In Good Company with Safe Place for Youth

Initiatives by Alex Gross, Business Director

Our In Good Company series highlights the incredible organizations we are proud to help make a difference. Hear more about what drives their mission, the impact they’re making and how we’re lending a hand as we introduce some of our favorite partners and friends.

Safe Place for Youth (SPY) is an LA-area nonprofit near and dear to our hearts. From their humble beginnings handing out homemade sandwiches to a few unhoused young people on the Venice boardwalk, they have grown exponentially to become an incredibly impactful and integral part of the Venice community.

With a pure-hearted mission that we fully support, they provide housing, clothing, food, arts programs, health and wellness, and job training to young people experiencing homelessness.

Our design team worked closely with the folks at S.P.Y. to explore and develop a visual identity for their 5th Annual Empower Gala.

Partnering with an influential neighbor

Located essentially in the backyard of our LA office, we found shared goals and interests with the SPY team and set out to build a relationship. SPY has been able to accomplish a great deal in their 10 short years, and to the best of our abilities, we intend to reciprocate their generosity and commitment to the community. Our intent was to contribute in ways that felt natural and true to who we are, specifically through illustration, motion, and design (on top of company-wide clothing/goods/monetary donations).

Playful illustration and content development created to support SPY's community 5K.

Celebrating their individuality and empowering young people

After a few pandemic-related starts and stops, we were finally able to put pen to paper in the Fall of 2020 when SPY was searching for a way to bring in additional funding. Challenged with the ongoing stay-at-home orders, they landed on a community 5K that folks could participate in from home. Our Hook team quickly got to work bringing the event to life. What started as a doodle quickly evolved into a series of character illustrations designed to capture the distinct personalities of the Venice community. These illustrations reflected the diverse audience and modes of participation in the 5K, which encouraged entrants regardless of body type, age, or physical ability.

The partnership continued to grow as the world started to normalize, allowing SPY to host their annual Gala, which serves as their largest fundraising event every year. We once again drew inspiration from their heritage and roots in Venice to create a visual system bringing both elements of the event together: a joint in-person and live-streaming experience. The system leaned heavily on the street culture inherent to Venice with expressive stickers, hand painted lettering and bold, swirly colors.

Across all of the work, we love that we have been able to develop very distinct approaches, yet still infuse some consistent visual themes by tapping into the core of where SPY started and what they stand for today. We look forward to our continued efforts with SPY and can't wait to see what comes next.

"Simply amazing, I loved everything about the event materials, thank you so much for stepping up in support of our mission at SPY and for making my final gala so very special.
- Alison Hurst | Executive Director

Members of our creative team got out to support SPY in person at their annual Gala