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Posted June 16, 2011

David Claus, v.2011

This is a story about rebranding — but first, a little back story. Just over five years ago, we had the pleasure of meeting David Claus, an award-winning copywriter. Over the span of his career at Leo Burnett, FCB, DDB, and Y&R, he had racked up a long string of successful campaigns for clients like Altoids, American Cancer Society, Anheuser-Busch, Dewar’s, Johnnie Walker, Lands’ End, OfficeMax, and Reebok.

Yes, David was clearly an underachiever.

But when we met him back in 2006, David had just returned from a year-long sabbatical, taking a break from the frantic 24/7 agency world, and was preparing for reentry into the creative life. He asked Jell to capture his brand and create a one-of-a-kind portfolio.

We hit it off with David immediately. He’s an intense guy, always says what he means, and knows exactly what he likes when he sees it. But he’s also a quick wit and puts everyone around him at ease.

This initial branding project was one of the wildest whirlwinds we’ve ever engineered — about five weeks of insanity — culminating in a gorgeous letterpress identity system, portfolio CD and book, and matching website.

The portfolio itself (produced in a limited edition of five) was something to behold: oversized giclée pages printed inhouse on archival stock, bound into a book with slipcase produced by master bookbinder Bari Zaki, all wrapped in silkscreened cloth printed by Crosshair’s Dan MacAdam. We thank them both for their level of dedication and artistry.

It was a great brand system. But time moves on, and five years is a long time in anyone’s book. David celebrates rapid change and its constant demands on agency creatives, so he returned to Jell recently for a drastic update of his personal brand — this time with a minimalist print identity and portfolio-first website. We worked with David to create a new logo, replace his old static site with a WordPress-based portfolio he could easily update, and coordinate his new social media channels.

Last time we checked, David was spending all of his waking hours and then some at his new home, McGarryBowen.