If you’ve taken our advice on getting started with your annual report (even though you just finished), great job, you’ve given yourself some time to think strategically and thus be more active about your report for next year.
This week we’re helping you get into the strategic mindset by sharing some posts about our method and how it guides people through their project with ease and purpose.
Intention and intuition are vital values here at Union Design, so it should be no surprise that this is where our process is rooted. Design, like a business, is art and science. The highest goal is finding the intersection between form and function, continually assessing our efforts against our goals.
Becuase we want to see our efforts pay off, we have to get to the core of the problem we’re trying to solve. The dialogue starts there, what’s the specific problem? What are the tangible solutions that we can move forward right now?
Rooting our progress in our values is where the strategic magic happens. Next, we explore the depth and breadth of the project, taking what we understand about the specific problem we’re solving, and then aiming to understand the people we’re trying to help.
After digging deep to get a fresh perspective, we take a look at what already exists and evaluate it in an audit. Once an audit is complete, we move forward with the current project with our strategy, goals, and audience all in mind.
We’re always happy to talk with people during their planning process, the sooner a designer can get involved in the process, the more thorough their understanding of the project is, and the better the final product will be.
Chicago production agency Curmudgeon Group came to me with a request to develop a logo for a project about women in production. They had a vision, a working name and a strong aesthetic style. At the beginning of the design process, we spent time discussing the project and landed on a new name—Scope.
Scope is inspired by the lens (literal and figurative) through which women in production experience the world. The logo features a stylized S that also illustrates the unique—and often indirect—path that we all take.
More about Scope here.
Scope: A Conversation on Women in Production invites the most visionary and emerging female producers of today to share their experience, expertise, and outlook on a wide range of creative industries, from advertising and broadcast to film, radio and live performance. Established by Curmudgeon Group, a Chicago based and women-owned creative and experiential production agency, Scope pulls back the curtain on the role of female producers within the global community and the impact of their work on current social and cultural trends, political ideologies, the next generation of artists and storytellers, and the production industry of tomorrow.
There are lots of ways to know if a logo design is successful. Intuitively, you know because both the client and designer are happy with it. It’s easy to talk about. People—your people, the ones who matter—connect with it. Empirically, it brings an increase in sales, memberships, donations, signups.
When you see it, a little voice in your heart says, “Yes!”.
And then there’s tattoo-level success.
When I designed the logo for Women of the ELCA’s Triennial Gathering, I wanted to create something beautiful and fresh, an uplifting symbol of transformation and growth that would help generate enthusiasm for the event. I thought it hit the mark and when the logo was unveiled to the Board, my client told me that the reaction included refrains of “that would make a great tattoo!”. I suggested that we make temporary tattoos to give away at the Gathering. “That’s a good idea,” she said, “but I think they meant real tattoos.”
Sure enough, several months later, we learned that someone did get a tattoo of the logo. A real one. There was much excitement about this. Then someone else got the tattoo. And then someone else. As of this posting, THREE women have inked this artwork onto their bodies. (You can read about one woman’s experience here.)
It goes without saying that I love this. It’s fun, of course, and it’s neat to see. More importantly, my design reflected the message of Women of the ELCA’s Triennial Gathering and it resulted in an image that people connect with and care about.
That’s what I strive to do every day: make something that matters. That is the kind of success I’m after.