Branding a new organization presents a chance for multiple agency departments to come together creatively and put their best work forward. When we’re able to help a client further their mission of serving youth and families — well, that’s a cherry on top.

Ellipsis serves more than 750 kids and their families with residential care and treatment, counseling and therapy, behavioral health intervention services, care coordination and family support. Ellipsis’ goal is to help kids and families overcome turbulent pasts to build successful, rewarding futures. The organization was created through the merger of two other local nonprofit organizations that served similar missions.

In early November, Trilix helped Ellipsis launch its new brand, but the creative process began much further in advance. To do this, Ellipsis first had to forge a path for its own future in order to help youth and their families do the same. Trilix had the honor of helping the organization define itself.

“Because I’ve been involved with one of the merging organizations for more than a decade, I know how hard Ellipsis’ leadership would work to serve youth and families in central Iowa and how important their offerings are,” said Brett Adams, Trilix’s chief marketing officer. “Trilix matches that effort in helping to form and share Ellipsis’ story as two youth services organizations merged. We’ll continue to do our best to help them reach their combined potential.”

What was

Ellipsis brings together Youth Homes of Mid-America and Youth Emergency Services & Shelter, both storied Iowa institutions with long histories of helping kids succeed. Leveraging more than 125 years of combined experience, Ellipsis is elevating care in Iowa with expanded programming and greater impact to strengthen families, help kids rediscover their self-worth and gain the skills needed to excel in their communities.

At the helm is CEO Chris Koepplin, who has spent 25 years advocating for youth and families in central Iowa. As Youth Homes of Mid-America’s first female executive director, Chris is used to paving a new way. She said the merger between Youth Homes and Youth Emergency Services & Shelter had long been a possibility as the two organizations had a close working relationship for years.

“We've obviously served kids and families in the same spaces, so we’ve always thought, ‘How can we better collaborate?’” Chris reflected. “When we began to seriously explore a merge and work with our consultants, we were able to see a perfect synergy in the fact that Youth Homes was strong in other areas YESS wanted to develop, and vice versa. Merging both organizations not only immediately expands our staff, but it helps provide a diversity of services, funding and advocacy.”

What’s possible

When Trilix began assisting Ellipsis with rebranding its organization, the Ellipsis team knew they wanted to balance fresh branding with both organizations’ legacies of helping youth in central Iowa. That’s how the name Ellipsis was created along with the tag line, “Connecting kids, families and futures.” Now, the nonprofit and its clients know that no matter what came before, they’re on the path to a brighter future.

Ellipsis works in the space between what is and what’s possible.

“My favorite part about how we've told this story and how I hope to continue to tell it is the concept that we sit in the space between what is and what's possible,” Chris shared. “We help people rewrite their stories. An ellipsis signifies that pause we help people take. Our kids and families are absolutely at the center of everything we do, but we’re also considering how we paused and how we’re moving forward as an agency in a new way.”

After our creative team produced a cohesive brand identity, our interactive team got started on building a streamlined, user-friendly website that put youth and families at the forefront.

“From start to finish, it was great working with Ellipsis because they trusted our vision but also provided their own input,” said Jeremy Koppin, lead interactive designer at Trilix. “There’s a freedom that comes with creating a website for a new brand because we’re less restricted.”

A combination of simple graphics, photography and minimal copy achieved an approachable and user-friendly design that showcased Ellipsis’ mission of serving youth.

“Using the creative team’s initial vision and branded visual motifs, we produced a straightforward website that gives users information in a simple, intuitive format,” Jeremy said.

Our videographers also helped Ellipsis tell its story by interviewing those who champion the mission on a daily basis — Ellipsis employees, former clients and community leaders. The interviews paired with animation, photos and graphics to help Ellipsis stand out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

“The website, photos, videos — everything feels a lot more like who we believe we are,” Chris said. “It’s professional but feels natural.”

After Ellipsis formed its story, Trilix helped to share it through a comprehensive launch day plan.

Ready for what’s to come

Trilix prepared a website, videos and social media posts to reveal the Ellipsis brand publicly on launch day, but we couldn’t forget about internal audiences. Trilix helped coordinate swag boxes complete with Ellipsis-branded merchandise to share with staff, board members and other stakeholders. We also worked with media in central Iowa to share the news and Ellipsis’ mission with the public.

“Working on this project was incredibly fulfilling,” Melissa McCarroll, account manager at Trilix, shared. “At the end of launch day, we united two organizations that had and will continue to have a lasting impact in the communities that we live in. It’s even more meaningful for marketers to work on a project that is creatively and emotionally fulfilling.”

Now, Chris shared that Ellipsis is focusing on expanding services, especially community services, to support families and youth experiencing difficulties in a way that allows families to stay together.

“We’ve been blessed that Trilix has creative people who think like us, understand us and are super engaged and invested in doing the right things for kids and families,” Chris noted. “It’s been a great team effort.”

Ellipsis and its clients’ stories are just beginning, and Trilix has the privilege of continuing to help them reach success.