Well, we made it. 2020 is over.

What a wild ride this last year has been for everyone, including us at Polymath Innovations. What began as a year of great promise quickly turned into…something else…as plans, campaigns, and projects were simultaneously upended by a global health crisis and transformed by rapid shifts toward digital-first communications.

That didn’t stop our work, of course. Nor did it diminish the fervor with which our partners—36 in all last year—adapted efforts to meet the changing moment.

The year may not have gone as any of us expected, but we (and our partners) still managed to wring some good out of it.

Whether through writing code, designing graphics, crafting words, or providing good thinking, these are the projects our Polymath team chose as highlights from the year that was:

1. Animating the fight against COVID-19

We brought the science behind NexTex‘s high-tech mask technology, ParticleScreen, to life through 3D animation. With the help of this video ad, the proprietary three-layer fabric is being adopted for use in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

2. Taking on human trafficking with a global brand rollout

IJM brand collateral designed by Polymath

Following International Justice Mission‘s first major rebrand in almost a decade, we took their new design system and built out supporting brand collateral—from PowerPoint templates to letterheads, business cards, new brand iconography, and more. Team members in field offices around the globe are now utilizing these tools to further IJM’s anti-slavery mission.

3. Helping a revered counseling practice find their “why”

A decade of stagnation had Emerge looking to shake things up. That all changed when its new president/CEO brought us in to conduct a brand strategy review. The result? A newly articulated and reinvigorated mission for the storied mental health center, along with a visual rebrand, rename, updated core messaging, and a sleek website.

4. Podcasting our way through thousands of years of human history

Hundreds of hours of research and on-the-ground footage went into developing this eight-part Jerusalem podcast series for Middle-East advocacy org The Philos Project. The show is now required listening for college students making educational pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

5. Promoting a new documentary to combat divisive politics

Just before the November elections, the American Enterprise Institute’s Initiative on Faith & Public Life released a well-timed documentary on Christian civic engagement. We supported their launch through building of a movie microsite, designing the film poster and discussion guide, and running a social media marketing campaign that reached 300,000 people with news of the documentary’s debut.

6. Pivoting messaging and advertising creative for a national conference

Word cloud from  of past and potential FamilyLife Weekend to Remember conference attendees

More than 100,000 people attend Weekend to Remember annually, but the pandemic put this multi-site conference in sudden jeopardy. How do you market in-person events in such a climate? Should you even? Through focus grouping, surveys, and subsequent analysis, we helped FamilyLife understand their audiences’ COVID experiences and proposed research-backed messaging and ad creative recommendations to guide their promotional efforts.

7. Retooling a training course for the digital era

Care Net‘s pregnancy resource centers enroll thousands of people each year in rigorous training courses, most of which were—until recently—conducted offline with workbooks and in-person sessions. We digitized their curricula by implementing pedagogical improvements to course outlines, drafting custom lesson scripts, and creating all-new teaching videos that now live in a robust, web-based learning platform.

8. Helping brands rethink their 2020 strategies

The Polymath team laboring over an especially tricky client challenge

No, we didn’t hold any strategy meetings in black-and-white, smoke-filled rooms last year, but, we were privileged throughout the year to share our time and brainpower with nearly a dozen organizations who took us up on our “COVID strategy workshop” offer. Over a series of conversations, we helped each group game out their next organizational communications moves in light of the ongoing pandemic.

We’ll be the first to admit that 2020 threw us all for a loop. But, those who adapted—pursuing innovative ideas, adopting creative strategies, and developing new assets to serve their teams and audiences—came out well-positioned for the months and years ahead.

What a privilege it was to play a part in making so many of these partners’ visions and pivots become reality.

Now, to top it all in 2021…