Reverb Art + Design

Reverb Art + Design

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From projects for the Cincinnati Museum Center to a statewide campaign on mental health and addiction launching in spring, this Cincinnati-based creative hub for problem solving is making big waves. Keep reading for more.

Michelle and Leo D’Cruz, Owners of Reverb Art + Design

As a business owner, communicating who you are and your message to your audience isn’t always easy. That’s where Reverb Art + Design comes in.

“Reverb is a team of designers, developers, researchers, writers, artists, and makers who have decided to combine our technical experiences to make an impact on the world around us,” explains Reverb Co-Founder Michelle D’Cruz.

Rather than the typical agency structure seen in the working world today, Reverb considers itself to be more of a creative hub for problem solvers.

“We work largely with non-profits and cultural institutions on the one hand, and public entities on the other,” she adds.

The goal at Reverb is to help organizations reimagine how they communication who they are to the world.

“At times that’s a light touch, such as a logo refresh or rearticulated brand promise,” says C’Cruz. “Other items, that’s planning and executing a ground up, full service campaign that envisions not only what an organization is but accounts, too, for their founders’ dreams and the aspirations of their stakeholders.”

In fact, Reverb recently did a full-scale and immersive environment redesign of Holiday Junction at the newly reopened Cincinnati Museum Center.

“We had to account for everything from typographic signage, to way-finding, as well as 50-foot murals and a 2,000 pound floating cityspace that floated in symphony over the historical Duke Energy Trains,” says D’Cruz. “This is a space that has influenced folks in our region across many generations. Our goal was to both honor that history and implement a contemporary perspective that permeates all our work.”

D’Cruz, who runs the business alongside her husband, Leo, conceptualized the idea for Reverb Art + Design in 2014. The duo has a background in contemporary art, working as designers, communications, and policy advocacy.

Reverb prides itself on the commitment it gives to its clients. “Our work is incredibly personal to us,” says D’Cruz. “Every member of our team was raised with the idea that our work is a mark of our integrity, so we’re committed to the project at hand. But we don’t say yes to every project that comes our way. We find ourselves saying ‘no’ with frequency, and so we only work on projects in which we truly and wholeheartedly believe.”

Additionally, Reverb adds value to its services in the collective and creative inspiration that comes from the firm’s globally lived experience and diversity.

“Our team includes children of immigrants, folks who grew up in both urban and rural settings, we’re a woman-led organization, LGBTQ+ team members are key decision makers here,” says D’Cruz. “We could just keep extending this list. The point is that this is one key factor in how we get the creative we do, and why people trust us to come up with solutions nobody else can.”

There’s always something new on the horizon at Reverb Art + Design. They’re poised to launch a statewide campaign this spring where the goal is to connect young people throughout Ohio with the mental health and substance use disorder treatment resources they may need.

“We’ve spent much of the past year building to this point, conduction a nationwide audit, working with state experts, clinical psychologists and social workers, and young people across the state of Ohio to gather insights on what will make the biggest impact,” explains D’Cruz. “This is a collaborative effort that is unique nationally, with only a few states attempting to implement something similar. That’s actually the challenge: there aren’t many models. The opportunity then is that we design and build the model.”

There are communities throughout the Greater Cincinnati area that have been hit particularly hard both economically and culturally over the past decades. “And we all know the impact we’ve felt here in Ohio from the opioid epidemic – ranked 2nd in the country, only to West Virginia for overdose deaths,” she says. “This situation is completely intolerable. So we’re moving forward in partnership with the State of Ohio through Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services to do the hard work to make a tremendous impact on the lives of people here in our state. And, along the way, we’re designing a dynamic, publicly accessible model to build upon elsewhere.”

To learn more about Reverb Art + Design, visit www.reverbartdesign.com. You can also check them out on Instagram and Facebook. D’Cruz says they often host gatherings at the studio located downtown at 130 West Court Street.

Sara Elliott
Editor & Director of Strategic Communications - Sara is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor's degree in English literature. Sara started as an editorial intern before working her way up to assistant editor and then editor. She also serves as the Director of Strategic Communications, running Cincy Chic's social media sites. When she's not working for Cincy Chic, Sara is a mom to her toddler, Audrey. To contact Sara, send her an email at selliott@cincychic.com.

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