Friends of the Riverfront

Friends of the Riverfront

Connect to something greater.

Since 1991, Friends of the Riverfront has worked to protect and restore the riverfront in the Pittsburgh region through trail development and stewardship after decades of legacy pollution. 


Friends of the Riverfront was facing a bigger challenge than just a dated logo and the need for fresh marketing materials.

The organization was leading a revitalization of the region’s riverfront trails, but was struggling with how to communicate about their work and mission.


Our Deep Dive Session with staff, board and key stakeholders revealed that the organization was much more than just advocates.

They were working to connect people to the environment, healthier lifestyles, their communities and economic development.


“The message ‘Connect to Something Greater’ is vital to everything we do as an organization. It helps communicate and direct our mission to protect and develop our trail system.”

– Kelsey Ripper, Executive Director

Our trails are more than just the 25 miles of path that run alongside the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers. 

They’re a connection from home to workplace. They bring you closer to nature. And maybe yourself. They connect communities and all of us to a better place. And a better quality of life. They bring us to a common ground. 

But they need someone to protect them. To beautify them. To help them grow to their full potential. That’s why we’re here. To be their advocate. Their protector. Their activist. Their friend. 

That might mean bringing together businesses and governmental leaders. Communicating about a downed tree or washed out pathway. Or simply rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty. 

Why do we do it all? Simple. To connect. And because every time someone hits our trails, they get the opportunity to connect to something greater.


Trade Institute of Pittsburgh

Trade Institute of pittsburgh

Rebuilding lives

The Trade Institute of Pittsburgh (TIP) is a non-profit building trade training school dedicated to providing opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment. 

TIP was busy helping its students rebuild their lives and needed someone to help tell their story. 


We rebuilt their social media and marketing strategy, as well as supported the organization’s fundraising efforts. 


Beyond a new look, brand strategy and website, our Brick by Brick giving strategy helped TIP raise more than $24,000 in just under ten days. 

TIP engages returning citizens to meet a growing need for skilled workers across the trades as the older generation of workers retires. 

Pittsburgh’s Annual Day of Giving is a day focused on charitable giving to local non-profits. The big challenge? Standing out. Since every non-profit is competing for eyeballs, social media space and dollars, it can be quite a problem for non-profits. 

We decided we could skip the day and tell our story over the course of ten days with a matching donation campaign. Our goals was to fund two scholarships for students. We funded three in just ten days. 


Allegheny Cleanways

Allegheny Cleanways

It’s not for everyone.

Allegheny CleanWays has been instrumental in engaging and partnering with community groups to remove dumps and debris from vacant lots, greenways, streets and riverbanks. But they were seeking to rebrand, as people often believed that they were a city organization tasked with cleanup.


Allegheny CleanWays  government-style logo and voice made the organization feel like a stuffy County entity that didn’t have any fun. More importantly, it made volunteers and donors assume that they didn’t need any support.


We repositioned Allegheny CleanWays for the future, setting them up as ‘CleanUp Artists’ that transform littered areas into blank canvases ready for revitalization.


“Oyster helped us better showcase the work we are doing and stand out from the crowd.”

– Myrna Newman, Executive Director


Struggling to drag a waterlogged couch out of the Ohio River?

Taking care of an illegal dumpsite in someone else’s neighborhood?

Or taking out the tires and trash that no one else will?

Yeah, it’s not for everyone.

What is for everyone are the results of what we do – educating so that we have a cleaner community in the future and actually removing trash from neighborhoods throughout Allegheny County – is for everyone.

Some artists look at a blank canvas and think about what could be.

We look at a messy dump site and think the same thing.

We return it to as close to a blank slate as possible, so that great things can happen.