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EMQ FamiliesFirst is one of the largest, most comprehensive mental health treatment programs in the country, serving more than 30 counties in California. The agency takes a state-of-the-art approach to children and youth with complex behavioral health challenges. Their mission is to do whatever it takes to help children, strengthen families, build community and advocate for systems change to ensure that families thrive.

In 2009, EMQ FamiliesFirst (EMQFF) underwent a branding facelift and debuted a 16-page agency brochure steeped in heroic photography and an interesting typographic layout. EMQFF’s marketing department had already been working with A Virga Design for several years and they approached us to redesign their annual report.

The challenge was they wanted their FY2009-10 annual report to be a transition piece—designed in such a way to visually bridge the gap between the established look and feel of their former annual reports and their newly branded agency brochure. Our design concept featured some of the dominant features from their brochure: the captivating quality of its photography, large fields of dramatic dark gray with stark white text, along with the re-branded color and typography palettes. From their previous year’s annual report, we kept the look and feel of their fiscal data and demographic charts and graphs.

The final artwork was a successful marriage of the two styles, delivered on-time and on-budget.

EMQ FamiliesFirst was overjoyed with the new annual report design—so much so they continued to repurpose the same artwork over the next five years.

In 2016, EMQ FamiliesFirst underwent a major brand change, renaming their organization to Uplift Family Services, modifying their logo and visual identity. But one thing didn’t change: the design of their annual report. Except for slight adjustments to the font and color palettes to reflect Uplift’s visual identity, our artwork is still in use today.



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Groundwire is an international interdenominational ministry that leverages mainstream media and technology to communicate biblical hope and spiritual encouragement to youth and young adults.

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