Two Ringling School of Art and Design alumni have combined their talents to create an exciting and fun identity for a high-profile early literacy campaign in Jacksonville. Jan (Gaunder) Korb, president of Jacksonville’s BroadBased Communications (GD ’89), the lead design agency on the city’s RALLY Jacksonville! initiative, and Ethan Long (IL ’91), an Orlando-based illustrator, collaborated to give the program an engaging energy that is helping generate participation and widespread public recognition and support.
RALLY Jacksonville, otherwise known as the Mayor Peyton’s Literacy Initiative, is sponsored by the Jacksonville Children’s Commission with support from The Ready Child Coalition, and has already received public acclaim. The program is aimed at improving the quality of child care sites and increasing the number of children who are ready for school at the beginning of kindergarten.
BroadBased was selected to create a brand identity for the program and design a variety of collateral materials, including posters, brochures and a series of 12 Jacksonville-themed children’s books. In addition to the main identity, the program includes several sub-elements, including Quality Teams that assist child care centers, Mayor Peyton’s Book Club and RALLY Readers who volunteer to read to pre-schoolers.
“Our challenge was to create an identity that would convey the appeal and value of the program to the target audience while also generating excitement and support in the general public,” Korb said. “When I saw the scope of the work and its objectives, I knew it would require a strong artistic theme, and right away I thought of Ethan.”
Long, a 1991 Ringling graduate who operates Long Creative Inc., has created and illustrated many children’s books as well as creating concepts and illustrations for a wide variety of marketing projects.
“For RALLY Jacksonville!, I kept the illustrations simple, direct and colorful to reach out and engage kids’ imaginations,” Long said. “I also wanted them to be spontaneous, so you would feel immediately that this promised to be a lot of fun.”
Working with Korb has been a natural partnership, Long said, because they both learned their skills and approach to collaboration at Ringling in Sarasota. The school specifically provides students with opportunities for the same type of collaboration that they now practice as professionals, they noted.
“My Ringling experience has been invaluable,” said Korb. “And it’s especially exciting to be working with a fellow graduate on something that’s having a positive impact on the Jacksonville community.”
BroadBased Communications, Inc. is a Jacksonville-based marketing communications firm specializing in graphic design, promotional planning, strategic communications and copywriting. Clients include Fortune 100 companies as well as regionally based companies and organizations of all sizes.
Ethan Long works from his studio in Orlando, where he serves a broad client base that includes Nickelodeon Studios, Dutton Children’s Books, Little Brown and Holiday House, among many others. His work has been included in the Society of Illustrators, New York and Los Angeles shows.