The Petersen Museum Showcases Alternative Power Vehicles

Posted By Anthony Ellis / February, 3, 2016 / 0 comments

In 2015, Los Angeles’ renowned Petersen Automotive Museum underwent an extensive $90 million renovation. Far more than just a new coat of paint, the overhaul comes with several new features: a restored and upgraded collection of historically significant American and european classics, groundbreaking race cars and vehicles with Hollywood ancestry.

Included in the process, the museum introduced a state-of-the-art “Alternative Power” gallery which will showcase past attempts at creating vehicles that run on electric power, such as natural gas, hydrogen, electric and more. It will also display contemporary efforts at driving the adoption of green energy sources.

Johnson Gray has teamed up with several such companies, including Agility Fuel Systems – a natural gas fuel system manufacturer for heavy-duty tricks, buses and specialty vehicles – as well as the University of California, Irvine, whose National Fuel Cell Research Center develops fuel cell technology to power vehicles.

When the Mad Men Were Mad Boys

Posted By Anthony Ellis / November, 11, 2015 / 0 comments

A British designer recently uncovered a relic from advertising’s budding youth. While sifting through his recently passed grandmother’s belongings, he found a copy of “The Ad-Man’s Desk Book”, a book published in the 1940s that belonged to his art director grandfather.


The book reaches back to a time when direct mail was novel and “increasingly popular”. It champions the “growing importance” of color in advertising.


Vintage advertising is always fascinating, so it makes sense that the methods of achieving the results would follow suit. The book includes examples of Ben Day dots (a staple of mid-20th century comic books and of pop artists, such as office favorite Roy Lichtenstein) as well as several sample layouts.


And that is just a small sampling. Several more of the scans from the book can be found here.

A New Picture of Health in Riverside

Posted By Anthony Ellis / October, 5, 2015 / 0 comments

The Riverside County Health System hired Johnson Gray Advertising for a branding and identity campaign that would rebrand the health network to Riverside University Health System. As an agency with 20 years of advertising and branding experience and a deep understanding of the healthcare industry, establishing a strong identity for RUHS was right in our wheelhouse.

Riverside County Regional Medical Center Logo Before

Riverside University Medical Center, Behavioral Health, Public Health and the Community Health Center are the four foundational tiers of the Riverside University Health System and the rationale behind the “Cornerstones” logo. The tiers are represented by vibrant quadrants with colors that express health and warmth, while the ray of light effect separating them symbolize the sense of hope the system will provide the Riverside community.

Riverside University Health System Logo After

We are still in the process of the rebranding and will be rolling out several new looks for Riverside University Health System in the coming months.

Shooting the Curl with a Couple of U.S. Open Surfers

Posted By Drew Adams / August, 4, 2015 / 0 comments


surfer girls

A pair of pro surfers dropped by the Johnson Gray office on Friday to hang out with everybody’s favorite Viking.

France’s Johanne Defay (left) and South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag (right) were in town for the Vans US Open of Surfing, which was held in Huntington Beach last weekend. Bianca made it to the semifinals before falling to France’s Johanne Defay, who wound up winning the entire tournament.

Now they are both off to Tahiti to participate in the Billabong Pro Tahiti.

We congratulate both of them on a job well done and wish them the best of luck in Tahiti, and hope to see them again for the competition next year!

Removing Labels

Posted By Drew Adams / July, 15, 2015 / 0 comments

In honor of Ramadan, Coca-Cola is teaming up with Dubai based agency FP7/DXB to raise awareness about worldwide prejudices and stereotypes. At Johnson Gray, we find it inspiring how Coca-Cola is abandoning labels on their cans and encouraging people to do the same. The memorable new cans will portray the message, “Labels are for cans, not people” to help emphasize the fight against prejudice and stereotypes.

To coincide with the unveiling of the new cans, Coca-Cola created an ad that highlights how quickly people develop prejudice and how easy it is to dismantle those perceptions. A group of men that come from different walks of life are put into a dark room and asked to guess each other’s appearances. When the lights are turned on, they discover how incorrect they were. By creating the new cans, Coca-Cola hopes to encourage people to take the time to get to know each other before making judgments. We love when agencies create moving ads to take on big world issues.

Shark Week’s Rise to Fame

Posted By Drew Adams / July, 10, 2015 / 0 comments


The weeklong TV extravaganza known as Shark Week has attracted millions of viewers, but behind all the hype came a humble beginning. Debuting in 1988 with The Cage of Fear, Shark Week only had 10 scheduled programs at the time. Yet Discovery Channel’s primetime ratings nearly doubled from the average. Benefiting tremendously from the 1975 hit Jaws, Shark Week aired episodes related to the film as a tribute to the blockbuster. In 1999, Shark Week aired its first live program, Live From A Shark Cage. Since then Shark Week has been able to lure in more viewers than ever, and become a leading competitor in TV viewership.

Shark Week’s success can be attributed to many things but four specific ways stand out. The first is social media hype. By using #SharkWeek the show was able to promote and create discussion that engaged viewers in a two-way conversation. The second is to make a theme for all brands looking to buy commercial space. Shark Week provides a perfect tool for brands to incorporate sharks into a campaign that will relate to consumers. The third is by keeping up with the fear factor. Shark Week always keeps viewers on the edge of their seat, which keeps audiences coming back for more. The last way is to keep creating great content. Luckily for Discovery Channel, sharks are anything but dull and they have capitalized on the fact since the beginning.


Survival of the Fittest: Evolution of a Brand

Posted By Drew Adams / June, 11, 2015 / 0 comments

In 1947, Polaroid became the leading innovator in photography by making the first ever camera that developed pictures in a minute or two. After many years of success Polaroid filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The failure of Polaroid was simple- it was really just a great product, but never a great brand. Around the same time that Polaroid was creating cameras, BMW started branding themselves as “ The Ultimate Driving Machine.” By doing this, BMW has successfully changed their brand image from building aircraft engines to building cars.

To become great, a product must evolve into a brand. By becoming memorable, a brand will succeed in areas other than what was intended. Building a brand means you are building recognition and setting yourself above the competition. At Johnson Gray we re-brand companies as a whole to make them last a lifetime. We are growing companies into brands one step at a time.

Creating Change in Laguna

Posted By Anthony Ellis / March, 11, 2015 / 0 comments

In Laguna Beach, art is ubiquitous. Art galleries seem to be on every block. Our office is next door to a sculpture garden and a two-minute walk from a ten-foot, bearded statue of Laguna Beach’s legendary “Greeter”. It’s as if the entire city were right-brained.

It is only fitting that the city would try to help out the local homeless population with a little bit of flare. In order to raise awareness on how to properly make a donation to the homeless and cut down on panhandling, local artists were commissioned to turn parking meters into eye-catching street art.

Scattered throughout the town, these meters serve a dual purpose. Upon closer examination, they are donation stations aiding homeless programs within the Laguna Beach area. The program is called “Create Change” and has been around since 2008.

We have found a couple of the meters in person and discovered a few more online. Let us know if there are any we’ve missed.