Tue, 02-26-2013 by Julia Reich

Why I love working with the food sector

I love to cook. And I love to eat. And because it's important to me to know where my food comes from, I love to shop for food - especially at farmer's markets or roadside stands (where I live in central NY state, many of my neighbors sell their homegrown produce, fruit, maple syrup, honey, or eggs along the side of the road. My favorite secret spot, a fleeting culinary treasure, is the orchard that sells - for maybe only 2 weeks out of the whole summer - apricots. Imagine - sweet, dripping, fresh apricots! On the east coast!). A former NYC-based vegetarian, for nearly 15 years I was a member of a CSA where I picked up my weekly share of veggies from an upstate farm.

I love to cook. And I love to eat. And because it's important to me to know where my food comes from, I love to shop for food - especially at farmer's markets or roadside stands (where I live in central NY state, many of my neighbors sell their homegrown produce, fruit, maple syrup, honey, or eggs along the side of the road. My favorite secret spot, a fleeting culinary treasure, is the orchard that sells - for maybe only 2 weeks out of the whole summer - apricots. Imagine - sweet, dripping, fresh apricots! On the east coast!). A former NYC-based vegetarian, for nearly 15 years I was a member of a CSA where I picked up my weekly share of veggies from an upstate farm.

About six years ago my husband and I moved to a rural area in the center of the state - the Finger Lakes, not only a beautiful region, but also a culinary hot spot and dripping with wineries. Sure, it was a enormous transition, but I relished the thought of living closer to the farms and markets that are the source of my food. And for the first time in my adult life I started to eat meat - once I got to know which farms were raising livestock using sustainable, humane practices.

Food produced sustainably, it seems to me, is one of life's primary elements. It all starts there. It is the basis of the health of the environment, my personal health, and for my family who eat the food I cook.  Everything flows from health: physical energy, mental acuity, emotional balance.

That's why, when I opened my creative studio in 2001, those organizations in the farming, nutrition, education, and other food advocacy sectors - along with culinary or food-based businesses -  became my favorite clients to work with. I have a lot of admiration for the amazing work these groups are doing to change the way we eat.

Like FoodCorps, who are addressing childhood obesity by increasing children's knowledge of, engagement with, and access to healthy food. (click here to see a case study of our work with FoodCorps)

Like School Food FOCUS, who assists many of the nation’s largest school districts in wielding their high-volume purchasing power to make more healthful, regionally sourced, sustainably-produced school food available to kids - thereby supporting student achievement and health while benefiting farmers, regional economies, and the environment. (click here to see a case study of our work with School Food FOCUS)

Like GrowNYC, who produce the fabulous Greenmarkets throughout NYC (noshing my way through the Union Square Greenmarket is one of my all-time favorite pastimes) as well as a whole host of other environmental education, gardening and recycling initiatives. (click here - and here too! - to see case studies of our work with GrowNYC)

...

Our foodie client list isn't just limited to nonprofits. We're pleased as punch to work with local food advocates in the for-profit sector, too - caterers, wineries, milk & yogurt processors, restaurants, stores, consultants and more -  such as Cater to You, King Ferry Winery, Hawthorne Valley Farm, and Elmhurst Dairy.

At Julia Reich Design, my expert creative team and I continue to be dedicated enthusiasts to supporting great food-based missions with creative, thoughtful, and effective marketing and design.

Thu, 11-15-2012 by Julia Reich

Not Your Grandma’s Pie Chart: an E-book on Infographics for Nonprofits

infographics_resources_JuliaReichDesign

This e-book of resources is a follow up to a webinar presented by Julia Reich on 11/14/12.

If you'd like learn more about the presentation, and nonprofitmarketingguide.com, please visit http://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/resources/webinar-for-pass-only-template-page/infographics-for-nonprofits/

 

infographics for nonprofits - resources from JuliaReichDesign

infographics_resources_JuliaReichDesign

If your organization is like most, you have piles of data that you think would be helpful to your readers and supporters. But who wants to wade through a 50 page report filled with statistics?

Information design and data visualization can turn your organization’s pile of data into understandable visuals, giving your constituents the right information to make choices, learn something new, or engage in a campaign.

These visuals need to be well-designed, since good design helps non-profits clearly explain needs and goals. They also need to be backed with substantial data that defines them. Your organization will be better positioned to solve the world’s problems if your infographics are clear, compelling, and convincing.

 

Wed, 09-26-2012 by Julia Reich

live upcoming webinar: “Not Your Grandma’s Pie Chart: Infographics & Data Visualization for Nonprofits”

Take all that data you have and turn into something people will actually look at and understand.

 

Julia Reich, Principal of Julia Reich Design will be leading a live webinar on Wednesday November 14, 1-2pm:

Not Your Grandma’s Pie Chart: Infographics & Data Visualization for Nonprofits

Take all that data you have and turn into something people will actually look at and understand.

If your organization is like most, you have piles of data that you think would be helpful to your readers and supporters. But who wants to wade through a 50 page report filled with statistics? Information design and data visualization can turn your organization’s pile of data into understandable visuals, giving your constituents the right information to make choices, learn something new, or engage in a campaign.

These visuals need to be well-designed, since good design helps non-profits clearly explain needs and goals. They also need to be backed with substantial data that defines them.

This webinar will help your organizations be better positioned to solve the world's problems by making your infographics clear, interactive and approachable. We’ll also look at best practices in creating data visualizations and offer tips on how to avoid common pitfalls during the design and data-selection process.

We will also discuss the new tools that nonprofits need to quickly and easily reach out to their audiences. Plus, we'll have a lot of infographic examples from real-life organizations.

During this webinar, you'll learn:

  • How infographics and data visualization can aid in communication and activism around social change.
  • How to make a good infographic.
  • How NPOs can get started in the process.
  • How to "humanize" complex data.

This webinar is part of a popular series sponsored by Nonprofit Marketing Guide (nonprofitmarketingguide.com). An all-access pass is required. Details at http://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/resources/webinar-for-pass-only-template-page/infographics-for-nonprofits/

 

 

Wed, 09-5-2012 by Julia Reich

How to do you know when it’s time to re-brand?

I presented a webinar recently called “Help! My Logo Sucks!” for Kivi’s nonprofit communications blog. In it, I made the point that it is very important to have a good organizational logo:

“People are passionate and loyal to brands they feel connected to, and that doesn’t just apply to coffee and sneakers, it’s relevant to nonprofit brands too. Loyalty leads to increased awareness, participation, and donations. A logo is the main visual representation of your nonprofit brand. It’s something you use every day, on practically everything - your website, business cards, email signature, and lots more - and everyone will see it: donors, partners, sponsors, members, volunteers, and clients. The logo is the keystone of your branding. It’s the first and last impression you make with your audiences.”

We received lots of great questions, and did not have time to answer them all. One question which was repeatedly asked, “How to do you know when it's time to re-brand?” is the focus of this follow-up post to last week’s webinar, which originally appeared on Kivi's nonprofit communications blog.

 

How to do you know when it's time to re-brand?

Maybe your group has new leadership, and they’ve decided it’s ‘out with the old and in with the new’... or your mission has changed over the years, and your new identity isn’t representative of who you are now... or you’ve got a new program and it needs its own identity... or your name has changed because it was confusing and outdated... or there’s a dozen different versions of the logo in use, and no one knows where the original file is... or everyone is in agreement: the current logo is just plain ugly.

Whatever the reason, in spite of your best efforts at getting the message out - from your website, to email, to print communications, to fund raising events - you realize your efforts could be more professional, accurate, resonant, and consistent. Then it’s time for a re-brand.

What does re-branding entail?

Which aspect of the re-branding process should you undertake? The branding spectrum could encompass several aspects, from a simple logo tweak to a full-scale organizational re-branding program that takes into account positioning, messaging, tagline creation, and visual identity. The latter is a more comprehensive process that generally occurs with a startup organization, right from the outset, or in response to a strategic planning process the organization has conducted.

Post- strategic planning

Such was the case with a recent client of ours, Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce, located in central New York state. My team was brought on board to design their logo after they had gone through a strategic planning process. They also had a new office space and new, young leadership. They wanted to make a statement that CCCC was a different organization than they were before: “A fresh perspective, recognized as a business leader, doing things different, now we need a different look and feel,” reported Executive Director Andrew Fish.

Before and after the logo re-design

Similarly, Ohio Grantmakers Forum, a group which inhabits a small niche of the nonprofit world – a regional association of grantmakers — has been working for the past two years to plan strategically for how to adapt to the changing philanthropic landscape.

“One of the key results of this work is our decision to add new types of members to our statewide association, so that in addition to foundations we will now include individuals, giving circles and United Ways in our membership. We know we need to rebrand ourselves – with a new logo, tagline and website – while expanding and updating the key services that have made us successful during our 30-year history,” says Claudia Y.W. Herrold, OGF’s Vice President, Communications & Public Policy.

While OGF readies itself for this process, part of their re-branding has already occurred - a new name change - which will be officially announced later this fall.

When a program casts a long shadow

The Union Square Greenmarket – the largest and most successful open-air farmers market in the country – is a New York City icon, but few people are aware that this was a program of the 40-year-old Council on the Environment of NYC (CENYC).

“CENYC? What’s that?” would be the response of most New Yorkers when asked about the Council. As a result, the Council lost opportunities to engage people in its programs and to raise money from donors, many of whom didn’t grasp the full scope of the organization’s work. To address this need, the Council decided to undertake an initiative to rename and rebrand the organization for greater recognition by New Yorkers.

Thus GrowNYC was proposed as the new name for the organization, and in 2010 we were hired to design their new visual identity (below). The words around the logo – teach, recycle, greenmarket, garden – directly reference the organization’s program areas and are space-efficient. Unlike the old logo, this new look is accessible, and has a “home-grown” feeling that reflects the grassroots nature of GrowNYC’s work. This now looks like the kind of organization people want to get involved in.

Before and after the logo re-design

About the efficacy of the re-brand, Amanda Gentile, GrowNYC’s Development and Communications Coordinator says,

“It is absolutely true to say that since rebranding, the name GrowNYC has appeared in the media much more frequently. In the past, when a writer was reporting on a greenmarket they would never have mentioned Council on the Environment of New York City. Today, we see ‘GrowNYC’s Greenmarket program’ or ‘Greenmarket, a program of GrowNYC’, much more often.  More importantly, in general, we have appeared in the media more frequently than in the past and I can’t help but think that our name and mission are much more visible and understood, thanks to a concise logo/name, and therefore folks latch unto us and are intrigued by our work enough to cover it.”

(Interested in learning more about this project? Read a full case study here)

Excuse me for a moment while I freshen up

Sometimes a few tweaks are all that’s needed to make a logo appear more polished and professional. That’s what former client West Wind Consulting Strategies in Fund Raising, a consulting firm providing fund-raising advice, requested - “to look more in line with the times”.

Original artwork for the old logo couldn’t be found, so we scanned it from letterhead and re-created it from scratch. The new version features:

  • fewer “wind scrolls” to make the logo less fussy;
  • an updated typeface looks more legible and modern; and
  • an addition of the second part of their name, set below the main logo, in small text.

Before and after the logo re-fresh

When the old brand is out of synch

Sometimes you know it’s time for a re-brand because your organization’s mission, vision, and personality have changed over the years, and your logo no longer reflects who you have evolved to become. That’s exactly what took place with onerecent client, New York Insight Meditation Center (NYI), who hired us to create a new logo and tagline.

Before and after the logo re-design

Sebene Selassie, a former NYI Board member who was on the re-branding committee, says:

“I think we knew it was time to rebrand because we realized that our old logo of the circular hands and tagline ‘A peaceful refuge in the heart of the city’ did not resonate for us anymore as a full expression of what we had become as a diverse community dedicated to transformation. Our new logo which blends the vibrancy of the city with the beauty and grace of the lotus flower and the tagline ‘Where hearts & minds awaken’ both reflect a much more profound and holistic message about us now.”

…..

There are many indications it may be time to re-brand your organization. Regardless of your reason, and how much of the process you plan to undertake, an updated brand can be worth the effort  - in order to increase  visibility for your organization and its programs, create more compelling and effective communications, and reach more donors and other constituents.

 

Wed, 11-30-2011 by Julia Reich

Help! My Logo Sucks!

Hate your logo? Figure out if it can be fixed, or if you need a new one.
Presented Live on
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Eastern
(10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Pacific)

 

Hate your logo? Figure out if it can be fixed, or if you need a new one.

Do you love your organization, but hate your logo? Would you love to change it, but you’re not sure what to do, how to talk about it, or know if you can afford it?

You are not alone.

Bad logos are a common nonprofit affliction. Maybe it was drawn twenty years ago. Maybe you started with clip art. Maybe you lost the original files and are using a version that looks like it has been faxed thirty times. Maybe you just flat-out don’t like it, whether you know why or not.

 

It’s OK. We’ll get you on the path to logo recovery!

Presented Live on
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern
(10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Pacific)

 

During this webinar, our favorite design expert, Julia Reich, will

 

  • Elevate your knowledge of logo design, so you know what makes a good logo and what makes a bad one
  • Look at lots of logos with us, and discuss why they work and why they don’t so you can put the theory into practice and have examples you can discuss with others
  • Give you the ammunition you need to evaluate your logo and intelligently discuss it with your colleagues
  • Help you see if you can get away with a quick fix versus a total logo overhaul, and what each process entails

As an added bonus, Julia will review the logos of several participants live on the webinar.

It’s important for an organization to have a strong logo, since it helps you create a consistent look that reinforces your mission, increases awareness, and attract donors. We will help your logo go from sucky to successful!

Julia Reich of Julia Reich Design will present this webinar. Kivi Leroux Miller, president of Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com, will moderate your questions for Julia.


Wed, 11-16-2011 by Julia Reich

How to Hire a Graphic Designer or Design Firm / Part 2: What to Look For

This is Part 2 in a series of posts that I have been sharing share with the http://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/ community, about how to hire a graphic designer or design firm.   …… In my last post, “How to Hire a Graphic Designer or Design Firm, Part 1: Where to Look” I offered suggestions on where to [...]

This is Part 2 in a series of posts that I have been sharing share with the http://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/ community, about how to hire a graphic designer or design firm.  

……

In my last post, “How to Hire a Graphic Designer or Design Firm, Part 1: Where to Look” I offered suggestions on where to turn to find designers to work with.

Assuming you’ve found some likely candidates, how do you narrow down your choices? I’ll cover what to look for in an independent designer or design firm so you can pick one with a sensibility and methodology (and pricing) that’s a good match for you and your organization.

Look & Feel

Aesthetics are surely subjective, but there are some standards that apply across the design discipline. In reviewing creative portfolios (which should be easy to find on any firm’s website), look for work that is accessible, straightforward, impactful, and memorable. Avoid trendiness. It should look in line with the current times, but also project into the future 5 or 10 years – do you think the work will be visually relevant then, too?

Media, Industries, and Sectors

When “shopping” for a designer, it’s typical to want to find someone that’s done the exact same thing you need. However, a proficient designer/design firm should be able to work on a broad range of projects. For example, if you need to have a website re-designed, but a colleague at another agency recommends their logo designer, ask the designer if they also do what you need, and look at samples of their work.

A good designer can be just as creative working with an organization in, say, the health care sector as they can in the performing arts for example. As long as they are curious and exhaustive in really getting to know you – by asking questions, talking to stakeholders, and researching your organization – don’t discount them right off the bat if you don’t see exactly the same kind of piece you’re looking for, or past clients that are similar to you, in their portfolio. In fact, sometimes it’s better to find someone that does not work within your field, so your designer comes at your project with a fresh, open approach.

I DO highly recommend finding a designer that works primarily within the nonprofit world. Not only are nonprofit needs unique from your corporate counterparts, but the culture and personality at nonprofits is different. Your designer should have the kind of expertise in creating materials that typify the nonprofit sector, whether that’s communicating diverse messages or designing campaigns that increase donations and awareness.

Finally, if you are looking for a logo design, there are a lot of designers who are highly talented doing this kind of creative work. But if you are looking to undertake a full-scale strategic branding project, take note of designers and firms which clearly state that they offer this service, and have the case studies and testimonials to back it up.

A Quick Note About Designers vs. Developers

When it comes to website projects, designers are not the same as developers. Designers, who are typically responsible for the aesthetics of a site and maintaining your brand online, do not always make great developers, and developers, who are typically responsible for the site’s functionality, can be terrible designers (of course, this is a generalization, and you could very well find talented individuals whose left and right brains are equally robust).

If you hire a solo designer, be aware that they may be partnering with another individual to do the development. This is a good thing, since each person on the creative team is doing what they do best. Ensure your designer is the main point person. If s/he is able to manage workflow and facilitate communication between yourself and the developer for the duration of the project, you should be in good hands.

Many firms are full-service operations, and can create your entire website from concept through completion. See if they have both designers and developers on staff. In either case, check out designers/design firms online portfolios – do you like their designs? Do the sites they create offer the kind of features and functionality you’d like for your site? Are you able to move around their clients’ sites easily, and is the experience enjoyable?

Read more here about designers vs. developers, and why knowing the difference can ensure a successful site.

The Interview

Arrange for three to five designers to visit for an in-person meeting to discuss their work and your project. Whether the designer chooses to display their work in an old-fashioned portfolio with hard copies, online, or using a PowerPoint presentation, here’s some tips on what to ask and look for:

  • Is the work consistently strong, and in a style that resonates with you and the personality of your organization? (strong = accessible, straightforward, impactful, and memorable)
  • Ask about the challenges inherent in each project, and how the client articulated what they needed. How successful was the solution the designer came up with? Are there quantifiable results, or client testimonials? Listen carefully for articulate and informed answers. Be aware of work that is pretty to look at, but does not solve the client’s unique problems.
  • Find out if the work you are viewing was actually approved and produced/printed (good!), or if it is student/personal work (red flag alert!).
  • Ask what the designer’s role was in each project. Look for someone who can manage an entire project from concept through completion, and work with a printer or developer to ensure quality control for the duration.
  • Ask the designer to explain their process. You should come away from the meeting with a clear understanding of each phase, what the deliverables are and how they will be presented, how many rounds of revisions you’ll get, and what they expect you to provide/do.
  • Be prepared to explain the full scope of work so the designer will be able to get back to you with a price estimate and/or proposal.

That Certain… Je Ne Sais Quois

Other than creativity and expertise, your designer of choice should be intelligent, inspired, and responsive to your needs. You should feel comfortable – not intimidated or awkward- communicating with them. Ultimately, a successful project – whether it’s a logo, brochure, or website – will be the result of a designer/client relationship with mutual rapport and respect.

Julia is Principal of Julia Reich Design, which helps nonprofit organizations bring their mission to life with award-winning brand strategy, graphic design, and web design services. Clients love her team’s top-notch creative work combined with an affordable, personalized approach.


Fri, 10-21-2011 by Julia Reich

New logo design for the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce

When an Upstate NY organization revolutionized its strategy in order to stay on mission, we jumped in to help.

Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce logo

When an Upstate NY organization revolutionized its strategy in order to stay on mission, we jumped in to help.

With a new executive director, new office space, and a new strategic plan, the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce needed a newly imagined logo to let everyone know that things had changed.

In our Discovery Process, we learned that the Chamber’s constituents saw it as a social organization. But it’s really an advocacy and business development organization.

So we looked for active, bold, businesslike images, and avoided anything passive, soft, or pastoral. Our three suggested designs focused on three concepts: “Voice of the Business Community,” “County-wide Reach,” and “Collaboration.”

The Chamber went for “Collaboration.”

Our inspiration for that design came from the executive director, who told us that “the Chamber is the cog in the wheel that sets the business machine in motion.” That image set our imaginations in motion!

In the design, each wheel represents one of the three Cs of Cayuga County Chamber. The central “C” shows the Chamber at the dynamic center of things. And we chose a strong “Neutraface” font to mirror the circular shapes in the logo.

The bright, multi-color palette reflects the energy of the Chamber’s diverse membership, as well as the area it serves. Blue for the water that brings tourists to the Finger Lakes, green for the beautiful farms and forests, and oranges and yellows to illustrate the vigorous arts and culture of the area.

That beauty and energy now appears in the Cayuga Chamber of Commerce logo.