Print Process Timeline

print process timeline

A designer’s job includes many facets. One of those facets is communicating with printers to make sure the print process goes smoothly. There are many things to communicate to the printer about from the beginning of the project to the end. Here are a few items you may want to talk about:

Deadlines

If there is a hard deadline for a project, let’s say an invitation to an event, make sure you ask the printer when they need to receive those files in order to mail out the invitations on time. A good general rule to live by is to give the printer two weeks to print from the time they receive the packaged file. This gives you enough time to make any adjustments to the files, receive proofs, allows the printer enough time to prepare the files for print and mailing/delivery.

Cost

Get a quote from the printer at the beginning of the project and ask for a few different quantities so you can compare prices. Remember, the more you order the cheaper it will be per piece. And don’t wait until the file is approved to get RFQs. Requesting them ahead of time will prevent the printing from being delayed. It doesn’t hurt to get quotes from numerous printers to ensure you’re getting the best price possible.

Size

If you have a unique size in mind for the print collateral make sure you talk to the sales rep from the printer ahead of time. Sometimes the crazy ideas we have may end up costing us thousands more. The sales rep is paid to know what will cost less, but still have the same impact. It may be something as simple as trimming the width by a half inch.

Proofs

Allow yourself time to get a hard-copy proof in addition to a digital proof- especially if it’s the first time working with a printer. Seeing and touching things with your own eyes and hands is a much better way to make an informed decision than just seeing it on a screen. The hard copy proof should be delivered to you on the paper you ordered. You will be able to see what that paper looks like and what the ink looks like on the paper. Paper and ink come out looking differently depending on the kind of paper and ink used and can really make or break your project. Also, don’t judge the color of your project based on a digital proof. Color on screens appears differently than color on paper.

 

If you are not happy with the current printing company you work with or if you are looking to find one, we highly suggest touring a couple of facilities and asking all kinds of questions. Each printer has its own specialty whether it’s color or mailing services or displays so think about what is most important to you.

Let us know if you have any questions regarding the printing process. Happy printing!

 

Our Design Process for Camp Tatiyee’s New Logo

Our Design Process for Camp Tatiyee’s New Logo

our design process for
camp tatiyee’s new logo

The Design Process

We believe that logo design is always a creative challenge that sparks innovation. After our team became inspired by Camp Tatiyee’s mission, our designers went to work analyzing their competition, identifying what sets this camp apart from the rest, and becoming engrossed in the stories of campers, families, and staff.

The inspiration behind this logo design ultimately came from the iconic scout badge symbol, an emblem that many associate with the nostalgia of summer camp.

While it may seem like an obvious choice, it means so much to those at Camp Tatiyee. Here, campers have special needs. This camp badge represents the things they get to do just like everyone else. It’s a reminder that camp is for people of all abilities.

Camp Tatiyee’s mission is best depicted in the smiles of their campers. To capture this radiating joy within the design, our team incorporated a sun to represent the positive impact of Camp Tatiyee on campers and counselors alike.

The Psychology of Color

Color selection is serious business when it comes to engaging branding. We were very purposeful in the decision to use warm yellow and orange tones for Camp Tatiyee’s badge logo. We were also wary of the competition’s use of red and blue and steered away from that palette.

Yellow draws our minds to warm summer days, bright, shining, and filled with the joyous little victories that make summer camp so exciting. Orange is associated with enthusiasm, creativity, determination, and success – actions brought out of each camper and counselor during their time at camp. Together this iconic color duo sends a strong brand message that speaks to the life-changing experience of Camp Tatiyee.  

What originally started as an inspiring challenge for our design team concluded with a logo that embodies the heartwarming passions of Camp Tatiyee’s campers and counselors.

How We Created the Dwelling Place Appeal

how we created the
dwelling place appeal

Our team was over the moon when Dwelling Place told us they wanted their year-end appeal to be out-of-the-box; literally. We were throwing around ideas of pop-up cards and I think the word confetti was blurted out at one point. As creatives, our job was to organize this excitement and produce an appeal that would launch their new brand in a celebratory fashion, but also act as a marketing piece to maximize donor engagement. Not to give away the magic, but here’s a step-by-step of how we accomplished just that. 

(If you like to get straight to the point, scroll to the bottom to see this beauty in motion)

Wireframes

Commonly used in website and app design, wireframes worked wonderfully for this project. A few hours of research and lots of cutting and folding scrap paper led us to these four options. We took these wireframes to printers to see what was plausible with the budget. There was a clear winner!

Mini Mock-ups

The design always reflects the content. Dwelling Place requested the appeal have a celebratory theme. This, combined with the opening house effect, perfectly embodied their mission: Dwelling Place improves the lives of people by creating quality affordable housing, providing essential support services and serving as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. This process of printing and checking was a great way to make sure the appeal stayed on mission.

Final Touches

As we neared the final proof, Dwelling Place requested extra time and space for the board members to write personal notes on these appeals. With the donors in mind, we made sure that the return on these appeals would be well worth the effort! Did you receive one of these fun appeals in the mail? If not, be sure to contact Dwelling Place to donate or sign up to volunteer. This organization is truly a staple of West Michigan and we are blessed to have the opportunity to work with them!

Be wary of flying confetti in the next piece…

Our Design Process for Camp Tatiyee’s New Logo

Why a Professional Brand is Key to Engage Donors

why a professional brand
is key to engage donors

We will be the first ones to say it… a professional brand is key to engage donors.

First, what makes a professional brand?

 

Logo: The mark that people come to recognize your business by.

Tagline: A clear and concise statement that communicates the service or good that you sell in a memorable way.

Voice and Tone: Voice is who the readers hear talking and tone is the way in which you say it. Your voice and tone could be formal and academic or conversational and funny.

Color: A Color palette can range from 1 color like Coca-cola or 10 colors. The color palette for a law firm would be different from a candy store. There is a psychology behind color so choose wisely and make sure the color you choose reflects the personality you want.

Typography: Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing (leading), letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space within letters pairs (kerning). Your brand fonts will usually consist of two-one for display or headline fonts and the other for body copy.

Graphic Elements: These can be patterns that add to the brand. For example, Louis Viutton has become known for their brand patterns.

 

Imagery: The images used to project your brand can have a certain style and filter to make your images distinct.

Look at the differences in Spotify and Nike:

 

Why a professional brand is key to engaging donors

 

A professional brand shows you take your mission seriously.

It shows that you have taken the time, energy and funds to invest into your brand. This shows that you care enough about your brand and that it is important enough to do so. This will make donors who see your brand take it seriously as well.

A professional brand gives the impression that it is a successful brand.

Donors want to give their money to successful brands because they know their money is going to be used well and benefit the cause. They don’t want to give to a failing mission. They might as well throw their money out of a moving car.

A professional brand shows that you know who you are.

When your tagline, tone and voice, and imagery are cohesive with clear messaging a donor has confidence that you know what you are about. A confident person (not over confident) like a confident brand is attractive.

Our Design Process for Camp Tatiyee’s New Logo

Is White Font Good or Bad?

is white font good or bad?

Our office recently caught wind of a design debate. The issue? Whether or not brands should design anything with white text. Our staff of designers and marketers are all for using white text on a dark background. Here is a list of 3 reasons why.

1.  It’s not hard to read.

The key here is contrast. There are definitely times when white text won’t work if the contrast isn’t there. One of these examples is easier to read than the other. Be smart about which color you choose as the background. A lighter background with white text will be harder to read than a dark background.

There are tools out there to help with figuring out how much contrast you should use if you are unsure. Here are links to a couple:

 VS. 

2. Everyone is doing it.

Why would world-renowned brands, like Nike and Twitter, use white text if it was a bad idea? After all, they have hired the best agencies in the world to do their marketing. 

3. It’s beautiful.

Using white text looks great when it’s done right. It’s not as traditional (and we think this is why people hesitate using it) but it makes the text pop. Look here to see brochures and collateral that have won awards. You’ll notice that many of the pieces use white text (even as body copy).  

4. People like it.

We conducted a poll on our social media platforms to see how many people prefer white text over dark text. Here are the results:Hopefully, after reading this, white text can be a design option for your brand and the debate can be put to rest.

 

Hopefully, we crushed your misconceptions about using it because it’s not hard to read, world-renowned brands do it, it’s a beautiful option and people like it.

Low-Cost Marketing Resources for NonProfits

low-cost marketing resources
for nonprofits

Social media and other web trends can have a huge impact on nonprofits and their fundraising efforts, but the costs of these tools can add up quickly. We have compiled a list of useful, low-cost resources to help nonprofits use social media and other fundraising tools in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Nonprofits on Facebook

Nonprofits on Facebook explains how nonprofits can use Facebook to bring awareness to their cause and fundraise. It is a great way to keep up to date on new Facebook features and make sure you are maximising your reach and opportunities on this social media platform. Learn More

Twitter Nonprofits

Twitter Nonprofits is a twitter account that tweets recommendations and content to help nonprofits use Twitter well. They also post examples of nonprofits who are using Twitter well. Follow them

Canva for Nonprofits

Canva is a great social media tool that makes it simple to design beautiful and engaging posts. Canva offers nonprofits a free subscription which allows you to save your color pallet, logos, templates you’ve created along with their graphic elements and photography. Learn more

Nonprofit Tech for Good

Nonprofit Tech for Good is a website that is full of great information, which focuses on the nonprofit industry. They write articles on fundraising trends, best practices and new technology. They also offer many free webinars. Learn more

Google for Nonprofits

Google offers a free G Suite upgrade for nonprofits to help organizations communicate and collaborate. Google also offers adGrants to nonprofits. Nonprofits can apply for adGrants and receive a gift-in-kind for advertising. Learn more

Paypal Solutions for Nonprofits

Paypal offers a variety of fundraising tools for nonprofits, from website donate buttons to programs that allow for in-person donations. Paypal also gives nonprofits a discount on transaction fees and has no monthly fee. Learn more

YouTube Nonprofit Program

Videos are such a powerful tool and the YouTube Nonprofit Program gives nonprofits the tools to further engage their audiences.  Through the program nonprofits can collect donations directly through videos, add links and other cards to videos, and access to email support. Learn more

SignUp

SignUp is a free online scheduling software that allows nonprofits to create a schedule of the times that volunteers are needed. The calendar can then be shared to volunteers through email or social media where they can sign up for times that work for them. The software then sends them an automated reminder email. Learn more

MailChimp

MailChimp is a great email marketing tool. It is easy to use, offers a variety of customizable templates, and provides analytics on the success of your email campaigns. MailChimp offers nonprofits a 15% discount if you contact their billing department. Learn more