Having a graphic designer partner can make a huge difference for an organization. Since your branding is probably the first thing a potential client or partner notices about you, investing in a well-designed logo and other marketing materials is one of the keys to success.
I recently shared my top 8 tips for working with a graphic designer on the Keyword Marketing Blog:
- Let us know what your goals are for the project (aka the “who, what and why”): This includes WHO you are trying to reach, WHAT you are trying to accomplish, and WHY you chose this type of marketing piece. The more we know about your project and your goals, the better the end result will be.
- Send us copy that is complete and well-organized: This will cut down on the number of potential edits (saving you time and money). Let us know if you need referrals for a copywriter or editor. Or ask us for help editing your content to fit your message.
- Provide graphics that are high-resolution and in usable file formats: Please, no graphics pulled from the web! Also let us know of any potential copyright issues—if you are unsure about using an image, we can help you investigate or find appropriate images.
- Inform us of deadlines and crucial project milestones: It helps us create a working production schedule—and we are happy to keep you on track if necessary!
- Let us know how and where your project will be used: If you need print materials, a website, online advertising, social media profiles or graphics, promotional or staff apparel, etc., we want to know about it.
- Provide samples: If you have existing marketing materials or branding, please provide samples at the start of the project so we can keep everything consistent.
Bring up any concerns as they arise: Please let us know as soon as possible of any concerns you have during the design process. Frequent and honest communication is appreciated and will help both of us stay on the same page.
- Bonus points – if you have Brand Guidelines, please send them: This helps us keep our designs on-brand (And if you don’t have brand guidelines, we are happy to create them for you)
Above all, know that we are here to help. If you have any questions as we go along, please ask. Remember, our job is to make your business look good so the more we communicate, the better your business branding—and our relationship—will be.
Do you need a graphic design partner? I would love to chat with you!
Now that 2016 is drawing to a close (whaaaat?) it’s a great time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished this year. We spend so much time focused on achieving our goals, so it’s nice to spend a little time basking in the glow of our accomplishments. And once you start writing it down, you will realize you’ve accomplished quite a lot.
You can do this is a few different ways. For example, I keep a running list of monthly highlights so that at the end of the year, I can review a few key areas of my business: client growth, sales growth and press/PR highlights. These highlights also come in handy for my press mentions, website copy and content marketing. I also recently made a list of my accomplishments related to the yearly goal I made in my accountability group.
However you do this exercise, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the end. Feel free to share here or on my Facebook page so we can all cheer you on!
This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:
Make a list of your accomplishments this year.
10-Minute Marketing is a weekly series featuring short, easy-to-accomplish marketing tasks. Follow along with past posts here.
I’ve been working with Volunteers of America of Illinois to develop marketing materials that are more cohesive and consistent with their mission and brand. This is the third in a series of brochures I designed to highlight and promote their programs, this one is for their child welfare services foster parent program.
See the entire series of program brochures I designed for Volunteers of America of Illinois.
Volunteers of America of Illinois is a national nonprofit organization providing local human service programs for veterans, the homeless, children and the elderly. Learn more about them here.
I worked with Renaissance Social Services (RSSI) to develop branding for their annual fundraising benefit event—which happens to be held right here in my West Loop neighborhood (at Wishbone Restaurant, one of my faves!) Our goal was to express their theme while getting across the organization’s important mission.
I designed the event logo, invitation, mailing envelope, reply card and envelope, and email graphics.
Buy tickets to the event on Sept. 26.
RSSI aims to find safe and secure housing for the men, women and families and to provide them with the services they’ll need to lead lives of health, dignity and stability.
A logo is a key element of your nonprofit organization or association’s branding, however if it’s not designed to be flexible and usable for multiple purposes, it will not meet your needs and can become obsolete or unusable.
When I start the logo design process, my client and I discuss how the logo will be used within their organization and I keep those potential uses in mind as I’m designing. Here are a few ways a logo may be used.
- Print marketing
- Web advertising
- Email newsletters
- Social media
- Embroidery or decoration
- Exhibition signage
After considering and discussing possible logo uses with my client, I start the logo design process keeping the following logo properties in mind.
- Full color
- Pantone color
- Black and white (or grayscale)
- Reversed out (white version that can be used on color background)
- File format
- EPS – used for print purposes (business cards, marketing materials)
- JPG – used for Word documents or web
- PNG – used for PowerPoint or web
- Logo with tagline
- Logo without tagline
- Design elements – for a logo that uses both a graphic/icon and type
- Logo orientation
Of course, not all logos will need all of these variations, but it’s important to keep usage in mind before the design process starts to avoid future issues.
I know, you’re busy and seeing these lists can make you feel overwhelmed. That’s what I’m here for! Let’s talk about designing a logo for your organization or program that will meet all your needs. Contact me.
"Hope" gift box from GothamChick on Etsy
With charitable giving taking a hit in the current economy, local and national organizations need all the help they can get. This is a great time of year to reflect on your good fortune and share what you can with others.
I have several friends and clients at local nonprofit organizations, so they are first on my list for giving. Over the years, I’ve seen how these organizations help the community so I willingly do my part to help out.
Ideas for holiday giving
- Your local food pantry
- An organization that supports a cause close to your heart or family
- American Red Cross or other aid organization
- Organizations that provide housing or care to the homeless
- An organization that connects with your personal interests. Love music? Support your local music conservatory.
GuideStar.org is a good place to start your research: search by name, location or type of nonprofit organization.
Donating without writing a check
You don’t have to limit yourself to cash donations. Here in Chicago, there is an organization called Leave it for Love that takes unused gifts and “re-gifts” them to a local charity. During this time of year, you can also usually find organizations (or retail stores) that collect donations of coats, eyeglasses or shoes and donate them appropriately.
Do you have other ideas for giving during the holidays? Leave them in the comments!