Color me impressed.
I recently attended a press conference at a downtown Denver hotel updating the market branding efforts underway in Winter Park.
While waiting for the speakers to kick off their presentations, I wandered over to tables represented by vendors in the construction and development trades.
I ignored the commemorative pens and lip balm alongside the various brochures.
What caught my attention: A coloring book.
Or more correctly, the Color Book.
“Welcome to our book of color,” the first page of the 6-by-6-inch book from JVA Consulting Engineers greets readers.
The thin book includes photos of nine projects that JVA – a consulting engineering firm based in Boulder – has been involved with.
Opposite of each project – including the mixed-use Dairy Block in downtown Denver and Depot Square in Boulder – is a line drawing of the respective project.
The drawings can be filled out with any of the six multicolored pencils with the Color Book.
“Color a trellis citron green, a roof shocking pink or a sanitary line bright canary yellow,” the book suggests.
“Imagine the possibilities,” the Color Book continues. “Your inspiration is our passion.”
The Color Book was such a novel and original marketing idea, I contacted Kevin Tone, the president of JVA. In addition to Boulder, JVA also has offices in Denver, Fort Collins, Winter Park and Glenwood Springs.
Tone, in turn, put me in touch with Matthew S. Krall, the marketing manager at JVA, and Cindy Ward, a vice president at the company . JVA provides structural, civil and environmental engineering services.
“We do a lot of conferences throughout the year,” Ward said.
“We wanted to provide schwag for all age groups,” she explained. She noted that people have been bringing the Color Book home to their children and grandchildren.
“Coloring is such a hot thing,” she said, adding that “adult coloring” is trending. I acted like I knew that, although I confess it was news to me.
Krall said they came up with the idea last August. They printed 400 or 500 copies on recycled paper.
“We wanted something sustainable,” Ward said. “We didn’t want anything plastic that might go into a landfill. And we wanted something that would showcase our work.”
Book is a big hit
Kroll said the response to the Color Book “has been pretty amazing.”
Last October they were at an AIA conference in Keystone and architects couldn’t get over the Color Book.
“It was a really big hit,” Krall said.
I told them that, honestly, I would have been less surprised if the book ad been presented by an architectural firm, rather than an engineering company.
“We like to do some pretty fun stuff here,” Krall said.
For example, a Boulder brewery, Finkel & Garf, has created holiday six-packs of beer for them, which they deliver to clients during the holiday season.
“And we’ve done some holiday pint glasses,” Ward added. “Our contractor and architect clients clamor for them. Some of our clients collect them. They have bars filled with JVA glasses.”
She thinks the Color Book is pretty clever and memorable.
“After all, you only need so many lip balms.”