of the most valuable experiences that students can have because these jobs allow them to apply what they’ve learned in class and to explore different career choices. As a Communication major and member of the Business Scholars Program at Hanover College, a liberal arts school near Madison, Indiana, I craved the chance to work in the marketing and branding industry. I was fortunate to be named the Marketing and Business Development Coordinator COOP here at Hyperquake for this summer. A dream job!

Gorgeous view of Paul Brown Stadium and the Ohio River from Hyperquake's downtown Cincinnati office.

Summer interns may expect that they will be fetching coffee and taking meeting notes at their organizations. You can imagine my excitement when I learned that at Hyperquake my duties will include writing, researching and assisting with projects that full-time employees are working on. In fact, on my second day in the office, I joined a team that is creating a name for a non-profit boutique affiliated with Dress for Success, Cincinnati. My ideas and opinions were encouraged and positively received by my coworkers! Immediately, I felt as though my opinions and skill sets were valued… which leads me to my favorite thing about Hyperquake—the people.

My first day, I felt very overwhelmed—as does everyone at the beginning of a new job. But after personal welcomes from the leaders of the company and introductions from members from each department, I relaxed. Hyperquake is one big family. Through my training sessions, I experienced the nurturing environment of this community. My coworkers took time out of their extremely busy schedules to teach me the ins and outs of computers, programs and projects.

Hyperquake’s youthful, creative and inspirational atmosphere is absolutely captivating—I can’t wait to come into the office every day. This company’s unique culture fosters happy employees and, ultimately, outstanding strategic and creative output. I am so excited to learn about all aspects of Hyperquake: Strategy, Client Leadership, Design, New Business and so much more. I feel so valued and special here. Even after just one week, I can report that Hyperquake is the perfect fit for me.

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Out Pedaling Cancer

March 13th, 2013 by Lauren




This past weekend Hyperquake participated in the 4th Annual Race to Anyplace cycling charity event. The race is held every year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Donations go directly to LLS, which is the world’s largest blood cancer research organization. Race to Anyplace is an amazingly powerful event that our Quakers have been committed to attending every year since its founding.




Team Hyperquake managed to cycle almost 100 miles in six hours of spinning AND raise $600! Although we did not finish first, our team finished in style! Not many people can spin in jeans and look good doing it, just saying. Race to Anyplace is an event that our Quakers will continue to participate in every year. By keeping this tradition alive we can truly begin to out pedal cancer.

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Hyperquake teams up with the Reds

August 31st, 2012 by Molly Danks

As I sat in section 121, with a next-door neighbor from Boston on my left and a boyfriend from Chicago on my right, I couldn’t help but think how strange it was that I was a lone Reds fan sandwiched between these two outsiders. As a child, there was never any question as to who I was rooting for.  A family of 5 dressed in matching Reds attire, didn’t leave much to question. But now all grown up, sans the Reds flare, sitting next to a Cubies fan and a whomever-people-from-Boston-root-for-fan, people had to ask me which team was mine. For a fan like myself, that cares more about having a good time rather than who is winning or losing, I stick with the Reds because of tradition, and I go to the game when I get a good deal.

As the game went on, I noticed the lawn crew out on the field, dragging the Scotts Lawn Care equipment, and I couldn’t help but think about effective marketing tactics and the work that my agency had done with the Cincinnati Reds.  So, I anxiously looked around the ballpark for any signs of our work. Where was it?  I can’t say that I wasn’t slightly confused that the work we helped to create seemed nowhere to be found.

I had a couple more Yuenglings and watched the Reds play some excellent baseball, and soon forgot all about marketing and branding until Monday morning when I was in a meeting. I thanked the Bosses for letting me use the company seats, and told them about my search for our work, and how I couldn’t locate a single thing.  That’s when I realized that I might never physically see the work that we did with the Cincinnati Reds.

Not because the work wasn’t exceptional, but because the partnership that we had wasn’t the kind that was going to change a logo, or make the park or programs look any different.  It was the Brand Evolution kind of Marketing.  The kind that you don’t always “simply see”. It’s the kind you have to teach and believe. And this couldn’t have been explained more clearly, than as written in the article on Hyperquake and the Reds in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

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WMC Fest!

June 12th, 2012 by Kate Kovalcin

This weekend I went to the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest up in Cleveland. If you are a designer in Ohio, you know how incredibly rare it is that cool things like this EVER happen in our humble state (except, of course, WMC Fest last year and the year before). So, I have been anxiously awaiting this weekend for a while now.

What is so impressive about this fest is that almost all of my (and many people’s) design heroes flew from all over the country to attend. And were totally humble and just hanging out with the rest of us all weekend, even if they weren’t speaking. There was a gallery showcasing many amazing pieces of work from some really amazing designers. Some booths were set up to buy great prints. Drool-worthy work was just everywhere.

Print by Dan Cassaro 

Not to mention they gave out the coolest swag bags I’ve ever gotten at a conference.

Cool free stuff!

By far the most inspiring talk was by Johnny Cupcakes. He gave a 2 hour talk on how he got where he is today, and was a very funny and eloquent speaker. He is probably one of my biggest inspirations in life and has been since I was in early high school. I’m sort of a fangirl (I have a poster/pins/cards hanging up at my desk) and have met him several times, but never gotten the chance to see one of his amazingly inspiring lectures. The room was beyond packed and 100 degrees, but it made the entire trip worth it.

The room was definitely past capacity when he spoke.

Everything he does goes back into his brand. He has an amazing eye for details and spends the extra money to ensure that every customer walks away with a great story to tell. He couldn’t emphasize enough how important the experience is. He stuffs toys, trading cards and all sorts of goofy things in every order he mails out just to make people smile. He couldn’t emphasize enough how important great packaging is (it’s a free billboard in people’s houses) because most people will hoard great packaging (ironically, I definitely have a Johnny Cupcakes box/tissue paper/tags/all packaging stuffed in a box under my bed right now, so he has a point). One of my favorite points he made was “You have to spend an arm and a leg to make more arms and legs” – and I admire that he puts so much of his company’s profits right back into pushing to be a better brand.

I was stoked to finally snag a picture with him.

Another great talk was by Friends of Type. They are also some design heroes of mine and just to hear how they built this entire fun idea in about 8 hours and it took off, and how they push it while still maintaining their full time jobs, was really inspiring.

Friends of Type’s amazing intro video featuring beautiful typography.

Among other speakers I saw were Austin Kleon, Matt Stevens and Chuck Anderson. All doing amazing things, all great at what they do. And all of the speakers had roughly the same message: Take risks and work hard. All of them may have had a few key projects that led to where they are today, but they never gave up even when they ran out of money and energy. All in all, very positive messages and I left with more design momentum than when I got there.

I encourage anyone in the Midwest (or further) to attend next year!

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Signs of Zimbabwe

May 1st, 2012 by LeAnne Wagner

I recently spent some time in Africa, specifically Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. I was there volunteering in the rural communities. Upon my return home and reviewing my photos, I discovered a large amount of various signs and local design mixed in with my adventures. Thus proving that as a designer, no matter how far you get away from your Mac, like a moth to a flame or hipsters to PBR, you’re always going to be drawn to good design. Hope you enjoy the photos. Stay tuned for more to come…

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