The graphic rebranding of the Chicago Tribune was the result of the collaboration of ad agency DDB/Chicago and J.J. Sedelmaier. DDB asked Sedelmaier to develop characters and other presentation material for the agency to pitch the business.
Working primarily with DDB Creative Director Dick Tracy, Sedelmaier personally designed the graphic vocabulary – from characters to props. He constructed a bible that would allow for consistent translation of the developed vision into print, transit, outdoor, TV, theatrical, web, and even trucks and newspaper vending boxes.
He also helped develop concepts used in the campaign. It took the Windy City by storm with an unparalleled public response. Among other awards, the work was honored by inclusion in the AIGA Design Archive. “Working with J.J. Sedelmaier on the Chicago Tribune re-launch branding campaign was an amazing, collaborative experience. J.J. was involved from the beginning and even helped DDB prepare its pitch for the account. After talking with several good candidates for the project, I got J.J. on the phone and realized that I had found a GREAT candidate. From the beginning J.J. brought his experience and unique spin to the campaign.
I was thrilled when The Trib bought the idea but terrified about how to bring this 360-degree execution to life. Literally. Our “spokespeople” were basically stick figures that had to reflect all ethnic groups, ages, levels of income, AND connect on an emotional level as well. What I needed was an animator, designer, director and team leader to take my idea to the next level in print, online, and television. He, and his design team worked tirelessly on the character explorations, and, even more challenging, how those characters would express a variety of emotions without saying a word – in print and motion. When we brainstormed on television possibilities, I’ll always remember J.J. saying to me: “Dick, it’s animation. ANYTHING is possible.” This kind of motivation, and pushing the concept to its full potential made this months-long production an invaluable education. . . and we had a lot of fun in the process !” Dick Tracy VP/Creative Director DDB/Chicago