Please Upgrade Your Browser.

Unfortunately, Internet Explorer is an outdated browser and we do not currently support it. To have the best browsing experience, please upgrade to Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Safari.

Upgrade
TreeHouse

A fresh approach to serving teens—with a brand positioned for national growth.

TreeHouse has served teens in the Twin Cities for nearly 40 years, offering teens a safe space to process life’s ups and downs, develop healthy relationships, and find support. As TreeHouse prepared to multiply their model nationwide, they asked Open Book to help them take stock of the communication challenges that were holding them back and to elevate how they positioned their brand. We partnered with TreeHouse on a comprehensive project that resulted in a whole new approach to their messaging and brand presentation—one that is equally compelling to donors and honoring of the teens they serve.

Impact

A galvanizing mission

Instead of using labels or generalities, TreeHouse is now equipped with a sharp and galvanizing way to talk about they're going after: "to end hopelessness among teens."

A dynamic new brand

The new TreeHouse brand identity strategically uses motion, dimension, and color in how it celebrates teens and illustrates the path from hopelessness to hope.

Rising donor engagement

TreeHouse has experienced new highs in community engagement and fundraising momentum as both old and new donors have rallied around the new story and vision.

Strategy + Story Formation

For decades TreeHouse primarily relied on labels like "hurting, at-risk, troubled" for how they described the teens they served. We helped TreeHouse move away from this language toward a more honoring approach that talks about what teens are experiencing instead. The heart of that? Hopelessness. TreeHouse has long talked about the importance of hope—but it was a strategic shift to now name the reality of systemic and situational hopelessness that holds too many teens back. Hopelessness is also a reality people of all ages can relate to. "Ending hopelessness among teens" is now the heart of how TreeHouse is positioning themselves and connecting all audiences toward a common pursuit.

Story

We developed a unique, signature theme for Momentum Weekend that simultaneously spoke to the overarching vision and the the real-time growth of the movement on the ground.

Story

The story we developed focuses on the core idea that life is not meant to be a series of disconnected dots. At the modern university, the issue of living a divided life can feel like the norm for people who see themselves as both academics and Christians. Faith and academics are seen as parallel at best—and, at worst, in opposition, But Anselm House is inspired by the Scripture that says, “In Christ, all things hold together.” We helped Anselm give voice to their grounding mission: "to connect faith and knowledge with all of life."

Logo + Visual Identity

Open Book created a new logo that embodies this refocused mission and story. Core to TreeHouse’s point of view is a belief that transformation is possible—and it happens from the inside out. So, we developed a logo that’s a nod to the growth rings of a tree, which develop over time, from the inside out. This rings also show the compounding impact of a transformed life on individuals, communities, and beyond.

Story

We worked with Riverbridge to flesh out the story that surrounds "invest with endurance." It was important to highlight both the optimism and specificity of their approach. Their lead messaging now elevates their belief that what is true endures⏤in investments, people, and companies. Both visually and narratively, we positioned Riverbridge as builders. In a world where people are not experiencing superior returns on their investments because of shortsighted behaviors, Riverbridge is on a mission to invest with endurance.

Story

We helped Stony Brook crystallize that the kind of leadership vision they emphasize is the ability to "see beyond"—beyond information to application, beyond what's expedient to what is wise. Our storytelling captured Stony Brook's heart to raise up life-long learners who don’t just wait for answers but keep asking the right questions, leaders who transform information into insight, and citizens who approach their communities with eyes for the common good.

Visual Identity

We crafted a visual identity that represented the three-part strategy of new leaders, new churches, and new buildings—plus the most important part: YOU, represented by a red location pin. This was a strategic choice to underscore that Rise was about activating everyone into new service and outreach from right where they are. As a whole, the logo was also reminiscent of the four-square cross that had long been a feature at one of the Redeemer sites, as well as a grid of city blocks, since a neighborhood call to action was central to the campaign story.

Visual Identity + Branding

With “Every home loved” as a cornerstone message in the brand, we focused on building it out with simple language and a visual tone that was low-pressure, friendly, and invitational. The outline of a home became a visual connection between the EncounterLife logo and the campaign vision.

Creative Direction

We simplified Vivo's existing color palette to the simplicity of black and white accented with a vibrant green. We introduced multiple typefaces and shapes to create a sense of playful imagination in the brand. Like the meals they create, Vivo's new brand led with a sense of creativity unleashed before-your-eyes. We also built momentum around the hashtag #tastepossibility and social media ads as they generated excitement for their grand reopening.

Creative Direction

One of our core challenges was determining how to "show" hopelessness without objectifying or exploiting teen pain. A turning point came as we developed the concept of a tangled knot that could both personify pain and be used as a visual construct to illustrate the path to hope as the knot loosens. This has now become core imagery TreeHouse uses to help teens take ownership of what they're feeling and take steps forward. Overall, we worked to make TreeHouse’s new look youthful and fun, while maintaining a level of professionalism that donors can relate to. We used a photojournalism approach to photos, seeking to capture teens’ real emotions in natural environments.

Website

A new streamlined website leads with the story and provides clear pathways to the tools and resources EncounterLife offers. 

Website

We built a website that invites visitors directly into the opportunity to invest with endurance, providing clear and efficient pathways to key information. The new site is a clean and modern shift from their old site, while also providing flexibility to build upon as they customize messaging to core constituents in the individual, institutional, and retail channels they seek to serve. 

Website

We created a straightforward website that featured the different dimensions of Vivo—dining, catering, and gathering spaces. The platform features Vivo’s story and vision, as well as visually sets the table for what guests can expect.

Website

We created a robust Rise website that connected vision to action through streamlined content, photography, and resources. During the campaign, users also had a custom page where they could place a location pin, which allowed people to see engagement growing across the five boroughs of New York.

Website

We designed the new TreeHouse website to be equally relevant to donors, volunteers, teens, and community members. We aimed to build a site that was simple to navigate while clearly telling the story of what TreeHouse does and the invitation it makes.

Website

We created a new website to house their content, and to position Anselm House as not only a credible, academic resource for the University, but also as a community of prayer, shared meals, open discussions, and faithful presence.

Storybook + Print

The print storybook we created has become a cornerstone tool for staff, donors, and community members alike to be invited into the TreeHouse model and mission. We developed language that’s simple and sayable without selling short the complex realities of their work and the teen stories that propel them. TreeHouse is now equipped with an evergreen piece that reinforces who they are today and positions them for a future as national experts in ending hopelessness among teens.

Event Strategy + Execution

Open Book advocated for, and helped plan, a major kick-off event that generated 2,750 people in attendance. Attendees were not told that it was a launch event for a capital campaign, much less told the name Rise. Instead, we helped position it simple as an important night of vision-casting. Then, at the event, the Rise story, vision, video, and invitation were unveiled comprehensively. Nearly everyone in the room ended up walking forward that night to fill out a personal geo-marker card with their commitment to be part of the Rise campaign.

Live Messaging + Talking Points

We developed overall event messaging and talking points for the lead speakers and communicators of the New York Project team. This involved finding both succinct soundbites and effective narratives that reinforced the big-picture vision at play while also illuminating specific metrics and reporting.

Event Materials

EncounterLife decided used the new brand story as a launchpad for a state-wide event for Colorado churches. We worked with them to name the event "We Love Colorado" and developed materials and custom packaging to serve as invitational outreach tools.

Print Materials + Environmental Design

A restaurant needs a brand you can experience at every meal and every visit. We created menus, table signage, gift cards, and a 30-foot mural to surround the place in the feeling of possibility.

Video

We created a vision video that leverages both animation and footage to be a rally cry for community and donor engagement. TreeHouse has used this video as a tentpole communication piece, from one-on-one partner meetings to fundraising events with 1000+ people in attendance.

"Working with Open Book has been transformative for TreeHouse.

With strategic insight and inspiring creativity, Open Book successfully gave voice to the heart of who we are and reinvigorated how we present our story. There is tremendous unity and excitement among our team and partners. Our brand is now a major contributor in how we are casting vision and pursuing our mission nationwide."

TIM CLARK, CEO

Up Next

Seeing the possibility in shared meals and time spent together.