All posts by Chris Oldham

Our Digital Footprints

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Today, many of us find ourselves on the grid at all times. We have devices of all shapes and sizes; our personal and business lives are wrapped up in the Internet. Studies say that 65% of us sleep with our phones. We grab them look for an update from the outside world. The constant stimulation and endorphin rush that comes with the satisfaction, that someone needs or is thinking of you at all times is met by our social networks and communications inputs. For our generation, this is new to us – something we did not have growing up.

The volume of digital footprints that we are creating and feeding to the Googles of the world is really astounding. Most people understand if the Internet knows about our lives, then the advertising industry also knows about our daily habits wants and needs. We continue to feed that stream of data, not begrudgingly, but happily. There was a time when the thought of Big Brother watching us was absolutely frightening; today many don’t give it a second thought. It’s a way of life.

The Autographer

Product is billed as “the world’s first wearable camera.”

I recently read an article about a camera that you wear to photograph your entire life. It’s called the Autographer and hangs around your neck to capture the “best 2,000 moments” of each day. For someone in his forties, that’s about 25,500,00 pictures that’ll document the rest of my life.

When I think about this documentation of every moment, I think about who will watch it? My immediate family? My distant friends who might be interested in what I do now? My elementary school girlfriend? Will it be for my children, grandchildren and generations to come that I will never meet?

Virtually all of today’s younger generations have a digital record started, in many cases, before they were old enough to have any input. My three-year-old daughter’s photo was tweeted to the Internet within minutes of her birth into this world. Come to think of it, her web presence began with an announcement and the posting of a sonogram on Facebook. This story is not at all unique; 92% of parents today do this and 82% of children under the age of two have some sort of digital profile.

Future generations will know us through photography, video, posts, and search information, purchase histories that can be woven together that tell a rather complete and complex story of our lives. They will have insight that we certainly do not have about our grandparents, let alone great great grandparents. What they will do with that information is yet to be determined. How will the knowledge they have of us and our decision-making process effect their own choices? Does knowing that you come from a long line of Ford owners, or generations of Huggies wearers affect your purchasing decisions? Most likely the answer to that is yes it will.  We already know that the brand loyalty of your mother and grandmother subconsciously affects where you place your trust. So is all of this documentation necessary? And who is it really for?

The Autographer is slated to go on sale in November. A perfect holiday gift for your future generations or just today’s advertisers?

Things are Moving in Ohio City


We are excited to see the new pole banners going up around the neighborhood today. Much much more to come, keep your eyes open as the centennial celebration for the West Side Market kicks off with the June 2nd! Learn more at






Our very own Josh Taylor has been selected to speak at this year’s TEDxCLE on April 20th! We wish we could tell you to go buy tickets, but tickets sold out today after just 40 minutes. If you are one of the lucky ones who got tickets, make sure to heckle him during his talk! For more information about TEDxCLE, click here

Ohio Knitting Mills Billboard

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The Ohio Knitting Mills billboard is up in grand sweaterness!

Marketing the West Side Market



Proud to be the design firm for Ohio City and the West Side Market. See more of our work in our Ohio City portfolio, or read the article.

Congratulations to Debby and Matt


A fantastic film festival wedding!


AIGA Cleveland: 2009 Annual Cleveland AIGA Show

2009 judge choice

CLEVELAND (May 8, 2009) – Twist takes 12 awards, including: Judge’s Choice at 2009 AIGA Cleveland Design Competition

TWIST is honored to have received powerful recognition for our work at this year’s Cleveland AIGA design competition. Congratulations and thank you to all of our client partners.

Judge’s Choice Award: The Oliver Printing Sales Kit

Print: 2008 Cleveland International Film Festival Campaign

Print: Oliver Printing Holiday Wine Package

Print: Twist Creative 2008 Holiday Card

Print: Sisters of Charity Health System Holiday Card

Print: Sisters of Charity 2007 Annual Report

Identity: William N. Skirball Writer’s Center Stage Logo

Identity: Sisters of Charity Health System Identity

Identity: Oliver Printing Company Identity System

Interactive: Twist Film Festival Retrospective Web site Feature

Interactive: William N. Skirball Writer’s Center Stage Web site


GD USA Taps our president as “One to Watch” 2009


National design magazine Graphic Design USA has selected TWIST President & Creative Director Michael Ozan as one of their people to watch for 2009.

Michael is profiled along with 29 other creative professionals from across the nation in the magazine’s January issue. With no other creative professionals from Cleveland or Ohio, Michael represents the region and received praise from Crain’s Cleveland Business’ marketing editor John Booth for his devotion to Cleveland.

For decades Graphic Design USA has chosen a group of People to Watch “who embody the spirit of the creative community.” The criteria, for selection, according to GD USA’s Publisher Gordon Kaye is: “individuals who we have come to know and respect for a combination of talent, leadership, success, insight, business savvy, community service and newsworthiness.”

Upon hearing of his selection Michael commented that the biggest thrill is to be representing the city, state and region in a group that is packed with design leaders from New York City and San Francisco.


Twist Creative Wins High Praise From Design Peers With Multiple Awards


Firm represents region’s best in design in prestigious “365: AIGA Annual Design Competition 29” with works created for the Cleveland International Film Festival

CLEVELAND (July 1, 2008) – Twist Creative is representing the region in this year’s “365: AIGA Annual Design Competition 29”- considered the highest honor for graphic designers as the authoritative chronicle of outstanding design solutions.

Twist’s inclusion in the AIGA annual marks a first for a Cleveland based firm since 2001. The firm will showcase its campaign for the 2007 Cleveland International Film Festival, “Confessions of a Film Buff.” Featured works demonstrate the process of designing, the role of the designer and the value of design according to the American Institute of Graphic Design (AIGA).

“This is the most prestigious honor among designers,” says President and Creative Director Michael Ozan, “recognizing the industry’s ‘best’ in communication design and strategy. In fact it’s the premiere distinction we’ve received in the history of the firm.” Design Director Connie Ozan [and Michael's wife] founded the firm in 1997.

“Confessions” campaign components by Twist will be featured alongside the works of such internationally-renowned names as Kate & Jack Spade, Martha Stewart and Pentagram Design. “We’re going to be with all of our heroes,” says Connie. Another double honor for Twist, particularly Connie, was Paula Scher’s role in judging submissions this year. Scher, partner at Pentagram Design New York, is an industry icon behind such renowned graphic design projects as New York’s Public Theatre and My Wall Street Journal.

Twist’s work will also be showcased online in the AIGA design archive, and in the organization’s traveling exhibit, which kicks off at the National Design Center located at 164 Fifth Avenue, New York- the final stop is at the Denver Art Museum, where the pieces comprise the AIGA Design Archives.

The big win with AIGA is complemented by a record five win with this year’s National Design Competition. Selected from more than 20,000 entries were: an invitation to a clam bake for Cleveland’s Oliver Printing, a holiday package, also for Oliver; an annual report for the Cuyahoga County Public Library; a series of posters promoting the 2007 Cleveland International Film Festival; and, several collateral pieces for BelVino.

All will be featured in PRINT magazine’s November/December issue- the Regional Design Annual and most comprehensive survey of graphic design in the country. Winners are categorized by state.

Other accolades received yet this year by Twist are from The Apogee Society, an annual awards program recognizing the creative campaigns (and results) of small and mid-size agencies, and American Association of Museums (AAM). Twist took “first” in the hospital and healthcare category of the Apogee Awards for its identity campaign for the Sisters of Charity Health System, and top honors in conjunction with the 28th annual AAM Museum Publications Design Competition for an updated Cleveland Metroparks Zoo identity and press kit.


Twist To Help The Cleveland International Film Festival Break Records For A Fifth Consecutive Season

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CLEVELAND (March 7, 2008) – 2008 marks Twist Creative’s fifth year creating the entire thematic campaign surrounding the 32nd Annual Cleveland International Film Festival – even the custom hand-lettering and illustration system designed by one of its own. This year “How will it change you?” builds awareness of the Festival’s international offering to the movie-goer.

Twist’s involvement with the Cleveland International Film Festival dates back to 2004. “We were originally hired to design the invitations for the 28th annual event,” says President, Creative Director Michael Ozan. This work later lead to the Ohio City based design firm building the entire campaign and visual system for the following year.

This year, Twist worked with film partner Authentic Films to develop the “How will it change you?” theme – with input from Festival leadership. “The Festival is an opportunity to experience different cultures and global views through film,”says Ozan,“… and broaden your horizon.”

The hand-lettering and illustrations applied to each visual element of the campaign – from posters and advertising, to merchandise (lapel pins and t-shirts) and signage – was designed by Twist Designer Brittyn DeWerth. “There is a great deal of time involved in this process,” says Ozan. DeWerth was tasked with providing the custom typeface throughout the campaign. The lettering style, internally at Twist, has been named Miss. B, in DeWerth’s honor.

It’s All About ‘Brand Love’ At Twist Creative

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Design firm sends a modern-day Valentine with online presentation to current and prospective clients touting trust, love and devotion in branding

CLEVELAND (February 14, 2008) – In lieu of the traditional holiday card, award-winning Twist Creative sends its current and prospective clients a message of ‘brand love’ for Valentine’s Day. The treat: an online presentation of the many locally, regionally and nationally-recognized brands by Twist that are “simply loved”.

A whimsical modern-day approach to a traditional Valentine, the card utilizes bold iconic-of-the-day shapes – love birds, hearts and long stem roses – in various shades of red. Copy touts Twists’ trust, devotion and ever lasting love of clients’ brands. “We’re known for creating brands from scratch,” says Founder and Creative Director Michael Ozan. “That’s our strength.”

Twist has carefully crafted new ‘marks’ for the Sisters of Charity Healthcare System, a nationally known faith-based healthcare provider to the under-served, and Litigation Management’s SmartCase, Inc., an online medical information application for litigation. Recognized largely for work in the non-profit sector, the agency’s branding portfolio spans multiple industries: personal securities with AGIS Technologies, legal technology with Litigation Management’s SmartCase, Inc. and consumer products with Husqvarna Viking and DOTS.

Like the card says, says Michael, “It’s love at first site when we develop or refine a brand.” Michael and wife, Connie, the firm’s design director, founded the agency before marrying in 1999. Now, the two and their team of ten designers, work to bring clients’ brands to life – from butterflies to emblems of promise (which is) straight from the Valentine. “The goal,” says Connie, “is to instill confidence, inspire devotion and impact culture.”

“It’s this concept of ‘brand love’,” says Michael, “that is inspiring design firms like us.” The idealism, new and gaining industry popularity, revolves around creating brands that people love. “We’re big believers,” he says.

Perhaps, most memorable locally (in Cleveland) is Twist’s moniker for Red [an orchestra]; inspiring, instilling and impacting on a national level and even international are identity packages for wine importer Belvino and Babezie Golf Apparel.

Cardholders get a real “treat” at The online presentation displays the many brands – Red [the orchestra], Belvino and Babezie included – created by the talent at Twist.

Branding For A Higher Purpose

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Cleveland’s Twist Creative renames and rebrands the Sisters of Charity Health SystemCLEVELAND (September 17, 2007) – Cleveland-based Twist Creative takes a break from commercial-based branding to take on a faith-based health and human services leader – the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine Health System. The tactical design agency, based in Cleveland’s historic Ohio City, gives the 156 year-old organization a new name – Sisters of Charity Health System – and moniker that captures the true essence of the faith-based healthcare system and its many outreach programs; accompanying the light radiating cross and name is the subtitle: A Ministry of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine.

“This image enhancement initiative was a part of our strategic agenda,” says Heather Stoll, assistant vice president, programs and public policy, Sisters of Charity Health System. Rebranding was the result of a communications audit and much market research that revealed the organization held low awareness among external audiences. “Our name and identity was one aspect to communicating who we were and our mission,” she adds.

In 2006, the organization issued an RFP; Twist Creative responded and was hired for the job. A brand summit ensued, followed by the development of a position statement. By April 2007, organization had a new ‘mark’ in place.

“This was not your ordinary branding strategy,” says President and Creative Director Michael Ozan. Twist was tasked with positioning the Sisters of Charity Health System as a viable and leading health and human services system in the U.S. In Northeast Ohio and South Carolina, the organization encapsulates five hospitals, two geriatric residential facilities, direct services in health, housing, education, and grantmaking foundations with significant community initiatives that address root causes of poverty with total assets exceeding $1 billion.

Traditional branding is the extraction of the organization’s true essence, “and then communicating it to stakeholders at a glance,” says Michael. For the Sisters of Charity Health System, Twist was forced to consider not tangibles, but the ‘spirit’ of the organization and its Sisters who continue to uphold its mission to heal the underserved.

“Great brands transcend the market,” says Design Director Connie Ozan. For the Sisters of Charity Health System, a cross was designed with light radiating from its center. “A beacon of light and hope,” says Connie. “When you see it, it says ”this is a safe place where I can receive healing“.”

“We’re continuing to telling our story,” says Heather, “with a new identity that captures the Sisters’ Catholic heritage and our ongoing mission.”

The foundation of the collateral campaign revolves around “A True Devotion to Healing” – created in cooperation with another Cleveland creative team, Point-to-Point Communications. “This is the organization’s point of differentiation in care,” says Michael. “The Sisters of Charity Health System heals all of God’s people… anyone in need, whether it’s physical, spiritual, emotional or material.”

Produced entirely by Twist, collateral encompasses materials for both internal and external audiences; internally, Twist unveiled the new identity via video, while externally the firm will rely on brochures, direct mail pieces and ads. Ad messaging reinforces the organization’s mission and its endless services; “For I was ill and you cared for me” is one being used in local ads running in the organization’s hospital markets

With the new identity package and position in place, the Sisters of Charity Health System are reaching out to key community leaders and government officials “in the hopes of mobilizing efforts,” says Heather, “to continue to serve those in need.”



Twist Creative Takes ‘Best Of Show’ From Aiga Cleveland Design Competition


Tactical design firm adds to its trophy case with ADDYs and now AIGA at 1985 West 28th Street in Ohio City

CLEVELAND (May 31, 2007) – The Ohio City-based creative shop that swept this year’s Cleveland ADDY Awards Program with 19 wins, adds more gold and silver to its trophy case taking home “Best of Show” and “Judges Choice” from the biennial AIGA Cleveland Design Competition (American Institute of Graphic Arts). Twist Creative earned the “Best of Show” accolade for its work on the Providence House brand development and capital campaign.

“An engaging system,” says one judge regarding the “Best of Show” winner, courtesy of Twist. “It speaks of growth, process, and renewal – the perfect symbology for a community organization expressing the importance of health and human outreach.” Another says, “The piece builds a visual and metaphorical foundation. The fingerprints, applied by hand, add a delightfully human and surprising touch… a small gesture that makes this system most memorable.”

AIGA’s Cleveland Design Competition is the most prestigious of its kind in the city, extending a legacy that began 90 years ago. “We’re still celebrating our ADDY wins,” says Twist Creative’s Creative Director and President Michael Ozan upon hearing of the ‘Best of Show’ takeaway from AIGA. Twist captured multiple nods – in silver and gold – at this year’s ADDYs district and regional competitions, for creative (and successful) solutions, ranging from brand development to advertising and interactive applications.

Taking gold at the Regional level of the ADDYs:
A Season Brochure for Red {an orchestra}
A Capital Campaign for Providence House
A Flash Presentation for Red {an orchestra}

And, Silver:
An Identity Package for BelVino International
An Identity Package for Cleveland-based Richardson Design

The ADDY Awards is the largest creative competition in the country with approximately 55,000 entries competing in over 200 cities coast-to-coast at the local level. Likewise, AIGA attracts hundreds of entries each year from some of the city’s creative powerhouses.

“We’re well aware of the company we keep,” says Design Director Connie Ozan. She and husband, Michael, founded Twist nearly 10 years ago. “We’re constantly up against amazing talent… receiving an award from any organization, on any level, is a tremendous acknowledgement to our team, our work and our clients.”

In addition to “Best of Show”, Twist received a “Judges Choice” award for their 31st Cleveland International Film Festival campaign, which drew rave reviews for its energetic color palette, quirky illustrations, fresh (and memorable) themes and witty copywriting that all relate to the film lovers’ deep-seeded confessions.

Twist also grabbed several certificates of merit for SmartCase, Oliver Printing Company, BelVino, and Red {an orchestra}.