Ark Lodge Cinema

Branding | Print Design

Ark Lodge Cinema is a very well known theater in Columbia City. The branding for it currently is not up to par. For this assignment we had 10 weeks to completely rebrand the theater. We had to do the entire branding process from beginning to end including coming up with a brand book that could be used by other designers when creating collateral for the theater. My branding revolves around the well known marquee outside the theater and celebrates both it's experience and quirkiness.

Timeframe 10 Weeks
Roles Branding Typography Environmental Identity Logo Design
Skills InDesign Illustrator Photoshop

Ark lodge is a very old movie theater that has an issue getting it's name out there. It has a hard time keeping customers coming back and people don't understand the Mason joke behind their current logo. Look hasn’t been refreshed in a very long time. It wants to still connect to it’s old routes and emphasise that it has been around for a while. The theater is a mix of both modern and old and wants to show itself as such.


Increase recognition of the cinema. Bring in more customers that like the traditional movie theater. Help people understand the traditional feeling of the theater’s background. Increase attendant retention.


Ark Lodge Cinema in a style that shows off the knowledge and history of the theater. Using a modern art deco we acknowledge the history of theater and have a unique logo and brand that stands out among our competitors. We based our brand off of the marquee in the front of the theater which is something that the people in the community have come to know very well, and something that our new customers will not soon forget.

Coming up with the Brand
Collecting Photos

At the start of this process we collected photos in various categories. We collected about 10 photos per category that ranged on different feelings per photo. For example one category was actors, in this category you would have people ranging from Nathan Fillion to Brad Pitt. The idea was to collect images that represented a large amount of feelings and characteristics.

Photomap Exercise

Then we broke into groups with everyone that had the same company. From here we laid out all of the photos on a very large table, and each took 10 green stickers and 10 red stickers. A green sticker represented a photo that aligned with our company. A red sticker represented something that went against our brand. We went through each photo and placed our red and green stickers until each of us had none left.

I then gathered up all the cards together and we talked about why we thought that cards either fit or didn’t fit our brand. I asked people to explain not only the words but the ideas behind the words. A scribe in the group wrote down these keywords and kept track of how often each word was used. We broke them down into two categories: We are, and we are not. The cards with a lot of stickers were useful because they represented strong thoughts. But these were often easy if not obvious to find. The most interesting part was the cards that had both red and green stickers. These represented conflicting characteristics, and the direction that we decided to go with these really helped to decide what our brand was.

We then organized the photos into a graph that went from most “we are” to most “we are not.” This helped give us an overview of our brand. We had a good look at the broad look of our brand and this was going to be able to help direct us as we moved forward.

Brand Characteristics

From here we took the long list of things that we are and things that we are not and organized them further. I named out the characteristics and started to create groups going through each word one at a time and talked to the group about whether or not we had talked about a similar characteristic before. If we had we grouped those two characteristics together, if not we created a new category. Through this process we also discovered that we came across a number of characteristics that misrepresented the brand that we had to remove.

Once we had all of our categories we started to think about what words represented the top level of the category. We wanted to come up with a title for each group and use 3 of the strongest supporting adjectives to help reinforce that main idea. From here we went back and forth over a couple days as to what the top 3 were and what the 3 supporting adjectives of those 3 brand characteristics would be. The final 3 that we chose were timeless, classic, and inclusive.

Brand Positioning

Now we needed to come up with the brand positioning. We did this through another whiteboard type exercise. We first made up a list of all of the positioning in different categories. These categories were asset territory, offer territory, approach, skills, and mission. We knew that a well defined brand has mostly just 1 brand territory and so we needed a way to define our brand territory.

First we listed out all of the brand attributes for each categories for us and our competitors. We tried to come up with at least 5 for each one.

Circle Map of Importance

From here we set up a pie chart that was divided into 3 categories: Potential, Importance, and Ease. I picked up each attribute and asked the group whether or not there was potential for our company to do that, whether or not it is important that our company does said thing, and finally how easy it is for us to be that attribute. If any attribute met all 3 requirements it went in the middle of the pie chart and became a potential brand attribute.http://coopersy.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=74&action=edit#

We ended up coming up with these brand attributes and positioning. Ark lodge has: friendly staff, variety, and quality, and it is comfortable, and affordable. These are written about more in the brand book at the bottom of the page.

Brand Text

We took time coming up with a brand promise that we knew could deliver to our clients. This is what we offer and how we are going to do it. The rest of the text that we had to come up with was the brand purpose. This is why we are here, what we add to the marketplace and who we already are. We wanted this to be fluffy, dreamy, and broad. It is also mostly internal.

Met With Professionals

We also met with professionals in the branding field after we came up with basic versions of this text. That allowed us to refine the text and create our final versions as seen here. These were really important to do as a group because it represented working in a larger team and allowed us to make sure that we didn’t try to influence the branding to fit our own personal wants. From here we split up and worked on our own to do all the visual branding of the theater.

Visual Direction
Characteristic Moodboard

I needed to create a moodboard to base my work off of. The best way to do that was to start of with a characteristic mood board. What this was was basically 3 individual mood boards, one for each of the brand characteristics that we came up with


Once I had these characteristic mood boards I needed to make the brand mood boards. I did this by using different percentages of the characteristic mood boards. The one that I ended up going with was 60% this, 30% this and 10% that. I ended up going with this mood board because it took the company in a direction that would allow them to not only keep the modern crowd interested in the theater, but also drew into it’s roots of art deco and the history of it being around for a long time

Visual Direction

I chose for this project to go in a direction that I hadn’t worked in before, and that was a less modern direction and a more traditional one. I worked with an art deco theme that would not only fit the history of the theater, but also allow itself to be molded around different aspects of the theater and keep it’s viewers interested.

A lot of people have driven by Ark Lodge Cinema many times and because of that they knew it’s marquee very well. I decided to embrace this and base my logo around that marquee. I knew that it would be recognizable by old viewers and that new ones would remember it for its very unique look.

Logo Creation

The logo was probably the hardest part of the process for me to complete. It took me many many iterations to get correct. I started with simple sketches and then moved these sketches into illustrator. I tested different versions with different people to see how they reacted to them. After each testing I would re-iterate and then show them off again. I did this until I finally had something that I thought would work well. From here I started creating different assets and integrating that logo into those assets and that required me to change the logo even more to make sure everything worked well together.

Finalized Style

I decided to use a simplified version of art deco so that none of the pieces would become overwhelmed in complication. This kept the look slightly more modern and made it fit better into the marketplace. Here are some of the patterns that I used.

Creating Assets

I decided on creating 7 different brand assets to help direct and decide on the brand. These weren’t too hard to create because I had already done all the heavy lifting in all the rest of the brand that I created. The assets I decided to create were: A poster, a website, a rewards card, a popcorn bucket, the tickets, the door marquee, and signage for the theater.

Brand Book

After I finished creating the assets I needed I put everything into a brand book that anyone would be able to use to learn about the brand and then create new materials that would fit the brand guidelines. View the whole things here: