“it is better to be making the news than taking it;
to be an actor rather than a critic.” —winston churchill

Finding Common Ground

posted February 13, 2013

We appreciate the hard work it takes for a business to grow—and flourish. So when the folks at Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana, Illinois asked us to develop a complete environmental overhaul for their newly expanded space, we dug right in. Along with exterior, interior & wall signage, we developed a design system to capture the full Common Ground experience
—from promoting local & organic production to building community.

Check it out for yourself at Common Ground’s grand opening celebration, happening all this week through Sunday.

S51's new space featured in At Home magazine.

posted January 30, 2013

Thank you to Jodi Heckel and Darrel Hoemann for featuring our space in the latest issue of the News-Gazette's At Home Magazine. 

Read the article here.

the Illinois EMBA. a view from the top.

posted June 27, 2012

Future CEOs have a steep ladder to climb. And with their eyes on the summit, it’s crucial to get the scoop from the superstars who’ve reached it.

S51 recently collaborated with the folks at the Executive MBA program at Illinois to craft an interactive website and video tour. With interviews, animated graphics and live-chat capabilities, the site lets potential EMBA candidates really delve into alumni success stories, pick experts’ brains, catch a glimpse of student life and chat with an EMBA rep. In other words, it’s a site where people’s 2 cents can truly inspire a million-dollar career.

See the video tour!

Construction at Blue Line Station - Almost Done!

posted June 11, 2012

Construction is progressing quickly at the new location of Surface 51, and we're excited to show you some of the cool new features of the space.

Click here to see how it's progressing!

Blue Line Station Building Progress.

posted May 03, 2012

We have some real progress on building out our new space at Blue Line Station!

Click below to check out a photo gallery!

Blue Line Station Building Progress

We're Moving!

posted January 27, 2012

We're excited to be moving to Blue Line Station on Neil this summer!

Click here to view more photos.

Stay tuned for more pics along the way.

They live where they loan. And so do we.

posted November 30, 2011
Busey's headquarters and the SURFACE 51 studio are about 350 yards apart, so when we say we're neighbors, we mean it. Literally. 
As neighbors, we have a lot in common—we know community and collaboration are absolutely critical. And when Busey wanted people to know exactly how committed they are to their communities, they took a walk down to S51
As a result, we lent our talents toward developing a national campaign across a number of Busey’s markets. Through a dynamic blend of outdoor, print, TV and radio, we're helping Busey powerfully convey their Promise: Whatever the financial dream, in any stage of life, career or business, Busey helps their clients achieve it.
Whether it's banking and investment expertise or design and creative strategies you seek, you don’t have to look further than Champaign-Urbana. Here, you'll find national talent in a place both Busey & SURFACE 51 call home.

Community Elements.

posted June 29, 2011

SURFACE 51 recently had the privilege of working with a community organization that touches thousands of lives—the Mental Health Center of Champaign County. We met with Mental Health Center staff, board members and clients to get at the core principles behind its commitment to recovery and wellness: wholeness, strength, diversity and community. And out of those meetings an all-new name for the Center was developed—Community Elements.

SURFACE 51 also created an overall brand identity that communicates Community Elements’ central message—Wellness and Recovery for the Community.

Find out more about Community Elements at www.communityelements.org

SURFACE 51 and the College of Law. From associates to partners.

posted June 29, 2011
We recently joined forces with the University of Illinois College of Law to welcome nearly 2000 newly admitted students—electronically. Why should they wade  through  a big, clunky book? (Law students get enough of those.)

Instead, we designed and developed an interactive digital flipbook—packing it with animations, videos and web links. The digital booklet has everything students need to know: important deadlines, financial aid, faculty insight and real-life student experience. All delivered in a cool, brushed-aluminum flash drive. We’d like to think of that as raising the bar.