Tag Archives: Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce

Well, if that isn’t an understatement! Things have been humming along around here. In fact, I’m at the WordCamp conference this weekend with Blue Storm Creative, Keller Digital and Nolan Lemos. While I’m bowing at the altar of WordPress, here are some cool things that are currently afloat at The Farm:



Like a lot of the beauties in the City of Angels, The Think Farm in the process of getting a much-needed face lift. Check out the look of the new site, and then check back again in the coming weeks because we will only be adding more great things to it.



For the fourth year in a row, The Think Farm had the privilege of designing the Silver Lake Chamber’s annual member directory. As a result, I get a first-hand view of all the cool businesses and entrepreneurs that make our eclectic neighborhood so unique. It also lead to the campaign design for the second annual Best of Silver Lake Awards. You may have seen the poster up in various establishments around town, from Hyperion Public to Knuckle & Claw to Yolk. I’m going to have to nab a poster for myself before they’re all gone!

2015 BOA

By the way, you can vote now for your favorite local businesses until September 30 at the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce website.


Choose Connection Cover - v6b

Nothing makes you feel as legitimate as a book … In this case, a book cover. Though The Think Farm has designed album covers, brochures, and booklets, we’ve never been approached to design an actual book cover until now. The author had a very clear idea of what he wanted so it was a pretty simple design process. I got to hold the prototype in my hands and I was tickled and amazed. “It’s like a real book!” I kept saying to myself. The author, David Giuliano, is diving into the world of self-publishing, and I can’t wait to see the book available for purchase online in the near future. Thanks to Get Rauzi! Editorial Services for the opportunity.



My work on the City of Santa Monica’s 2012 Year End Report opened my eyes to the joys of working with local government organizations. Maybe it was beginner’s luck, but I am completely serious when I say this. This year, I had the pleasure of designing the visual branding for the Regional Park and Open Space District of Los Angeles County and am currently working alongside Business Therapy on a brand overhaul for an organization within the Department of Public Health that’s engaged in youth outreach and sexual/relational health education. I’m excited to share more about this later as the project progresses further. Stay tuned!

Happy 2013, everyone! It’s only the second day of the new year but the pressure to get steamrolled by the urgent is already immense! The discipline to stand aside and reflect becomes all the more critical in these moments, I think. The Think Farm is a small operation in many ways but we’ve had the privilege to be a part of some big things last year. We hope for even bigger things to come in 2013 but here is a look back at some of the awesomeness that was 2012.

The Think Farm: 2012 in Review

Sarah “Mac” McGowan (of this here Mac+Cob Business Therapy) and Helen Kim (The Think Farm) have been collaborating since they met just a few years ago. Maybe there was something in the air or more probably it was the coffee — but either way, some kind of magical synergy was formed, bringing the two of them together in creative harmony. They both specialize in branding, so what we might have chosen to view as potential competition, they recognized as an incredible opportunity.

Sarah Mac is inspired by the process of transformation — she loves guiding her clients through deep exploration to identify what motivates and drives their work, the dreams that they may have been too busy or afraid to pursue and the achievable plan that will get them there. Helen is an incredibly gifted graphic artist and illustrator. Her easy-going professionalism and intuitive artistry are the hallmarks of her craft — Helen ushers her clients through visual branding that is so much more powerful than just a logo. She articulates vision, passion and mission in clear, thoughtful ways, for her myriad clients.

As we near the finish line for their collaborative branding sweepstakes, Make Your Mark, Sarah and Helen wanted to share a few of the projects they’ve worked on together so far. And because they love surprise bonuses, they decided to ask each other 10 LA-based questions so you can see why they love this city so much and why it was so important for them to give back. Click HERE to see their answers!

The Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce

The Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce is an organization that is near and dear to our hearts. It is, after all, how Helen and Mac met! (And then there’s the minor detail that Mac’s the President of the Chamber board :) As new members, we both loved how the community-focused spirit of the Chamber made it stand out among a sea of other chambers that are all about “business as usual.” Because of our love for the neighborhood and this unique group, we really wanted the branding to feel more contemporary and akin to the spirit of the hip and eclectic community it represents. Updating the branding for a long-standing organization like this doesn’t happen overnight, and when the time came to produce the 2012 Member Directory, we both felt it was the right time to start testing the waters for a new face and voice for the SLCC. We definitely wanted the directory to be all about the people that make up the business community in Silver Lake so the decision to feature them prominently throughout the booklet was an easy one. We interviewed Chamber members, asking them to tell us in a sentence what Silver Lake means to them. Sarah Mac asked Helen to create digital illustrations to tell the story of Silver Lake business, so with her former assistant Janice Kim, Helen visited member businesses throughout the neighborhood taking photos of the proprietors as well as the people, places and things that make Silver Lake such a unique enclave in the city of LA. Using the established SLCC brand colors, Helen and Janice created photo-realistic portraits and images that were then placed throughout the directory along with quotes about Silver Lake. The final product is not only a useful piece of brand collateral, but it also tells the story of a community filled with people of eclectic perspectives and interests who are equally invested in our vibrant village.

Dr. Brandey Dollens, Chiropractor

When Sarah initially met with Dr. B, all of her promotional collateral was homemade and her overall branding was undifferentiated from all the other chiropractors in her field. Youthful, enthusiastic and endlessly compassionate, Dr. B’s shining personality and genuine care for her patients were glaringly missing from her branding. We both knew she could do better. Dr. B bravely and diligently submitted to Mac’s Business Therapy (SM) process to identify and embrace her target audience, refine her brand identity, develop key messaging and shoot her new photos. Helen then took over, ushering Dr. B through the visual branding process, which resulted in a soothing, crisp palette of cyan and white. Dr. B’s stellar new look and logo finally speak to her dream target — pregnant women, mothers and children.

Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools

When Mac initially met with Tracey Weiss, the Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools Executive Director, she immediately recognized the enormous potential for the school’s rebranding. Though the organization had a well-established reputation in the area for providing excellent outdoor education, its brand had not been updated since its founding in 1979. Affectionately described as “the chicken feet” logo by staff, Exploring New Horizons was poised for a brand new look and a whole lot of growth. After intensive site visits, a 3-hour brainstorming workshop with the Exploring New Horizons naturalists and staff up to develop the working list of concepts and descriptors that ultimately became the basis for our development of their new key messaging, tagline and image, Mac facilitated a half-day retreat for the board to complete this vision work and developed the strategic plan that would guide the rollout of their new look and message across platforms. Helen came on board to give the old logos a sophisticated, California look balanced by kid-friendly type face, executing a bold new color palette. In the process, we reaffirmed what we’ve always known is true — being in nature has the unique ability to inspire, educate, empower and transform!

As we near the end of the final Make Your Mark voting, we’re excited at the possibility of working with any of the amazing organizations who made it to the final round. Visit the Make Your Mark page and vote by April 9th for the organization of your choice. Find official voting images for each organization HERE. Read more about our finalists HERE and HERE.

Ready. Set. Go!

Sarah McGowan is the owner and creative principal at MAC+COB Business Therapy, a Silver Lake-based creative services company specializing in branding, business development, communications and strategic planning. Committed to social justice and community building, Sarah helped create a national best-practices youth court for the city of San Diego, founded a public art program for teens and is the President of the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce. She is also the Director of Development for the Echo Park Time Bank and serves on the Board of Directors for Law Project LA. Sarah’s love for language, genuine interest in people and belief in the power of transformation allows her to cultivate meaningful relationships with her clients to help them realize their vision. Sarah also makes a mean strawberry-balsamic jam.

One of the best times of the year is when people come together for the holiday season. For the second year, Holiday Night Out celebrates local businesses and artists, block party-style. As the new 2012 Member Directory highlights the businesses and organizations in Silver Lake, Holiday Night Out will be on the streets inviting everyone in the community to explore and experience the many local shops and artists within our neighborhood.

With warm cider and other cozy treats, this event will feature in-store specials, live music and wonderful local artists in the Artist Bazaar as well as fun holiday activities for the whole family. What an awesome opportunity to support our community!

See you there for some hot cider and cookies!

Poster design by The Think Farm... our little take on shoe tossing!

Silver Lake Holiday Night Out
Saturday, December 17th, 3-8pm
Sunset Junction and Silver Lake Boulevard Village

Details: Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce

The Think Farm had the pleasure of designing the new 2012 Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce Member Directory.

It was a pretty well-thought out process, if we do say so ourselves. The Chamber Board and The Farm decided that the directory should not only include photos of our community but also portraits of and quotes from business owners and organization directors. From the person who serves me coffee at my local café to the hardware store owner who advises me on the tools I need to for a home improvement activity to the person at the local cheese store that knows what’s good this season, it’s great to acquaint ourselves with the people who are serving this community. This was a joint effort and labor of love. Thanks to Sarah McGowan, Ann Le and other awesome members of the Chamber who gave us a hand!

It was a pleasure meeting business owners and organization leaders during the first phase of this process and discovering fun and interesting new shops, eateries and other organizations. We shot casual portraits and learned a little something about each of the businesses that participated.

The second phase of this process turned out to be more time consuming than we anticipated but we were really excited with the end product! After cleaning up the initial photographs, they were altered and given a color treatment, then manipulated and drawn over to create an illustration. The three parts to this process are shown below. Thanks to our beautiful models, Billie and Tootie from The Reform School on Sunset Blvd!

Original photo

Clean-up and initial color blocking

Final illustration

Sampling of the final directory

The 2012 Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce Directory is out now. Find it at your favorite local shop!

To see more illustrations, visit our album on Facebook.

Till next time, beautiful London Town!

I took a peek this morning at my email while getting ready to hop on a plane in a few hours, and the wonderful and gracious Sarah McGowan of MAC + COB (Creative Services | Business Therapy) has posted this piece on the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce blog on yours truly. Self-promotion feels funny when it comes to myself as opposed to my business but please do take a look if it strikes your fancy! Oh, you fancy pants, you.

'Let me fix your necklace.' 'Ha ha, that's hilarious!'

If I ever find myself at a photo shoot, like at the one for Jan Davidson Skin Care with photographer Jess Koehler, it’s behind the scenes.

I love art directing at photo shoots. It’s such a collaborative process and, when done right, you get to spend a hyper-productive day empowering someone to show the twinkle and uniqueness within. Recently, there was a shoot at The Farm and I found myself in front of the camera, of all places. It’s not a place I naturally enjoy but, thanks to the talents of make-up artist Chantal Moore and Sarah McGowan and Jake Rushing of Mac + Cob, I got to be the lucky beneficiary of the magic that happens when people who kick ass at their craft and at loving people come together. Adding to the warm fuzzies and beauty of the day was Steve Melendrez of The Living Room with additional furnishings for the space. He is a lovely human being with immaculate taste, as evidenced by his store.

Sarah and Jake took the photos as part of the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce member profile project as well as for The Think Farm’s upcoming marketing campaign. Two birds. One stone. Keep an eye out for both things in the coming weeks/months.

Here are some images from my day of glamour. Thanks to Janice for documenting.

If only Chantal could prettify me everyday!

Clearly not used to being fussed over

MAC + COB works super hard.

Product placement

So happy together

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