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Toolsfor graphicdesign


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Toolsfor graphicdesign

  1. 1. Handy tools & proven ways to accelerate your visual connections A gardener’s guide to making the most of your visual impact(a story told in four seasons) connect | create | blossom 1 | a gardener’s guide to making the most of your visual impact
  2. 2. “Create your own visual style... let it be unique for yourself and Disclaimer: yet identifiable We are visual people, and the visual side of your communications for others.” is a great place to connect with the people who want to “see” your —Orson Welles story. I realize it’s only one piece of the relationship puzzle, but being a graphic designer, it’s my bias. Be sure and have a solid strategy to reach your tribe on all levels of communication. Enough said, let’s dig in! As we learned in the 2000 election: 2 || a gardener’s guide to making the most of your visual impact 2 a gardener’s guide to making the most of your visual impact
  3. 3. A garden requires planning, cultivation and nurturing. Sound familiar? From that effort comes the harvest, learning what worked, and beginning again. Each season is integral to the process. There is a rhythm to it. Here is an organic view to create the membership/volunteers/donors/board or supporting tribe that you need to cultivate. Like gardening, it takes time. But the harvest is worth it. | gardener’s guide to making the most of your visual impact 3 3| a a gardener’s guide to makingthe most of your visual impact
  4. 4. Winter: Planning & Dreaming What do you want to grow? Winter is a time to visualize the bounty of the summer crop. Think about the relationships you want to cultivate. What do they need to grow? How can you give people what they need to For your toolbox: thrive? Why should they care? ɶ Consider a strategic brief for a project or DIG DEEP. Like seeds, the more you know creating a “persona” to develop a clearer about your people’s interests and what’s idea of who you are trying to reach. Get important to them, the better you can serve and to know them, what feeds them, what kind connect with them. For the garden, it’s looking of nourishment they need to grow. at seed catalogs and knowing what conditions those plants need to thrive. ɶ Get organized. Try this marketing plan template. | a gardener’s guide to making most of of your visual impact 4 | 4a gardener’s guide to making thethe most your visual impact
  5. 5. PrinT Benefits: Very portable, can be carried on the bus, to the bathroom or put in a file for end of year giving. Reaches people through the mail which is quickly becoming a unique delivery point! Can be long-lasting and your story can be absorbed and shared with others by personal contact. The right tool for the right job Challenges: Costly to create, print and mail. Takes a lot of professional staff/consultant time, takes time to This my husband’s favorite saying and I didn’t really create and uses natural resources (paper, water, energy) appreciate it until we moved onto our land and tools became part of my daily experience. The right tool will help you develop the connections you need with your tribe. Here are EmAil the typical tools presented with benefits and challenges from Benefits: Mostly free delivery, short, pithy (or at least my experience. Your evaluation efforts will guide you to what it should be!) and easily links people to your web site. tools work best for your goals. Great for video, slideshow and Flash-style visual story telling methods. Lends itself to quick and frequent connections for your tribe. Challenges: Easily lost or deleted in someone’s inbox, doesn’t lend itself to long format stories and leaves out people who don’t use email as their preferred way of connection. Loads of competition for inbox space. SociAl mEDiA “The secret to creativity Benefits: Quick casual connections through tools such as Facebook pages, tweets to followers on Twitter, or is knowing how to hide discussion groups on Linked In. Works really well for your sources.” some people. *see email –Albert Einstein Challenges: Takes a committed plan to do well and therefore staff time or a consultant. *again, see email 5 | a gardener’s guide to making the most of your visual impact
  6. 6. Spring: Preparing the ground What do your seedlings need to grow? The soil will support and nurture these tiny seedlings as they develop roots (connection) and grow into mature plants. Or in our case, into committed members/donors who will support your work. Your story is the soil for this garden. From what you have learned about your people, how does your story feed them? Where do they get energy and how can you uplift them? Too often in organizations, we expect people to respond to the urgency of the mission rather than our supporters own hopes and dreams. Re-framing your message to meet the needs of your people will help you both grow. For your toolbox: ɶ ASK them, pull together a focus group to help ɶ Here’s a resource by the UK-based Charity Aid you answer key questions that you have. The Foundation called How to Connect with Donors. time invested can help develop deep roots in ɶ Or do your own online survey with Survey Monkey. the soil. After all, don’t you like to have your ideas and opinions valued? 6 | a gardener’s guide to making the most of your visual impact
  7. 7. Keeping Design costs Down Summer: Here are some do-it-yourself design tools: Using resources Wisely photos: I am always amazed how generous photographers are for non-profits. Establish Your plants (or plans) are established and relationships with photographers invested in your growing, now you need to provide consistent cause. They will give you generous usage. care and feeding so they can provide fruit. Here is one site that is free: For Summer requires measured effort to get through an inexpensive way of getting good stock photos, the stressful times of low water and excess heat. check out You have to keep an eye on things, put in regular design: Look for examples that you like and look time and be prepared to adjust where needed. professional. A great online design magazine is It’s a good time to use resources wisely! Before and After. Look at magazines like Vanity Fair, Wired, Fast Company, Fine Gardening, Martha Stewart, Real Simple. Great layouts. The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Using Print resources Wisely Williams’ is an excellent, succinct resource that You can keep your costs down and make the outlines all you need to know. Robin’s website is connection even deeper with a little thought. full of great resources as well. Check out these 5 tips to reduce your print costs: fonts & typography: These make all the difference between the professional and the rookie. Robin Using less paper means saving money and trees. Williams’ book The MAC is not a Typewriter is a But hey, you already know that! fun, concise resource for those new to typography and fonts. It’s not rocket science and knowing the Wondering about virgin vs recycled paper, here’s basics will make you stand out. And look: free one way of looking at it by Conservatree. fonts! 7 | a gardener’s guide to making the most of your visual impact
  8. 8. Tools for saying thanks: ɶ Here are five interesting websites about thanking donors chock full of ideas ɶ Got a whole group to thank? Create a simple video ɶ Here’s an amazing interactive site where donors post their thanks by the Canadian Blood Bank. Fall: Harvest The harvest is what sustains us. But it takes time and effort to bring in food, process it and store it for the lean months. “Value the donor You have told your story in a way that moves people to donate. Because of your previous efforts, you know what more than the moves them. And you have asked for donations (always donation.” include that call-to-action, no matter how obvious you New Futures Circle think it is). The harvest is coming in, now get to work at making more successes and stories to share with the good people who support your work. When you make a great success and you tell that story, remember to tell it again and again. 8 | a gardener’s guide to making the most of your visual impact
  9. 9. “Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality overcomes everything.” –George Lois celebrate! The harvest is in and it’s time to give thanks and go even further to celebrate your new and ongoing connections. Celebrate your successes and throw a party! There many great resources on the web for how creating successful events. How to party lightly on the earth? Ask Marika at Organic Events, and she’ll show you how. The cycle begins again. Back to winter and evaluating what worked and opportunities for improvement. The New York Public Library has an awesome digital collection for your visual needs like this! 9 | a gardener’s guide to making the most of your visual impact
  10. 10. Hope this helps. I confess, I got a little carried way with the project, there’s just so much to say and so many great resources. Thanks to all the smart people out there who keep trying new things and sharing the results! This publication is done in that same spirit. Please pass it on. Let me help you plan your garden, assist with weeding or help with the harvest. I know I can save you time, money and help you increase your harvest. Claire Bronson 206.399.9248 Contact me for creative visual solutions via print, email, web or graphic recording/facilitation. Creative Solutions for Progressive Organizations