40 wishes for 2015

40 wishes for 2015

In 2015, Larsen marks 40 years of business. As this new year begins, we look back with gratitude and forward with optimism. Wishing all of you—our clients and friends—40 warm wishes for the new year.

Platinum Brand Platform, Identity, Visual System

The Platinum Supplemental Insurance identity is a multi colored open star

Platinum Supplemental Insurance asked Larsen to develop a brand platform, identity, and visual system that would bring continuity to the company’s communications and position them for continued growth. Platinum cares deeply about its customers and employees, and stands firmly behind its mission to provide the best products and services possible while presenting employees with every opportunity to succeed. We wanted to bring those values to life.


  • Brand positioning provides a solid foundation and clearly communicates Platinum’s purpose to the marketplace
  • Key messages speak directly to each of their audiences, bringing the values and benefits of Platinum to life for practical communications
  • Energetic new identity illustrates the trust and connectivity between Platinum, its representatives, and its customers
  • Custom illustrations were commissioned to convey Platinum’s hometown values and connect with customers — many of whom are rural or small town residents
  • Distinctive and flexible visual system helps Platinum stand out among its competitors
  • After implementing the new logo, visual system, and messaging, Platinum saw a nearly 200 percent increase in responses to its recruitment efforts
Platinum Supplemental Insurance Company print materials, including letterhead and business card, support the brand platform Town and country illustrations, which were commissioned by Larsen for Platinum Supplemental Insurance Company's print and digital communications

Orchestra Hall Sign System Hits the Right Note

Seat numbers designed by Larsen at Minnesota's Orchestra Hall

Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall recently underwent a significant remodel, including an expanded lobby, updated backstage facilities, a refreshed auditorium, improved access for those with disabilities, and other building enhancements. As part of these renovations, Larsen was asked to create a wayfinding plan and sign system that would assist patrons to their various destinations, enhance the concert experience, and align with Orchestra Hall’s stunning new architecture.


  • Both interior and exterior spaces were addressed to ensure a cohesive visitor experience
  • Wayfinding includes pathways to the auditorium, various galleries, and offices
  • Permanent and annual displays celebrate donor contributions
  • Digital displays highlight future events at the box office and bar
  • Simple, timeless materials and a beautiful, practical typeface complement the building’s sleek architecture
Exterior sign at Minnesota Orchestra Hall Orchestra Hall box office signage and display Blue donor wall designed by Larsen at Minnesota's Orchestra Hall


Creating the Right Brand Voice: 6 Tips

Buffalo Wild Wings wet naps have bold messages as an example of brand voice

Your brand already has a voice. Is it the right voice? Is it engaging?

By brand voice, we don’t mean sound effects, jingles, theme songs, sound branding, audio logos, or other important sonic aspects of a brand. We mean the tone of your communications and the style of your writing.

Brand voice is the purposeful, consistent expression of a brand through words and prose styles that engage and motivate. Here are 6 tips to help you create a strong, clear brand voice.

Read the full Insights article.

A Sleek New Website for Elkay

This responsive, user-friendly Elkay website offers intuitive navigation and easy-to-find information

Elkay, a leading supplier of stainless steel kitchen and bath products for both residential and commercial installations, came to Larsen for a responsive, user-friendly website with intuitive navigation and easy-to-find information.


  • Extensive discovery phase included significant competitive research, which informed the user experience, site architecture, and overall design
  • Site presents visual and verbal content in a clean, fresh, modern way that is appropriate for both consumer and professional audiences
  • Nearly 30 design templates were developed, along with an extensive functional requirements document to aid in the internal Elkay team’s development of the website
  • Phase two, which will include additional functionality, is scheduled to launch later in 2014
  • The new Elkay website aligns with the company’s other communication pillars

Architect William Pedersen to Speak at Design Intersections

Architect William Pedersen, who will present at the April 2014 Design Intersections event

Renowned architect William Pedersen will speak at the spring 2014 Design Intersections seminar hosted by the University of Minnesota College of Design and sponsored by Larsen. Pedersen, whose resume includes the Shanghai World Financial Center and World Bank Headquarters, is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and founding partner of New York architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox. His April 24 presentation, titled “Multiple Scales,” will explore the impact of design on large- and small-scale projects. For more information and to register, visit the Design Intersections website.

Larsen Sponsors MN AMA Digital Series for Fourth Year

Larsen is pleased to continue our sponsorship of the MN AMA Digital Series. The three-part series kicked off in November with “Brand Building Through Digital Communities” — a panel of experts from companies including Best Buy, General Mills, Truvia, Park Nicollet, and Capella University. On Tuesday, January 28, a panel discussion titled “Attracting Customers Through Content Marketing” will feature content experts  from University of Minnesota, SPPS, Prairie Home Companion, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Nina Hale, Inc.

Speakers for the March series conclusion will be announced soon. For more details and to register for the January event, visit

Bold Visual Guidelines for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

The Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise visual guidelines designed by Larsen are applied to all print and digital communications

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, a communications and networking technologies provider, asked Larsen to establish a set of unique and dynamic visual guidelines that would resonate with a global audience of employees, partners, and system end-users while maintaining a visual connection to the established Alcatel-Lucent corporate brand.


  • Distinct visual system is highly effective and simple to use
  • Circle motif serves as the system’s foundation, using bold color and typography to support a broad range of messages
  • Stunning night photography features people and places in ways that highlight the company’s seamless solutions
  • System works across a broad range of marketing communications: presentations, events, literature, print advertising, digital applications
  • New guidelines help differentiate and establish Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise as an industry thought leader
Bold purple and blue circles and vivid photography are used on the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise website Large-scale panels illustrating the Alcatel-Lucent visual guidelines

Naming a Nonprofit: Q&A

What are the qualities of a strong nonprofit name?  What types of names work well for nonprofits? What are the lost opportunities when naming is not considered carefully? Larsen’s Gwyneth Dwyer answered questions about naming a nonprofit in a guest post for The Nonprofit MarCommunity, a digital space for nonprofit marketers and communicators.

“A strong nonprofit name explains or suggests the mission, communicates an emotion, lodges in the brain, and, ideally, compels action,” says Dwyer. “All these opportunities are lost, or dulled, with a clunky name.” Read Q&A on Naming a Nonprofit.


We Need an iPad App! 4 Steps to Get You Started

Three screens from the College of Visual Arts iPad app designed by Larsen

We need an iPad app! You’ve heard the request. Perhaps it’s even a demand. iPad apps are emerging at an incredibly rapid pace, creating serious momentum among brand stakeholders. Everyone wants an app. And they’re looking at you to make it happen.

But what? And how? And for whom?

Should you produce a utility app? A productivity app? A game app? The questions come thick and fast. The categories of apps can be overwhelming. And the business need is too often obscured.

If your app is on the line, so to speak, but the options above don’t work for your organization, you may be overlooking an opportunity.

Read the full inSights article.

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