LPK updates creative brand of giving

When it came time to gear up for the United Way’s annual donation drive, Cincinnati-based branding company LPK wanted to do something different, something to inspire its employees to get involved.

“We wanted to do something unexpected and fun, but still consistent with our workforce,” said Jerry Kathman chief executive officer of LPK

Five of the firm’s designers volunteered their time and talent to create unique and original T-shirts that, in some way, are inspired by the United Way and their mission or the city the live in and love. The proceeds from the T-shirts, which are on sale through Oct. 31, will go toward the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

Part of LPK’s success – they have partnered with the United Way for at least a decade – is the employee base, which, Kathman said is socially engaged.

“We know if we want to retain the best and brightest, we have to be a company with a sense of social obligation,” he said. “The people here expect it of us and at the corporate level we want to do our part.”

This year, in addition to the T-shirt sales, the company is encouraging all employees to contribute any dollar amount they can as part of a two-tier goal: to reach a specific financial goal and to increase the company’s participation rate in giving.
Kathman said he is cautiously optimistic about the outcome but, because there is more than a week left in their campaign, he could not comment on the company’s progress.

“These are difficult times and the United Way has never been more important to our community,” Kathman said. “People are watching their money carefully and we’re trying to do what we can with the challenge to do our part. Now is a good time to show creativity.”

That’s exactly what LPK designer Meredith Post did. Inspired by the United Way’s contributions and impact on the community, Post designed a T-shirt around the word change.

“I was inspired by the change the United Way brings to the community,” Post said. “I definitely used the United Way as inspiration with their act of helping and giving.”

The T-shirts are on display in LPK’s storefront windows, 19 Garfield Place, where a QR code allows anyone passing by to scan, browse, and order online. So far, the firm has sold about 60 T-shits. The shirts can also be purchased on the company’s Web site.

By Taylor Dungjen
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