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Consider the Possibilities!

January 31, 2020 | Amy E. Billingham, Senior Designer

Sometimes a client will come to us with a request for a very simple project — because they have a particular idea of what they’re looking for, or they want a minor update. But we suggest looking beyond a plain vanilla solution. Design is a response to an unambiguous and meaningful question.

We can implement a logo refresh or redesign a brochure like nobody’s business. But no matter how simple a project may seem, we think it’s important to gather strategic information, such as:

• What is the goal of the project?

• What do you want people to think, feel, or do?

• What about your current materials is not working as well you’d like?

• Why might you want to change the way you’ve been doing things?

• Do you have data or metrics that could help us understand?

• What would the best possible result look like?

Once we’ve had a heart-to-heart discussion about how the project can help solve a problem, then we are in a better position to serve our client some exciting new solutions.

For instance, rather than creating a typical postcard, we might suggest a series of emails or a social media campaign that would resonate more meaningfully with the target audience. Instead of just a clean-up of an old logo, perhaps the time is right to truly take stock of how the brand is seen by constituents with a short online survey. If feedback from the fundraising team shows the need for a new perspective, that classic trifold brochure can easily be reinvigorated with fresh copywriting and photography.

The updated identity we created for AJC included not just a modernized logo, but a full set of branded materials, including invitation templates and event stages, which conveyed the international and multi-faceted nature of AJC’s work.

We might start by showing an idea that’s just a baby step away from the original product, and a second one that’s a step further away — and another that takes a bit of courage to adopt. We’ll never lose sight of your message and the results your organization is seeking, but you know you want your designers to try something new! Expect us to explore various ways to make a strong emotional connection and create a highly effective communication product. When the time comes to make decisions, a thorough selection of options will be on the table.

That vanilla cupcake is surely delicious, and maybe it’s exactly what’s needed. But that gorgeous rose-covered layer cake makes a distinctive impression and communicates in a very different way. So, when our response to a simple request is an in-depth set of questions, remember that part of our job is to consider a wide range of possibilities that will convey your message with insight, inspiration, and impact. It’s one of the things we do best — won’t you join us?

The Johns Hopkins SAIS alumni magazine received more than just a facelift. We not only gave it a new size, a generous dose of custom illustration, and more vibrant and dynamic layouts, but also helped develop a new editorial protocol and brought in alumni authors. The innovative new magazine coalesced the community in a fresh and invigorating way.




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