Troost Jazz & Soul 2016

Creative Directors - Concept Design - Print Management - Web Design - Social Media Design & Management - Photography - Creative Team Development & Management



The 2015 brand

The 2015 brand

Each year Reconciliation Services in Kansas City hosts Troost Jazz & Soul, a fundraising event hosting between 300-400 donors and sponsors. We were tasked with rebranding the event from 2015 and creating an evergreen concept that could be carried through the next few years.

The concept of 'seeing differently' for the event came from RS's core mission statement which we established when we rebranded the organization in 2015—by treating the poorest of the poor with the utmost respect, their hidden strength becomes revealed. Essentially this means looking at an individual not just as someone to be 'fixed' but as an icon of Christ and fellow human being with the same universal struggles as us. 


As the event also aimed at revealing the vibrant community of Troost and the strengths of the people living there, our research took us back to the history and the bustling commerce, jazz and culture of the early 1900s on Kansas City's east side. An old picture viewer of the same period seemed to fit with our concept and we found that by merging the two OO's together in the word Troost, we could make our own modern day viewfinder.



Our job then was to present the event management team with the visual concept and logo and propose how we would roll it out. As Creative Directors we were tasked with branding the event and creating an experience for the donors and sponsors throughout that would not only help them see the impact of RS's work but also find meaning for their financial investment and sponsorship. We also wanted to create an environment where they could have fun, feel valued and be inspired to take part. A few onsite visits to the Rumely Tractor event space in the West Bottoms helped us decide on where everything would fit.


In our team meetings with RS we created a schedule for asset design, print and delivery, a schedule for advertising, donor cultivation, and email marketing and a minute by minute plan for the night to include a media team of 7.

RS Executive Director Fr. Justin Mathews with Lyn

RS Executive Director Fr. Justin Mathews with Lyn




To launch the event publicly we sent out save the dates. Printed digitally in four color plus a silver, these postcards were specifically printed on uncoated stock to retain that rustic, urban feel. We created the same graphic in format for social media and email marketing.

We set up a page on the Reconciliation Services web site that linked over to a page on Eventbrite where we sold tickets. Assets were also developed for this secondary platform, in line with our event branding. Consistency is always a high value in our work, it's part of building trust with customers.


Our invites went out next, again, printed on the same uncoated paper with the same four color makeup with that beautiful 5th silver color on the heavier weight typefaces.



Our social media graphics went out week on week building hits steadily. Each week we pushed out a new sponsor and tagged them to connect them to the organization and the event. All images, video, and sponsor logos were also tagged with #troostjazzandsoul so on the event night we could pull up the entire stream to project on the wall inside the main room.

We also set up a Pinterest board and advertised it on the reverse of the invitation, inviting guests to follow our Troost Jazz and Soul board for attire inspiration for the night.


Each time we sent out our bi-monthly Venerate e-zine for Reconciliation Services we included a post about the event, either an ad to register, a link to the Pinterest board or a sponsor promotion. These ads linked directly back to the Reconciliation Services website and the event landing page.

The Venerate e-zine consisted of one client story twice each month, a blog article on the subject of Veneration and a donor promotion. Building our ads for Troost Jazz and Soul into this extremely regular and consistent communication piece really helped us streamline communication so donors weren't getting too much email. Each article in Venerate was bringing in scores of likes and shares which helped in promoting the event.



For the night we designed and printed signage for the live auction, the raffle, cocktail bar, table tops, and a large exterior sign.

The night was a great success, the venue was full and we exceeded our expectations! Scroll through the photographs below to see the coffee bar, live painting auction and a keynote address from RS Founder, Fr. Alexii. 



As part of the night RS launched their new Pay-As-You-Can Café on the corner of 31st and Troost, an initiative to help ease the shame of finding help for social services.  

The center piece for the night was a 5 minute video - a story of one of RS's clients, Terry, which we directed and co-produced with videographer Kevin Bryce. The film received a standing ovation and was key in generating over $80,000 in donations on the night.



On the night we set up a photo lounge where donors could have their photo taken in their dapper duds. Our team uploaded each image to the twitter feed with the #troostjazzanddsoul and our live stream in the main room picked up all the photos, displaying them in large format on the wall. The next day we had over 2,500 hits to the album with multiple retweets of Fr. Justin's keynote address bringing more traffic to the website and RS mission.

Perhaps the most notable point about the project and about the wider design effort for Reconciliation Services is that out of their central brand essence, we created a seamless experience of Veneration (deep honor and respect) in everything from the logo to the desire to serve the donors with a Pinterest board of ideas and from the photo lounge to snap their beautiful portraits to the live stream of donor sponors on the night. Creatively, this is the most important point about the brand experience design, that customers feel the brand essence everywhere they move within the organization and its presence in the world.