Everyone knows that school lunches are disgusting.
Parents object to the sugar and fat. Kids just hate the slime factor.
But we created a set of marketing collateral for a group who’s changing all that.
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School Food FOCUS hired us to re-vamp their whole system of communication materials.
FOCUS brings a new voice to the chorus of school food advocates. Created in 2008, this national collaborative leverages the procurement power of large school districts to make school meals nationwide more healthful, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced. (FOCUS means “Food Options for Children in the U.S.”)
In other words, FOCUS thinks school kids should have the food we all want to eat—fresh vegetables, whole grains, mostly unprocessed. (Okay, sometimes the chocolate or pizza craving comes upon us. But not for every lunch!)
Our re-design included a lot of materials: a general brochure, their 2011 annual report, conference programs, ads, case study flyers, PowerPoint slide templates, trade show signage, and much more.
For example, FOCUS needed a way to share best practices with other large school systems. We created "Learnings from the Lab,” describing the challenge, the process, the outcome, the lessons learned, and the remaining questions for each of the FOCUS projects.
However, one of the most complex (and interesting) problems was conveying FOCUS data with infographics. And a lot of data it was. The new design needed to visually represent four concepts:
1). FOCUS works with the nation’s largest public school districts.
2). Their buying power affects how school lunches are procured.
3). Large public schools offer a high percentage of free and reduced lunches to needy kids.
4). Therefore, FOCUS is successfully helping the most students in the nation’s neediest schools eat better.
It’s a challenge to visualize data clearly, effectively and attractively. To get it right, we went through several versions of the design with the client. Below is the near-final version, which speaks to both head (with data) and heart (with images).
Learning about the collaborative, problem-solving approach of School Food FOCUS speaks to our heads and hearts. It continues to be both an education in thoughtful, practical politics and an opportunity to work with a wonderful organization.