annual themes


Right now, I’m looking out my office window at a beautiful early summer day. The sun is out, the sky is blue—my kind of day. This time of year means two things to me:

  1. Look for opportunities to get away from my desk and be outside, as much as possible.

  2. Review CVWmedia’s progress on our annual theme.

Our annual themes aren’t resolutions or goals, but rather fluid concepts that can evolve as the year progresses. Unlike the day-to-day and finances of the company that occupy much of my time, annual themes focus on how we do what we do, and why.

Here are a few of CVWmedia’s recent annual themes:

can we / should we

We created this theme after having come through a long string of projects that forced us to decide if we were a do-it-all organization or “specialists,” as our tagline at the time suggested. After some discussions with the management team, this fancy pyramid came into existence:


What stuck out to us from our recent experiences were some questions we wish we’d asked at the time: “Can we do this project? If so, should we?” Those two questions—in that order—helped shape so many of our decisions that year and in the years since.


This theme was something of a turning point for us. We spent many years figuring out how to become as efficient as possible while working in a fluid and creative industry, but at times it seemed we had become so efficient that what we really needed was to look at things…everything…from a different perspective so as not to become complacent. Whatever you’re doing, there may be a better way, or at least a new way. Fittingly, this was the first time we created a logo for our annual theme:

The best thing about our REIMAGINE theme is that it became a part of our natural vocabulary. I still hear that word around the office all the time, and never in a forced way, three years after we thought it up.


This year’s theme is as simple as it gets, and I introduced it without fanfare. It’s on a sign on my office window, which we see clearly from the area where we meet each morning to start our workday.


It might seem lazy to take a word from our branding tagline and call it an annual theme, but CAN best describes 2019 for us. Our projects have more variety than ever, including emerging technologies we need to learn as we work on the very projects that utilize them.

The past year or so required several internal structural changes, and even our physical workspace changed dramatically early in the year. All of this is good news but doesn’t come easy when you already have a full workload, so I’m already feeling good about this year’s theme, and we have the more exciting half of the year in front of us.

Corporate themes are probably designed to achieve sales goals, so maybe we’re breaking some business rules by being a little more abstract, but when we improve ourselves and how we work, repeat business and successful projects for new clients tend to take care of the numbers. And that makes my job easier and more fun. Yeah… we CAN do that.