Looking Back: The Best Projects of 2023

Published: April 15, 2024

by Justin Difazzio

2023 saw some amazing projects for the OC Creative team. We’re always excited to take on new challenges, and this year was no different. We had some quality contenders for favorite projects, but after a few months of consideration, we’ve each decided what our favorites were. Some of these were worked on in 2023 and not released until 2024, but it’s our list, so we make the rules. And we decided to include them. Check it out!

three Austin Austin


My favorite project was probably the Midwest Groundcovers spring video. It was an extremely fun project, as I was able to go on the production and see the video from start to finish. The whole production was a blast, since everyone was dressed up as characters from Friends, doing a music video based on the intro from the show. Being able to help form the shots and add in props that relate to the show was a blast!

Katie's Glam Shot


My favorite project had to be the Friends parody video. I was really excited when I heard the theme of this one. Like a good millennial, Friends is—of course—my all-time favorite show. I knew the OC team and the Midwest crew would knock it out of the park and couldn’t wait to see the finished product. It’s a blast! They even got the couch!

Leslie takes going green seriously


My favorite project from 2023, although officially wrapped last month, was the leafjoy care cards. In addition to the design and layout of the front and back of these informational cards, we also illustrated each of the plants featured on the front. We were able to bring our own creativity in order to make these cards helpful, effective, and fun to look at. It was a true passion project.

leafjoy care cards on display

now you're playing with power, Justin power


My favorite project was also the leafjoy care cards. They’re so cute, and they’re filled with tons of helpful information that everyone helped brainstorm by answering questions about the kinds of information we wish was included when buying a plant. It was a fun session of talking about why we’re successful or unsuccessful at caring for plants.

ficus care card ficus care card back

The finished product with unique illustrations for each plant, the gorgeous color coding, and the modern look of the whole series made this a favorite for me. Way to go, team!

June's Glam Shot


I think my favorite project was filming for DeKalb’s 2023 Pride event. While I think I’ll take the time to enjoy it without work next year, I really liked how well the event turned out. It was awesome to be able to film for the event while wearing my trans flag as a cape!

marquee at Egyptian with DeKalb Pride 2023 on it

Photo courtesy of DeKalb County Pride

Trapper Keeper Sara strikes a pose


My favorite was probably the Egyptian Theatre website. The Egyptian is a treasure, and not just for those who live locally. It is part of the League of Historic American Theatres, so visitors to the website hail from all over the country. Having a more user-friendly experience is not only a boon for the Egyptian, but also to our local businesses.

Egyptian Theatre Home Page

Showcasing the theatre brings guests from other regions to DeKalb for entertainment, local dining, and lodging. I also happen to bartend there on the weekends, so I might be biased. But it’s great to hear so many first timers enjoying themselves or guests commenting on how it has been years since coming to the Egyptian. No matter who they are, all have seen the website and wanted to experience the gem which is the theatre! That’s a smash hit in my book.

she's a zazzy girl, Rachel


I couldn’t pick just one project. We did so many good ones last year. The first one I chose was our April Fools tattoo photo shoot. I had just come back from my maternity leave right after this prank was pulled. When I saw the photos, I was like, “Whoa! I have a lot to catch up on!”

Tattoo close up

It was hilarious how the team designed and printed actual temporary tattoos, got the studio set up for a stylized photo shoot, and gathered everyone together to get tatted up and photographed! We are a very committed group! And the response on social media was great. It was a terrific idea for an April Fool’s social media prank. Good job team! Wish I’d been there to be a part of it!

tattoo close up 2

And secondly, after 4 years, we made a new demo reel! Darren did a great job putting this together! It has a lot of energy and personality, and I feel it reflects our various capabilities as a team of creatives and OC’s overall style.

Darren looking fresh to death


I really enjoyed the Blains Farm & Fleet AgriMaster production we did last summer. We were tasked with producing a series of videos promoting a brand of animal feed for Blain’s Farm & Fleet. We secured a perfect location at a picturesque farm out in the country with some great hosts (they baked treats for us and even starred in the videos!). We had the most fun working with the real stars of the production: the animals! We showcased horses, cows, goats, rabbits and chickens. The weather turned out great, and the animals were very professional and nailed almost every scene on the first take!

hip cool Amy


My favorite project from last year was also the AgriMaster production with Farm & Fleet. While the video edits weren’t anything crazy or overly creative, the production itself was just so much fun. We spent the day on a farm with amazing people who were great to be around and made us feel so spoiled. In true farm family fashion, we got homemade cinnamon rolls, homemade cheesecake, lunch was set out for us, and it just made for a really fun day on set.

Don't mention Brian's dog for a head


I had a few favorite projects from last year, but the one that kept rising to the top was the Proven Winners brand identity guide. What the top few projects in consideration had in common was the OC team creating something big from nothing—meaning that something massive which didn’t exist before, something that took hours of creative work, brainstorming, and incredibly organized design, became something that the client’s entire organization embraced and shared with their partner organizations.

PWBrand guide cover page 11 with brand examples

We took 33 sub-brands and organized them into three categories that our design team and I considered were best—even the categories didn’t exist before. The client’s jaw dropped when they saw what we did. Looking from the outside in, we were able to identify something they couldn’t, and hadn’t, for the last 20+ years as their organization has grown. Add in updated logos for half of those sub-brands to bring brand consistency, and I couldn’t be more proud of what our team created.

80s glam gal Lynn


First of all, I really love getting to see the results of my team members’ finished projects, and I love hearing the clients’ positive remarks! It is clear that we have a great team who all work hard to produce work that our clients love—and that is amazing!

But one specific project that I am privileged to have a small part in every quarter is to help proofread and make edit suggestions for the Your Resource for Living magazine articles before the magazine goes to the printer. I really enjoy being a part of the process and getting to have a sneak peek at what will be in the next issue before it goes to print!

Your Resource for Living Magazine

So what was your favorite project? Oh, and if you’re wondering, the staff photos included here were part of our April Fool’s project and will probably show up on next year’s list of favorite projects.