Gearbox | functional creative

Case Study

Fine Arts

AAF of Central Minnesota
Judge’s Choice

Expect Wow! Branding Campaign

The challenge

The College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University Fine Arts Programming is a brilliant gem in Central Minnesota’s arts and entertainment scene. The series brings in amazing talent from all over the world and features a wide range of culturally diverse performances. But there was just one problem: to many, the gem was hidden and misunderstood. The series was called Push Play, which contradicted the liveness of the performances. The colleges came to us looking for a new name that better aligned with everything the series had to offer.

The solution

As we uncovered audience demographics and perceptions, we created clear objectives for the new identity. We wanted the name of the series to celebrate the live energy of the performances and feel inclusive and inviting, not stuffy or pretentious. We also wanted to engage people who may be reluctant to leave the safe edges of their comfort zone simply because they didn’t know what to expect.

The result is Expect Wow, which plants the expectation of a captivating and entertaining experience. The Expect Wow logo includes an exclamation point for emphasis, and the promotional materials use broad strokes of bright colors and dramatic photographs to evoke excitement and engage a broad audience.

What we did

The best logos communicate a whole sentence in one impactful glance.

Tanya Gertz
Executive Director of Fine Arts Programming

“Expect Wow has been a really strong match with our work to capture the invitation; meet people at their hesitation; and claim the distinctive, quality experience we have. It’s fun, it’s very useable and malleable, and we’ve seen our audience use it as a way to define us. The phrase and logo have been a great partner to our arts work in the world!”