A big year with a big payoff

It was time to level up. Like many youth-serving nonprofits, GripTape started out with a big mission and not a lot of resources for design. By year four, they’d crossed the DIY threshold and knew they’d need to invest in their outward brand if they wanted their groundbreaking work to be taken seriously.

After a successful test-run, we sat with GripTape’s leadership to more deeply understand their vision and values. Together, we crafted a full-year, multi-channel communications plan that would engage youth, excite national peers, and result in much bigger grants. Mission accomplished. In just one year, GripTape leapt into a new tier of legitimacy. Today, youth are telling a consistent story across channels, education leaders look to GripTape for exciting research, and funders have significantly increased support.

It’s just the beginning. The messages and tools we developed in this first big engagement will show returns for years to come. We can’t wait to see what’s next.


Brand guidelines
Program framework
Research reports
Edgy graphics
Communication tools for youth

Great design earns dividends.

“A lot of people have said, ‘Oh, you guys have gone to a different level.’ There’s this recognition that GripTape is not a small, ragtag organization. J Sherman Studio put us on the map of legitimacy, as an organization doing important work.”
Mark Murphy, Chief Executive Officer
“This was not a small leap for us, but we had a desire to up the quality of our stuff. Now, when we show up with a new funder, they’re seeing these documents that say to them, ‘Oh, check this out, this is really high-quality.’ We’re in a better place right now with our funding than we have ever been, by far.”
Mark Murphy, Chief Executive Officer


GripTape is a national nonprofit that gives youth the power and funding to learn on their own terms.

Choose common sense over Comic Sans.

Great design makes a difference. Let us show you how.