MillerWhite History - 1980-2012
2012 saw MillerWhite achieve our second TechPoint Mira Finalist recognition for excellence and innovation among Indiana's technology industry performers; this one for our Online Donor Engagement Platform. In addition, a prestigious Telly Award was among the firm’s 20 creative awards earned in 2012. An article in the Indianapolis Business Journal highlighted our more than 20 new clients statewide, many of which were new adopters of our Online Platform. Anedix Technologies, a software, web, mobile and database development firm, relocated its offices to MillerWhite’s Terre Haute location, helping to facilitate our software platform and mobile app collaborations.
On May 11, MillerWhite rolled out a new product, the Engagement Platform for community foundations, a web tool that connects organizations with specific needs to potential donors. Again this year, the firm garnered 12 awards for its creative work, one of which was the Silver W3 Award from the International Academy of the Visual Arts for our 2010 interactive holiday card (see below)! We continued to expand our services and geographic territory with new developments like the Engagement Platform. Keeping client support as our number one focus, we worked hard to bring innovative and integrated solutions to our clients in a fast-paced, changing marketing environment.
We celebrated MillerWhite's 30th year in business with a brand face-lift and revitalized pledge and tagline. We were proud to have our work in creating, connecting and empowering our clients recognized with a dozen creative awards. In December, Linda Worthington retired after 26 years with the firm. Linda was our greeting face and voice as well as everyone's right hand, so we were sad to see her go, but we celebrated the service she gave us and friendships that will last forever. This year's holiday card was joyously produced by our award-winning A/V department.
In 2009, MillerWhite continued to creatively and cost-efficiently service our clients, assisting Union Hospital with the introduction of its $185 million facility expansion and major rebranding; and handling PR and advertising for the 10th Annual Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic holiday basketball tournament. We completed a remodel of our Indianapolis offices, and to our A/V suite we added green screen animation capabilities for the web, video and stills. Our holiday card reprises our Little Guy character from 2004 and follows his adventures with his pal Hal as they head home for the holidays.
Tradition surrounds the holidays, and in 2008 MillerWhite was pleased to hold to our tradition of providing integrated solutions for our clients. We extended our in-house audio-video capability to the highest national quality broadcast standards by acquiring a new HD camera and editing software. We continued our award-winning tradition, picking up a dozen awards for effective client solutions. And in keeping with our tradition of innovation, our Holiday Regifting Virtual Party card “virtualized” a timeless holiday tradition – gift-giving.
As we expanded our client base, MillerWhite continued to successfully create integrated solutions composing positive results for local and regional clients, earning more than 25 awards for our work along the way. We honed our expertise in servicing a growing number of community foundations throughout Indiana. In November, we celebrated our new Terre Haute tenant, March of Dimes, with an Open House. For the 2007 holidays, our A/V department orchestrated a musical greeting.
Having outgrown our home of many years at 328 S. Fifth St., in 2006 MillerWhite successfully accomplished the formidable task of relocating the Terre Haute office to new digs at 1341 Ohio St. As we got comfortable in the new space, which includes a state-of-the-art sound studio, we learned that we had won four Telly Awards for video/interactive client solutions. In fact, awards seemed to “snowball” in 2006, as we earned more than 30.
2005 was a banner year for MillerWhite in several ways. We celebrated the company's 25th anniversary with a family night at an Indianapolis Indians game and a gala holiday party. Our holiday greeting card historical timeline on a DVD was our “thank you” to clients. Creative solutions for our clients garnered more than 20 awards. Trademark registration was finalized for our MW Fusion® formula for an integrated marketing plan. And everyone who played our Holiday Greeting Lottery became a winner!
In 2004, MillerWhite continued to add key personnel to its service lines, while in Indianapolis, office space was tripled with a move to a new suite at 101 West Ohio that looks out on Circle Center. Both locations were proud to be involved in creating a new identity for the City of Terre Haute, which rallied city departments, the Chamber of Commerce and the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation to “A Level Above.” The Christmas card took viewers on an animated Christmas shopping trip.
In 2003, MillerWhite focused on perfecting formulas that help clients develop an integrated marketing plan and a company pledge, showing its confidence in these unique formulas by applying for Service Mark protection for both MW Fusion (SM) and Unlocking the Power of Your Pledge (SM). With its game-of-chance Christmas card, MillerWhite’s interactive technology offered a prize for the winners and sincere greetings for all!
Brian Miller and Bill White made the decision to leave Rosetta and resume operations under the corporate name, MillerWhite, LLC, bringing most of their original award-winning staff with them. The Christmas card, which had the whole crew singing Merry Christmas wishes, went out by e-mail to clients, vendors and friends, injuring several ears but saving several trees.
During an 18-month venture with two public relations firms, we became Rosetta Advertising and Public Relations, and took a major step in our development toward becoming an integrated marketing company.
Celebrating 20 years in business in the year 2000, Miller & White earned another National Finalist Telly Award for a television commercial done for the Leagre Chandler & Millard law firm. With two locations and clients in Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia and Missouri, the company concentrated on growth and achieving excellence. Each of our nine designers created a square on the front of this year’s Christmas card to illustrate the message, “Christmas is what you make it” and the wish to make it your best.
It was a banner year for awards, with the company gathering nine Silver Microphones, two Addys, four Vision Awards, six Communicator Awards for audio and print, three Summit Awards and three appearances each in Creativity 19 and American Corporate Identity. It was also the year partner Bill White earned his M.B.A. Staff increases filled every possible space on the first and second floors of 328 S. Fifth St. Miller & White’s new emphasis, “Creatively produced…strategically placed,” became the Christmas card.
In what would prove to be a successful expansion into a larger market, Miller & White opened an office in Indianapolis staffed by Bill and three designers. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, er, Terre Haute office, services were expanded as well with the addition of an in-house digital video and sound studio and web hosting services. This year’s award-winning Christmas card was a collaborative effort, which took place in the creative laboratory of Mogger’s, a local eatery and bar.
Well-established as a full-service ad agency providing print, TV, radio, media analysis and buying, and Internet services to its clients in several states, Miller & White was ready to “take flight” into the competitive Indianapolis market.
Our entry into TV and radio production proved rewarding as we received our first three Silver Microphone awards, all national finalists. This number would eventually increase to 18, and counting. By virtue of his involvement in Big Brothers Big Sisters and founding a young professionals organization, Bill White was recognized with a Terre Award, making it two owners, two honors. The Christmas card was an Addy Award winner featuring a cartoon representation of each employee and Bill and Brian riding a Harley.
Graphic Edition, Inc. changed its name to Miller & White Advertising, Inc. to help emphasize the growth of the business. This year’s Christmas card made full use of the new logo and focused on our new Internet capabilities. With the name change, Miller & White celebrated 15 years and positioned itself to move into the 21st century.
GE won the last Graphic Edition-ML Express Printing Fish-A-Thon. Begun in 1985, the annual excuse for fish-crazy (male) employees of the two firms to spend two days on Shakamak Lake was won five times by GE and five times by MLX. Oh, the fish-tales we could tell... Also this year, a team from GE won a second-in-a-row Showmanship Award in the Annual Altrusa Chili Cook-Off with the theme Woodstock Chili. The previous year’s theme was Jurassic Chili. And this year’s Christmas card won an Addy!
Brian Miller's outstanding service to the community was recognized with the Chamber of Commerce's Terre Award. The agency has donated in-kind work to countless community groups (Swope Art Museum, Hospice, United Cerebral Palsy, United Way, etc). Following suit, GE employees have been active in Altrusa, Girl Scouts, Leadership Terre Haute, Race for the Cure, March of Dimes Walk America and more. On a lighter note, a team from GE took a division title in the local Joe Hoops tournament.
Bill White became a shareholder in Graphic Edition, having worked his way up from graphic designer to creative director to partner. During the early '90s, the agency made a successful transition to computer technology, expanding the client base and becoming more efficient, while maintaining a high priority on providing a quality product. The wreath that was this year's Christmas card was hand crafted by Brian's sister, Sondra Wilkison, and recalled the Victorian heritage of the house at Fifth and Swan.
As the year began, the agency picked up a copywriter, A.K.A. Copy Goddess, Cathy Hendricks, who is still minding the designers' P's and Q's...and other letters and punctuation, too. She authored the amphigory inside that year's Christmas card.
Always mindful that a happy staff is a productive staff, Brian made sure there was enough fun in the agency to keep it interesting. One event that became an annual favorite was the company Christmas party. Staff members drew names, then made a gift tailored for the person whose name they drew. The resulting gifts were often elaborate, usually appropriate and always hilarious. Pictured here is an original watercolor of our historic location by famed artist, Omar “Salty” Seamon.
The house on South Fifth was proving to be a positive influence on creativity, as the company picked up two more Addy awards and a coveted national award, the Telly, for a TV commercial created for Union Hospital. As a follow-up to 1988's Old Man Winter sweatshirt, in 1989 an originally designed scarf went out to clients as an extension of Graphic Edition’s winter apparel.
Fred Nation left the business to become the press secretary for the Governor of Indiana, Evan Bayh. The company purchased his shares and was once again wholly owned by Brian Miller. Making good on Brian's belief that a company should give back to its community, GE began a long-standing association with the United Way of the Wabash Valley. In a fateful move for both parties, GE hired a young graphic artist, Bill White, a recent ISU graduate fresh from a magazine gig in sunny Florida.
Signifying that award-winning work can be achieved by a talented ad agency striving for excellence from a small town in west-central Indiana, Graphic Edition won the first of its more than 28 Addy Awards from the Advertising Club of Indianapolis, made the first of its more than 28 appearances in American Corporate Identity and won the first of its more than 15 MAXIs from the Indiana Bank Marketing Association. A grand Open House in May christened our new offices at 328 S. Fifth.
Eager to gain space and a new image, Graphic Edition moved into the historic Cox, Schell, Blumberg, VNA Home at the corner of Fifth and Swan. The building provided a more functional, warmer and more creative environment and added to the image of prestige and quality the agency wanted to convey. That year's fold-it-yourself ornament card featured views of the grand old Victorian house, our new home.
The agency was outgrowing the tiny concrete block building on the south side of Hulman Street between Third and First that it had called home since its beginning. The illustration on that year's Christmas card was a stretch version of the recurring nutcracker theme, and that year our major clients received a collector version of the nutcracker himself. Tim Jessell, now an acclaimed illustrator, was a part of our team for a short while.
We needed a receptionist and bookkeeper and acquired Linda Worthington in a deal with vendor/client Moore Langen Printing. Brian's been patting himself on the back about that one ever since. Fred Nation became a shareholder, and with his background in publicity and community involvement, enhanced GE's copywriting and marketing efforts. That Christmas we sent the first of many "personality" cards that would feature GE, and later MW, employees.
Some of GE's 1983 hires became long-timers: AE Carolyn Morgan was associated with GE for 10 years; Bill Timms made his presence known as a skilled graphic designer until his retirement in 1996; and talented Scott Lee stayed with GE for four years before moving on. The company bought back the shares of the four other shareholders, making Brian Miller the sole owner. That Christmas, our card included tickets to a traveling production of "The Nutcracker" and a peppermint candy cane to sweeten the deal.
One of Graphic Edition's major clients, The Carl Bruce Advertising Agency, closed its doors and recommended that its clients go to Graphic Edition for their advertising needs. This signaled our transition from a graphic design service bureau to a full-service ad agency. We began to add staff to support the change, created a new identity (the circle G in a square shown on that year’s Christmas card), and hosted an Open House to celebrate.
This wasn't just any deer crossing sign. It was a seasonal notice to be on the lookout for Rudolph "with his nose so bright" making his crossing. "Season's Meetings and Best Dishes for the New Year," the message added to form the sign's border, was a little word play that highlighted two of the most popular holiday activities - getting together with friends and family and enjoying good food.
When Brian Miller founded Graphic Edition
with four other shareholders in 1980, graphic design was us. As a service bureau for ad agencies and printing and publishing companies, our forte was original illustration, graphic design, logos and identities, like the unique face-in-hand logo created for our own fledgling company. The word that first Christmas was – Ho(le), Ho(le) Ho(le) – and the tradition began.