AtriCure Headquarters by Ryan Newman

Mason, Ohio

How do you create a branded showcase for potential customers and celebrate a dynamic employee culture?

AtriCure, a rapidly growing company developing medical device solutions for AFIB, challenged Kolar Design to bring their ‘Heart of AtriCure’ brand story to life in their new 55,000-square foot Mason, Ohio headquarters.

Leveraging the theme ‘Rhythm of Art + Science’, we used the pulse of a heartbeat to create an educational expression and informative customer journey. AtriCure's features engage surgeons and engineers to demonstrate their innovative products, validate manufacturing standards, share the corporate vision and build brand loyalty.

The branded environments solution also provides employees many opportunities to celebrate and recognize outstanding colleagues, performers and business partners. The entire experience is wrapped in a warm neutral palette, with large typographic wall graphics, specialty signage and colorful, circular mobiles symbolic of the AtriCure brand icon.

“Kolar executed flawlessly on our original vision to create a space that is open, bright and fosters a warm, inviting feel for our employees and customers who visit. The newly branded environment has had a very positive impact on our staff. We couldn’t be happier.”

- Justin Noznesky, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development

Check out www.kolardesign.net for more recently updated Corporate Workplace Studies.


Brand Experience
Kolar Design

Architecture/Interior Design
KZF Architects

JH Photo

Liberty Expansion by Ryan Newman

Cincinnati Children's - Liberty Expansion

Aimed to inspire discovery and learning, the theme for this 4th-floor inpatient expansion is the “universe”. The theme was selected for its appeal to pediatric patients, as well as its ability to provide tangible positive motivation for patients to get well and then apply learnings/seek new discoveries in the outside world once discharged.

Great Bear, Ursa Major, Pisces and other animal constellations cheerfully inhabit the corridors while star-shaped iridescent materials, flooring and twinkling light ceiling elements provide a sense of wonder and delight. Within the space, digital media provides patients with an opportunity to learn about the universe, the constellations and gain inspiration from notable space explorers.

Within the lobby, an interactive hands-free gaming system is staged within a space shuttle-like console that peers out onto planets and roaming space vehicles.

Each nurse station, color coded to compliment the wayfinding system, includes a breathtaking mural with star filled sky. In front of each mural, hanging translucent glass orbs create an illusion of planets.

Within the patient rooms, sky-like graphic ceiling tiles contain hidden objects providing a 'seek-n-find' game-like distraction for patients. Professional artwork throughout the unit also integrates in theme and color to support the overall concept of the space.

Check out www.kolardesign.net for more recently updated Healthcare Case Studies.


Brand Experience
Kolar Design

Architecture/Interior Design
HKS Architects
GBBN Architects

Art Design Consultants
ArtWorks and Artists

Messer Construction

PEDCO Engineers

RCF Group

JH Photo

Mercy Health Network by Ryan Newman


Mercy Health-West Hospital is a 250-bed, 645,000-square-foot facility. The West Hospital takes a new approach to healthcare architecture, balancing beauty, brand, and function to set a new standard for hospital design. The facility’s amenities include private patient rooms with unobstructed views to the outdoors, family-centered care rooms, an environmentally friendly design, community center, education center, and a green space with a walking trail. The objective was to create an environment that fosters healing.

Transparency between interior and exterior provides continuity to support the patient and family healing experience. Ease of wayfinding leads patients and families from the front door to reception and waiting areas, and along to public amenity spaces. Clear wayfinding reduces stress and creates a calming, welcoming experience. The presence of natural light and an inviting landscape also reinforce the healing process.

Check out www.kolardesign.net for more recently updated Healthcare Case Studies.


Brand Experience
Kolar Design

Architecture/Interior Design
AECOM with Mic Johnson, FAIA, lead designer AECOM
Champlin Architecture

Lerch Bates
Mortland Planning and Design, Inc. Turner Construction Company

Dynamix Engineers
Heapy Engineering
Thomas Graham Associates THP LTD

Landscape Architecture
Close Landscape Architecture Meisner + Associates/Land Vision

Hedrich Blessing Dave Burk
JH Photo
Pease Photography

Cincinnati Children's Proton Therapy Center by Ryan Newman

Providing the most progressive treatments for children and young adults with cancers and leukemias, Cincinnati Children’s Proton Therapy Center is one of only two pediatric proton facilities in the country, and the only one with a research program. Treatment visits are scheduled daily for multiple weeks at a time, resulting in unique bonding between and support needs for families. 

“As we take care of the toughest cases, we employ all the latest technologies from proton therapy to immune therapy to genomic-guided precision medicine. Likewise, we expect our facility to offer an excellent experience for patients and families”.
John Perentesis, MD
Co-Executive Director of the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute at Cincinnati Children’s

Within the facility, a series of “gardens” were created to support these needs and to transform this medical facility into a warm, welcoming environment.

At the exterior, a colorful outdoor garden with sweeping paths, seating areas, engaging artwork, water feature and child-friendly games provide outdoor respite and connection spaces for families.

At the building entrance, the waiting area greets and welcomes with garden-like glass mounted grasses and animals, playful fish within a digital pond and a color changing hanging sculpture.

As the families leave the treatment area, a grove of trees along a winding river path adorns the route. Each tree cradles a set of chimes that are rung to commemorate a milestone in the patient’s treatment.

Throughout the space, inspirational graphics and artwork co-created by patients and professional artists continue to reinforce the garden theme while conveying messages of hope and support.

Completed | August 2016
Client | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Project Team | Mary Dietrich, Allison Smith, John Kennedy, Blake Kishler
Partners | Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, Inc. + The Kleingers Group + Messer Construction
Photographer | JH Photo

"A piece of cancer-fighting equipment that weighs as much as 18 elephants. Enough concrete to pave a sidewalk from Cincinnati to Louisville, Kentucky. The most sophisticated technology available offering new hope for those battling the most challenging cancers.

This is big medicine intended to make a big difference.

Our new Proton Therapy Center is one of the most advanced cancer research and treatment centers in the country. The $120 million investment will provide more effective, targeted proton treatments to cancer patients of all ages."



In 2013, the headlines were blasting how the Streetcar had no future in the city of Cincinnati—and at the helm was our newly elected, very outspoken mayor, John Cranley, who ran on the platform to shut down operations. As Cranley was fond of saying at the time, “It’s no secret that I want to stop the project.” And stopping it—regardless of the ramifications—seemed to be the name of the game. Soapbox media captured it best when they wrote in their December 17th issue—“Local Tea Party conservatives huddled in the wings, giddy with anticipation, and when the final votes were taken, it was as if a dark cloud had settled in over the city.” Their reference to the drama that loomed over the city as a great Greek tragedy will forever be remembered. Today, there is only sunshine and money falling from the skies, largely due to the brand that saved the streetcar and created the best return on investment ($3.4 million) with a transformation from negative perception, to now the tune of millions. The new Cincinnati Bell Connector naming rights heralded in a new opportunity for the streetcar to be the best brand turnaround story in the region. 


SORTA had a vital role in continuing to create the possibility of a downtown transit system and dutifully issued a public Request for Proposal (RFP) to more than 120 agencies nationwide to create a new brand for the incoming streetcar. 

The potential hopes for raising funds through advertising and naming rights had been awash since the public’s perception of the streetcar was down in the dumps, due largely to the hands of the Mayor and his so-called “Gang of 5”—Christopher Smitherman, Charlie Winburn, Amy Murray, David Mann and Kevin Flynn. 

We, as big supporters of the streetcar, boldly applied to be the agency of record and develop the new brand. We knew that the strategy for the new brand would represent a “future city,” a city connected and united.

Kolar was proud and excited to be selected out of 18 finalists as the agency to create a new brand identity for the city’s newest icon. The Cincinnati Streetcar is soon to be Cincinnati’s newest iconas - a new icon was joining the likes of Music Hall, Carew Tower, and the Tyler Davidson Fountain. But before the vehicles even arrived, the Cincinnati Streetcar needed its own icon to represent it. It was critical to establish a strong civic brand that captured the spirit of the new transit system while allowing it to become a part of Cincinnati’s downtown experience.

Kolar happily accepted the brand identity challenge to help position the streetcar as a new symbol of hope in the hearts and minds of the citizens. As a downtown firm just two blocks off of the route from the stop, we knew that seeing and riding the streetcar would become a part of our “NEW” downtown experience each day. We wanted to create a memorable brand experience reflective of our progressive city and the infrastructure investment for our very own business neighbors, residents, and visitors.

To begin, Kolar led collaborators from the City of Cincinnati and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) through a designs thinking and discovery process to reveal what the Cincinnati Streetcar brand would embody in our community. GIVE THE # HERE: CONNECTIVITY, etc. We followed three strategic paths in story and visuals.

It couldn’t be denied that the Cincinnati Streetcar represents connectivity. Connectivity: It is the ultimate connector–connecting people, businesses, cultures and neighborhoods for a stronger community. Each concept we put on the table had to reflect this inside and out.

After 3 months of a close partnership with the city and SORTA, the design was launched to the public in December 2014. The brand reflects Cincinnati’s proud rail history and establishes a new brand for a city that’s moving into a new era. The brandmark is made up of two elements: The Cincinnati Streetcar icon and the Cincinnati Streetcar proprietary logotype. The icon is comprised of a “C,” representing Cincinnati’s identity, and a graphic interpretation of a moving streetcar vehicle. The graphic system depicts a system of connecting ‘rails,’ consistently reinforcing the brand’s strategic platform.

The design expression also includes vehicle graphics, streetcar platforms, and other marketing materials to build a comprehensive brand experience.

With the identity launch, Kolar designed a series of limited edition Founder’s Club passes available for pre-purchase that give riders unlimited rides for the first 15, 30 or 60 days of Cincinnati Streetcar service. The public’s response was immediate, and the $25 15-day pass sold out in just one week. It seemed everyone wanted a piece of the new Cincinnati Streetcar—the first tickets were sold, providing proof of the impactful success of the identity.

As the last rails were put in place and the stations were complete, the brand application made the Cincinnati Streetcar tangible—a beacon of positivity for the community behind which they could rally.



A few weeks ago, it was announced that Cincinnati Bell bought the naming rights to the streetcar. It will now be known as the Cincinnati Bell Connector. With Cincinnati Bell’s tagline of “Connecting what Matters,” their sponsorship feels like a perfect delivery of the ‘connecting’ positioning Kolar established. While the colors and identity have changed, the connective spirit of the streetcar and the community will still ring.

Cincinnati Street Car Dedication Festivities PitchBox  |  In partnership with Eyman Creative

Kolar was thrilled to celebrate the opening of the Cincinnati Streetcar on September 9th. Kolar is just two blocks from the platform at 8th Street. COME ON BOARD, LET'S RIDE!


CAC - FREE by Ryan Newman

Kolar Design was asked to help celebrate a very special occasion with both interior and exterior installations.

“On February 12, 2016, as a "Love Gift" to the city for St. Valentine’s weekend, the Contemporary Arts Center will open its galleries to everyone for free. No more admission charges. The date coincides with the opening of the powerful exhibition by Korean artist Do Ho Suh.

The end of admission fees at the Contemporary Arts Center arrives thanks to a gift of $75,000 from The Johnson Foundation and $150,000 from a newly formed Contemporary Arts Center patron’s circle known as The 50. Together, they will subsidize free admission for at least three years.

Johnson Foundation President and CEO Amy Goodwin and her husband, Jody Bunn, are the first benefactors to join The 50 with a personal donation.

Raphaela Platow, director of the Contemporary Arts Center and a charter member of The 50,  said she has been working on the idea of free admission supported by a new group of younger donors for years and is delighted it has come to fruition now.  “Since our lobby renovation that created one of the most used community spaces in downtown, we have strategized about offering free admission. This single change will send a clear message that all are welcome, and would open the doors to countless visitors who might not otherwise experience contemporary art in Cincinnati.’”

Over 1,300 people attended the opening weekend. Kolar Design was extremely honored to play a part in the celebration.