For the next 10 weeks we’ll be doing a countdown to the celebration of z2′s 10th year. Each week we’ll look back and examine milestones for ourselves, and the industry, and there might just be a few surprises along the way, as well.

2004 Logos

z2 started in at the tail end of 2003 when Cory Zimmermann and Deb Zindler teamed up to create a new agency. They knew they didn’t want z2 to just be a clone of every agency they’d both worked at through the years, so by design z2 was meant to be a “no bullshit” agency. They were going to be real and genuine with their clients, and actually go beyond thinking of clients as just ‘clients’ and treat them as ‘partners’ in the management of their brand.

2004 Business Cards

Above you’ll see some of the early identity concepts for z2, including logos and business cards.

2004 Floor Plan

And here’s the floor plan of the original office located in a basement in Delafield. 725 square feet seemed like a lot back then!

While z2 started in late 2003 with just Cory and Deb, by 2004 we’d grown to four employees. You’ll see this growth as a theme throughout the next 10 years… Check back next week for a look at 2005.

September 6, 2013 · Posted by in design, marketing  

Can Designs Over Time

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Check out the post history 103: evolution of soft drink cans for a look at soda cans and how the branding & design has changed over the years.

Coca-Cola often includes a bottle in their can design, which I’ve always found interesting. (You’ll notice the same theme with Heinze ketchup packets, and in fact their latest ketchup delivery device is actually shaped like a bottle.)


For the 7up designs, I distinctly remember the cans from 1967 to 1990, but don’t recognize the 1977 design… was it that forgettable?

(Disclaimer: as a kid I had quite the beer & soda can collection, which might be part of the reason I remember so many of the old cans.)

July 10, 2013 · Posted by in branding, design, marketing  

As a child you probably tore through your crayon box with reckless abandon. With little thought given to what colors were used and why they were used, your coloring book was left looking like the entire box of crayons had melted in the sun. As you grew older though, you began to associate different colors with different things. The sky was blue and the grass was green. Boys wore blue and girls wore pink. In a child’s mind, this is just how things were.

Eventually you started to associate color with more than just what your eyes see. Most of us have heard the term “seeing red”. A phrase often used to describe anger and aggression. If you’re “feeling blue”, it’s because you’re sad or depressed. Whether you realize it or not, colors affect our moods and emotions, and the way they are used in marketing are often used to trigger a subconscious reaction in you.

It’s believed that the color red, besides being associated with anger, can actually stimulate hunger. Combine this with yellow, and you’re eyes are literally telling your stomach it’s time to eat. If you don’t believe there’s a psychology to color, try telling these restaurants to change theirs.

The psychology of color is a powerful one, and big corporations know this. The colors they choose to represent their company are more than just an afterthought. Every color has unique associations and emotions tied to it, and they are carefully chosen to send you a message without ever saying a word.

Each color represents a whole lot more than people would have ever thought. Who knew?

May 14, 2013 · Posted by in branding, design, marketing  

Targeted Ads

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Lenticular Ad

I’ve seen Lenticular printing typically used for art, but it’s also been used in the advertising world. If you’re not familiar with Lenticular printing, it’s a method of printing which incorporates lenses (or specific angles) so that the final image has the illusion of depth, or the ability to change or appear to move when the image is viewed from different angles.

The ANAR Foundation came up with this creative use of lenticular printing for an ad that shows a hidden message to kids who are short enough to see it at a different angle than adults.

There’s a great post at which explains things a bit more, or just check out this video which explains how the ad works.

May 6, 2013 · Posted by in art, design, marketing  

New Year, New Clients!

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This new year is going to be another big one for Z2—lots of exciting stuff on the horizon, including even more growth and some really fun projects. On that, we’re happy to announce our latest client, Delafield Tourism Council.

As Delafield’s agency of record, we’ll be helping the organization with everything from research and creative development to public relations and social media. The city of Delafield holds a very a special place in our hearts, as that’s where Z2 got its start nearly 10 years ago, so it’ll be a really fun partnership for us.

More on the new client front—we’ve also partnered with Austin Plumbing and Haselow’s Polar Express Heating & Air Conditioning to work on their branding and marketing, including web site design and development, social media, photo/video, and more. We’re looking forward to working with these two highly respected, family run local businesses. Great people over there!

We’ve also been working on a new product launch for Dean Healthcare, and have been tapped to help the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra League update its brand.

Those are just a few updates from the last couple months. We’re expecting even more good news to share in the next several. Remember to check back for updates!

January 18, 2013 · Posted by in branding, marketing, misc  

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