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Auburn company redesigns itself as founder takes new role

The authoritative bars of “Prison City Pub & Brewery.” The childlike scrawls of ABC Cayuga’s “Play Space.”The vibrant grain of “Anne of Green Gables” at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse.

The work of Coburn Design is all around Auburn. For more than 25 years, its clean, bold imagery has been integral to the brands of hundreds of clients. But joining the list of Coburn’s current design projects is its own logo. Because after founder Laura Coburn took a position with The Inns of Aurora in September 2017, she and her trusted team felt it was time to do their own rebranding.

Speaking Monday at their Genesee Street office, Coburn, Creative Director Chris Madden and Senior Designer Natalie Kimbrough said their organizational structure has changed since Coburn stopped working there full-time. She still owns the company, she said, but her work is limited to weekly check-ins. She’s also available to provide advice and ideas at any time.

When it comes to creative direction, though, it’s Madden and Kimbrough at the helm, handling everything from Prison City’s beer labels and the Finger Lakes SPCA of Central New York’s website to the graphics adorning the city of Auburn’s Showmobile stage. And Coburn couldn’t be any more confident in her team’s ability to take the company through its next 25 years, she said.

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