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© Think FRED LLC.

Communication by Design

Our name was inspired by a legacy of strategic thinkers who’s resourceful, can-do attitudes resonate with ours today. FRED is a business communications company with a design practice that looks for the simple and authentic way to encourage growth and lasting engagement between your brand and its community.

Our Team

Frederick H. Belden III Creative Director Derick’s experience has taken him from being an Atlanta home designer to an executive editor for Southern LivingRead More. Along the way, he’s worked with a diverse set of companies, from Hardie Building Materials to Walt Disney and with nonprofits both on and off the clock.

At Southern Living, he was one of the few to cross over marketing and advertising to editorial. His eye for design helped lead the company to launch successful retail brands such as Southern Living Plants. Plus, his technical expertise helped shape home and garden trends. Good communication, he says, is more than frequency. It’s about relating through our emotions and senses with well-thought-out strategy and design. Done right, you encourage people to act.

Michael Vizzina Design Director Michael strives to create brand experiences where interactions are intuitive while aesthetics evoke emotion. His 25-year practice includes a broad range of graphic mediumsRead More: Brand Identity, Typographic Systems, Interaction Design/UI, Content and Navigational Systems, Iconography, Motion Graphics and Print. I’m hands-on in the creation of HTML, CSS, Javascript and WordPress environments.

Angela Duke Account Executive Angela helps companies formulate communication objectives. Read More. She brings us to the planning table, guides the FRED team, and helps ensure that our clients’ expectations are met at each milestone of a project. For the past decade, Angela has advocated for companies such as Alabama Power, Southern Company, and Colonnade Group.

Before graduating Samford University where she studied Marketing and History, Angela enjoyed exploring the life of Zelda Fitzgerald in her home town of Montgomery, Alabama. Among her many particularities, you may find Angela debating the merits of the Oxford Comma and other hard-pressing grammatical concerns.

Blayne Ward Art Director Originally from New Orleans, Blayne once worked for the legendary Manny Randazzo’s King Cake BakeryRead More. She still serves up delight each day as the FRED Art Director. Having received her Graphic Communication degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, her design specialties include typographic and color systems, brand collateral, publication design and packaging. Plus, she’s a highly talented illustrator with an affinity for the Pop aesthetic.

Blayne previously worked for Cerberus Agency where her past brand experience includes Southern Prohibition Brewing, Warner Brothers Records, Gawker Media, Dixie Beer, Tulane University, The National Harp Society, The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.

Carlyle Thornton Digital Strategist Carlyle is a passionate, high-energy, creative thinker who excels in all things socialRead More. She identifies business goals and develops a brand tone which consistently resonates. Through her influence she increases brand awareness, assists PR and fosters community. Her enthusiasm and commitment makes followers take notice.

Carlyle is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in Business Marketing and Corporate Relations. She was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and began her career working as the marketing and communications manager for the nearly 4,000 acre master planned community–Liberty Park. Carlyle has also created her own following as a social media influencer. Carlyle Thornton Fashion + Lifestyle Blog

Our Practice

What your company does, sells or should mean to its customers are all important questions for our conversation, but they’re not the best place to start. FRED wants to fully comprehend your Why because in it lives your authenticity. It’s a simple process. Each engagement we design must hark back to Why.

1Business Objective
Why are we doing this?
To whom are we speaking?
How may we connect on a deeper level?
4Communication Objective
What do we want people to think and do?

Our Clients

Alabama Power – External communications involving naming, brand identity, web design, and collateral for LakeTown, Smart Neighborhood, Powell Steam Plant and more. Internal communications for Alabama Power Health & Wellness programs.

Sloss Real Estate – Rebranding, web design, collateral and editorial content for Pepper Place, Pepper Place Farmers Market, Lakeview District and Sloss Real Estate corporate.

Daniel Communities – Naming, brand identity, web design and collateral for Kennebec and Talisi Cove on Lake Martin plus Daniel Communities corporate.

Third & Urban – Naming, brand identity, web design and collateral for Denham Bldg.

REV Birmingham – Brand identity and web design for Parkside District.

Innovate Birmingham – Naming and brand identity for Innovation District.

Broad Metro Commercial Real Estate – Advertising and PR for Stadium Trace Village community launch initiative.

Ironline Advisors – Naming, brand identity, web design, email marketing and editorial content.

Birmingham Landmarks – PR and collateral for renovation funding campaign for the Lyric Theatre plus grand opening poster series design. Naming, brand idenity and collateral for Alabama Theatre and Lyric Theatre endowment campaign.

Mike Slive Foundation – Brand identity, web design and collateral.

Southern Company – Environmental design and brand identity.

Southern Sky Aviation – Rebrand identity, collateral, advertising and web design.

Colonnade Group – Web design and environmental design for NCAA, SEC, BIG TEN, BIG 12, Final Four, and College Football Playoff fanfare events.

Consolidated Pipe – Rebrand identity, web design, collateral and editorial content.

LMS Investment Management – web design, collateral, brand identity  and editorial content.


Project Description

Revitalizing a Tradition

Generations had passed since Birmingham was known for its Theatre District when advocates for the Lyric decided to launch a campaign to reopen its doors. Home to vaudeville acts traveling through Birmingham, the Lyric Theatre stage hosted international names like Will Rogers, the Marx Brothers and Mae West before its Depression-era decline. Our job was to re-introduce the historic theatre to a new generation of patrons, while garnering enough excitement to raise the $7 million needed for renovations.
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Poster Series
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The Lyric Theatre Grand Re-opening Poster Series: The Lyric Muses
The Lyric means more to Birmingham than entertainment. It’s an inspiration in a time of great renewal. Central to the rebranding effort, we created The Lyric muses. Inspired by a historic mural painted above the Lyric stage–The Allegory of the Muses–designers Blayne Ward and Michael Vizzina harken back to that Greek mythology.
Terpschore–the muse of dance and chorus. (Blue), Polyhymnia–the muse of sacred hymns. (Orange), Thalia–the muse of comedy. (Green), Erato–the muse of lyric poetry. (Red)
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Light Up the Lyric Campaign
By re-introducing the Lyric’s vintage and distressed signage, we sought a personal connection with restoration efforts–inviting patrons to install their very own new light bulb in a marquee lighting ceremony at the Lyric block party. The “Light Up the Lyric” Campaign raised more than eight million dollars. Shown below is the Light Up the Lyric Campaign Identity, Direct Mail, and Campaign Collateral.
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