The Graveyard – Episode 2: Maddie’s Pet Project

Before beginning this latest installment of Creative Graveyard, where we resurrect and reminisce about past work, I must first call attention to a wonderful nonprofit whose work spans across our great state: Maddie’s Pet Project.

They just started a new three-year campaign to revolutionize the status and well-being of dogs and cats across Nevada by supporting animal shelters, engaging and empowering animal lovers, and expanding access to veterinary care, especially in rural areas. They recently held a massive, statewide adoption day on April 27 and 28, where 665 dogs and 305 cats were adopted! Give these people a round of applause! It’s this kind of ambition that really stokes the flame of creativity, especially when KPS3 partnered up with this great organization to help design its new identity.

I must introduce a particular canine, the pooch it was all named after, Maddie. Maddie was the beloved miniature schnauzer adopted by Dave and Cheryl Duffield whose unconditional love inspired the formation of this foundation. Maddie has since passed away, but her legacy lives on. Capturing her image played an essential role in our design exploration. In that same vein, another positive feature that played an essential role in our creativity was the emphasis they put behind both dogs and cats. Oftentimes, I find it disheartening when a rescue puts more importance on dog adoptions, but their mission puts felines in equal light. With these points in mind, we set about exploring options.

Without further ado, let’s get this graveyard party started! Where better to begin than with a room full of unsuspecting designers? Our entire creative team gathered into a room for the afternoon and put together as many concepts as possible. All ideas were welcomed. The purpose of this was to create a solid place to start. Whether you’re given a whole afternoon, or just an hour, having more than one person working towards the same goal tends to offer diversity in thinking and spur creativity. Regardless of how fleshed out an idea is, conceptualizing is a pathway of its own, and can have rewarding outcomes down the road. From here, all the options are gathered and finessed by one designer, who can then choose which designs to riff off of, toss aside or add on to. What you see below are the first two rounds.


Working in harmony with the client, we began narrowing our options. At first it was the typography, then the color palette, and eventually we started adding in the shape of Nevada. As with all our work, we were determined to capture the spirit of this organization, traveling down multiple roads before arriving at the right place. Unexpectedly, in a stunning turn-around, a past design — thought to have been overlooked — resurfaced to become the chosen logo.



Let’s dismember this process a bit to determine how we honed in on our client’s expectations. From the get go, we knew Maddie had to be in the picture, and over time, it became clear that they gravitated towards the pieces that represented her to some degree. In addition, they wanted a voice that was uplifting, celebratory and relatable, so I wanted to push imagery that felt heartwarming, but also had an underlying urgency to their cause. This was a tricky one, because the client loved everything we showed them, and yet we still weren’t hitting the mark. The process continued with in-depth explorations on a select few, where multiple variations were made of the same logo, but with subtle differences to compare and contrast what was working and what wasn’t. Ultimately, we landed back to square one with a concept that kept reappearing. It only needed a few tweaks to win them over and suddenly they were in love. There’s a beauty to working on so many different directions only to end up back at the start, returning full circle to an option that kept resurfacing in conversation. Sometimes the perfect solution isn’t found at the end — it might be tucked away in the beginning, needing only a few finishing touches to make it just right.

Maddie’s Pet Project is solving the world’s problems one dog and cat at a time, and now they have a logo that reflects the passionate and generous work they do. However, as we all know by now, good work is never done, so don’t stray too far and expect more branding pieces to come. Our creative team is already hard at work uncovering what it means to be a part of the Maddie’s Pet Project family, and how best to visually represent its message to Nevada.

Our Thoughts

2020 Reno ADDY Awards

The AAF Reno ADDY Awards is an annual advertising event highlighting outstanding work done in Northern Nevada by local agencies, businesses, and organizations. The event is the biggest fundraiser for the AAF Foundation, which has funded over $300,000 in scholarships for students in northern Nevada.  This year KPS3 developed the creative campaign to help promote the 2020 ADDY Awards, which was a series of videos highlighting some of the great local agency minds in a Bob Ross format.  Unfortunately,...

There’s No Playbook for Marketing in This Pandemic

Marketing in a pandemic has been challenging for all clients and brands. There’s not a playbook to go by since we’re all navigating this new world together. What we have seen though, is a larger focus on support and corporate responsibility in the past few weeks. As discussions continue to progress on when it will be safe for normal life to pursue, people are consuming content at an all-time high. That being said, the fascination of the COVID-19 news...

Dispelling Udder Nonsense with the Nevada Dairymen

In October, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Sierra Nevada Chapter honored us at the annual 2019 Silver Spikes award ceremony for our work with various clients. You can read more about our Silver Spikes haul here, but today we’re mooooving other awards off the shelf to talk about one client in particular: The Nevada Dairymen. Our “Udder Nonsense” campaign, which ran throughout June in honor of National Dairy Month, took home a Silver Spike in the category...