Graydient Creative: Brings digital expertise to successful cultural collaboration
Contact: Cindy Moran/PR Consultant/Blue Hills
Chris Remington, Digital Strategy Consultant/Graydient Creative
Milwaukee, Wisconsin – With its customary flair and creativity, digital marketing agency Graydient Creative made significant contributions to Sculpture Milwaukee, a brand-new, annual, urban outdoor sculpture exhibition that opened in Milwaukee this summer along the city’s downtown main street Wisconsin Avenue. The brainchild of Steve Marcus, a local philanthropist and chairman of The Marcus Corporation, and curated by Russell Bowman, art consultant and former Director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the project consisting of 22 sculptures from internationally renowned artists has captivated the hearts and minds of Milwaukee residents and visitors as well as brought a sense of civic pride to the city.
A large-scale cultural project of this scope involved many partner organizations including Milwaukee Downtown BID District #21, The Marcus Corporation, Russell Bowman Art Advisory, Jigsaw LLC, VISIT Milwaukee, Ellingsen Brady Advertising and Continuum Architects + Planners, as well as many other partners, sponsors and volunteers. Where Graydient Creative fit into this mosaic of collaborators was in brand development, web design and development, mobile app creation and social media management – areas where the digital marketing firm excels.
Graydient Creative helped create the brand for Sculpture Milwaukee by identifying a color palette and creating a mood board that would align with the project’s vision. Its design team took inspiration from many elements including Milwaukee’s urban setting, the downtown Cream City brick and local street art to develop a color palette that would complement the urban setting, the beautiful sculptures that would be exhibited, as well as be distinctly Milwaukee. It also wanted to accommodate the future growth of the program. Graydient wanted the sculptures to take “center stage” and therefore kept the color palette neutral, but with a flair of glamour. After going through its design process, it chose a simple black and white color scheme with gold as the accent color.
Once the key design elements were in place, Graydient’s next assignment was to develop and design an eye-catching website – one that would capture the spirit of Sculpture Milwaukee, but would also be ready to launch when the project unveiled in early June and could work in future years of the exhibition. The finished website www.SculptureMilwaukee.com features a clever “Art Unleashed” video showing the installation of the sculptures as well as a Google Maps virtual tour of all 22 sculptures located up and down Wisconsin Avenue along with descriptions of each.
With an eye towards enhancing the visitor experience, Graydient Creative also developed a dedicated mobile app for Sculpture Milwaukee. The first big feature in the mobile app is an audio-tour of the exhibition that includes professional commentary about the sculptures and artists so viewers can develop a deeper connection with the art. The mobile app also includes fun features like the ability for users to take photos and add Sculpture Milwaukee filters to them. These can then be shared with friends and family. Another feature is a mini-game tour rather than a traditional tour. (To learn more, go to: www.milwaukeeindependent.com/curated/sculpture-milwaukee-releases-mobile-tour-app-interactive-features/.)
Graydient Creative was uniquely qualified to create a mobile app for Sculpture Milwaukee given its recent experience creating an award-winning mobile app for the newly renovated, SafeHouse spy-themed restaurant. (To learn more go to: www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170523006035/en/Award-Winning-Graydient-Creative-Powers-Spy-Themed-SafeHouse-Restaurants.) This, along with its experience working in the entertainment and hospitality field, has given it a sophisticated, yet mindful approach to the customer experience. The Sculpture Milwaukee project was no exception. The end goal was to deliver an unforgettable customer experience to the visitors who experienced Sculpture Milwaukee through offering a custom-built mobile app that could be enjoyed as they walked along Wisconsin Avenue viewing the sculptures.
In addition to the brand, website design and mobile app development, Graydient was also brought back into the creative mix to assist with social media management. There was tremendous buzz about Sculpture Milwaukee as soon as the project was unveiled and Graydient Creative was asked to take over the social media strategy and engage with the audience in real time. Its experience in creating an engaging online experience helped to increase that engagement by 3,000% on both Facebook and Instagram.
Graydient Creative also assisted in more traditional marketing efforts for Sculpture Milwaukee including print advertising pieces which included collateral, large posters, retractable standing banners, table tents, decals and more. The branding on these pieces was in large part kept consistent with the branding that had been done on the website.So from more traditional marketing such as print advertising and banners, to more tech-savvy arenas such as websites and custom mobile-app development, Graydient Creative was able to provide a wide-range of services to assist in Sculpture Milwaukee’s successful cultural debut in Milwaukee.
Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, had this to say about Graydient Creative, “We loved working with them on Sculpture Milwaukee! Their expertise, sense of fun and positive energy made them great partners on this project. We’re really looking forward to working with them again next year on bringing this beautiful outdoor sculpture exhibition back to downtown Milwaukee.”
“Our work with Graydient for Sculpture Milwaukee grew organically into a strategic partnership. We speak the same language,” said Cory Ampe, account supervisor/ content lead for Jigsaw. “Together we’ve leveraged traditional and digital marketing to orchestrate a meaningful experience for Milwaukee residents, tourists and art enthusiasts alike. We’re a good team – Jigsaw took the lead on strategy, media and advertising and Graydient produced the digital components like the website, app and social media management. We are also very active on the Sculpture Milwaukee marketing and steering committees, working alongside representatives from VISIT Milwaukee, Milwaukee Downtown, EBA, Continuum Architects, Russell Bowman Art Advisory and others,” added Ampe.
Marilu Knode, a member of Russell’s curatorial team, also commented, “We are so proud of Sculpture Milwaukee. In only our first year out – the project has been overwhelmingly received by Milwaukee residents and visitors alike. The fact that this large effort came together in a matter of months, and fell into place so smoothly, is really quite amazing. We are delighted that Sculpture Milwaukee has been so warmly embraced by the City of Milwaukee. We look forward to another successful exhibition in 2018. Graydient Creative, along with our other wonderful partners, helped to make Sculpture Milwaukee so successful in its very first year.”
Philanthropist Steve Marcus added, “The inaugural year of Sculpture Milwaukee exceeded all of our expectations. It was years in the planning and to see our dream of a world-class art experience become reality is truly rewarding. We were blessed with an amazing team of organizations that came together to make this happen. There were so many important partners in this effort – Milwaukee Downtown BID District #21, The Marcus Corporation, Russell Bowman Art Advisory, Jigsaw LLC, VISIT Milwaukee, Ellingsen Brady Advertising, Continuum Architects + Planners and Graydient Creative, as well as many other partners and sponsors. Everyone involved had an important role in making Sculpture Milwaukee beautifully come to life.”
### About Graydient Creative: Graydient Creative is a digital marketing agency based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that provides web-based services to companies in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. The agency was founded in 2016 after being the in-house digital department of The Marcus Corporation, a leader in lodging and entertainment, for eight years. Graydient now partners with external brands to identify key business drivers and communicates them through uniquely crafted online experiences. Graydient Creative offers complete website redesigns, mobile application development, social media and brand management, as well as comprehensive digital strategies tailored to specific needs. For more information, visit www.graydientcreative.com.
About Sculpture Milwaukee: Sculpture Milwaukee is the vision of Steve Marcus, a local philanthropist and chairman of The Marcus Corporation. Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21, a 501 (c)(3) organization, serves as the administrative arm of the project with many Milwaukee organizations and institutions lending their support. This tremendous gift to the community is made possible through grants, in-kind donations and sponsorships. Sculpture Milwaukee is on view now through October 22. For more information, visit www.sculpturemilwaukee.com or call 414-220-4700.