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KDG Branding + Marketing

using sprinkles to write the phrase "welcome to KDG" with streamers and candy along the edges

As KDG’s brand and marketing designer, my main responsibilities were to create both digital and print materials to set KDG apart from other business services companies.

When I joined the KDG team in late 2018, the company was undergoing a slight re-brand and I was excited to be a part of this transition: from removing color-coded materials for specific target audiences to incorporating more diverse type treatments and photography, we wanted the rebrand to reflect the more sophisticated mid-market clientele the company was seeking.

Once a direction was established, we began expanding the brand to include illustrations and new touch points in the form of surprise boxes for both clients and employees.


Strategy, Branding + Identity, Print Design, Illustration, Art Direction, + More

All office photos courtesy of KDG and Tony Hoffer Photography.

table full of collateral with KDG's old branding

Stakeholders felt that the various illustration styles, all caps titles, and color-coordination of the old brand weren’t appropriate for their newly defined voice and vision.

Brand Guide

My first project at KDG was to redefine the brand’s visual identity. I was challenged with breathing new life into a locally recognized brand without stripping away too much of what existing clients had come to expect from KDG. I had two simple rules that couldn’t be broken: 1) the logo had to stay exactly as is; and 2) the existing color palette needed to be used. With those two rules in mind, I began exploring new directions for where to take the brand: from bright brutalism posters to the sleek UI shots on Dribbble, I took inspiration from all-around, but primarily from the clean lines and bold walls of our new office space.

The refreshed brand experience exudes feelings of calmness (to convey ease-of-use), reliability (to alleviate anxieties over technology), and trustworthiness (to communicate the idea of being in the hands of experts). The new design system’s imagery brings confidence to the table and lets the KDG brand speak for itself.

The first iteration of the branding guide was quite lean: it primarily consisted of an expanded color palette, new typography styles, examples of photography and blending modes, and the suggestion of using FontAwesome icons (more context on that can be found in the website project).

While at KDG, I continued modifying this brand guide as new creative challenges popped up: I added illustration styles, new sections for internally-developed apps, and pushed the color palette to include a few more colors. I also provided art direction for both professional photography and videography through story-boarding, planning, and identifying roles.

style tile for KDG brand

The new brand styles took our company away from the “kids in t-shirts” feel of our old brand and into a realm that conveys confidence and reliability.

mockup of various KDG handouts
Once new brand guidelines were in place, I began designing handouts and case studies.
mockup of custom software handout
I also designed whitepapers to be distributed both digitally and in-person.
mockup of KDG business cards with CEO's information
New business cards had a minimal design in an effort to let the brand speak for itself.
mockup of ADA brochure
Several brochures were made for our package-based services, such as ADA Compliance.


In mid-2020, we started to run into a new challenge in the marketing department: tasked with creating collateral to promote our newest line of service, accounting migrations, we knew we couldn’t keep using the same stock photos of calculators, spreadsheets, computers, and happy people in suits. While those photos were fine to use on our website or on basic service handouts, they didn’t do anything to help convey some of the more abstract ideas found in our whitepapers, webinars, and the occasional infographic.

While we knew custom photography was an option, our team didn’t feel like new photos would solve the problem; instead, our solution was to start incorporating illustrations into the brand. These illustrations captured the spirit of KDG through clean lines and an expanded the color palette in order to become instruments of reference and storytelling.

Illustration of a laptop, a file folder, and an open cardboard boxIllustration of diverse hands holding moneyIllustration of a desktop monitor and a magnifying glass over a section of the screenIllustration of a wallet with credit cards and money
tile showing various illustrations for KDG

Client Onboarding Boxes

In late summer 2020, the KDG marketing team looked for ways to connect with new clients and employees while working remotely.

As a designer for a tech company, I rarely had the opportunity to design something that wasn't solely for digital application. I wanted to change that and pitched projects for creating separate onboarding boxes for both new clients and new employees in attempts to bridge this gap in the beginning stages of a relationship. These boxes would be sent by mail and contain various pieces of collateral depending on the package. Working alongside the marketing manager, we fleshed out the ideas and details of each box.

Beginning with client onboarding boxes, we looked to past marketing efforts for inspiration and found it in old celebration boxes: back when KDG was a smaller company and focused more on short-term projects (think small websites and one-off software integrations), celebration boxes full of KDG swag were sent to clients after the completion of a project. Since the company’s ideal client has changed over the years (more long-term development projects with periodic launches each year), we decided to revamp the idea of celebration boxes.

We devised a schedule of when to send celebration boxes: at the start of a new engagement, at periodic intervals in a contract, and after a significant launch in the product. These boxes each have a set of gifts; however, unlike the old boxes with only KDG swag, these new boxes help us remember our roots in the Lehigh Valley with products from local businesses such as Crayola, Martin Guitar, and Just Born candies.

For each box, I designed a card to accompany the gifts. Each card in the series plays off a different one of our four primary colors and each has a different style so that the boxes are always a surprise!

Unfortunately, I never got a chance to see the finished products in action aside from the cards in a few Zoom calls! Our sales assistant was responsible for putting together each box and sending them out at the appropriate intervals.

Mockup of KDG welcome card

The card sent with the first client box to welcome them to KDG.

KDG card with banners and the text "yay" in a playful handwriting typeface.
Card to celebrate three months of an SLA contract. This box was themed with a set of tumblers to celebrate the first significant milestone, which is typically a planning stage, hence the more sketch-like style.
KDG card with "congrats" written in a custom ribbon-style script
Card to celebrate six months of an SLA contract. This box was themed around the client's "little big idea" and included swag such as notepads and pens with the phrase.

Employee Onboarding Boxes

After we had a strong handle on the process for client onboarding boxes, I developed ideas for the employee boxes after reflecting on my onboarding. During pre-COVID times, new employees were welcomed with a handwritten card, a backpack, some  coasters, a water bottle, and a sticker.

In my initial pitch to stakeholders, I presented the box as way to help introduce the company culture since we couldn't meet in the office and get to know everyone in person. My project proposal was accepted, but it was limited in scope, budget, and number of allocated hours. Phase one of the project included the creation of a welcome packet, fast facts postcard, new welcome card, and video (to be sent via email after an employee accepted their offer).

mockup of employee welcome packet

The redesigned welcome packet more clearly introduced KDG's mission, vision, and values.

Since we were remote, the welcome cards were only being signed by the one person putting the box together, instead of the whole office. I wanted to maintain some sense of craftiness in the card and I wanted to use this chance as an opportunity to step away from the computer. I pulled inspiration from Lauren Hom, one of my favorite designers, and in an attempt to try something new without blowing my budget, I chose to create a fun lettering piece.

With a mat board, a plastic spoon, two paintbrushes, $11 in sprinkles, some candy and party supplies, I staged a scene at home to photograph for the new cards. Below are some unedited progress shots, including when I used a smaller board on the floor before admitting to myself that I'd need to make the move to the dining room table with a bigger board in order to maintain legibility.

tracing out the letter W for a sprinkle lettering projectsprinkles on a mat boardsprinkles on a mat board spelling out welcome to KDG
mockup of welcome to KDG employee card

Miscellaneous Work

Every now and then, I was given a project in which I could experiment a bit more and not adhere too closely to the brand guidelines. My favorites were the holiday cards. To go along with both of these, I also created animated gifs for an email campaign each year.

scripted holidays cards with a gold foil in front of a christmas tree
2020's card featured script text in a gold foil.
mockup of 2019 holiday card which featured illustrated ice skaters making the KDG logo
2019's card used the logo in a more subtle way.


  • KDG

    Lynette Wills
    AVP Client Engagement

    Keri Lindenmuth
    Marketing Manager

    Nicole Kutos
    Brand + Marketing Designer

    Kalyn Kates
    UI/UX Designer

  • With help from

    Tony Hoffer

    Cord 3 Films

Next Project:

KDG Website