You know that feeling you get when you’re reading some important article on your phone, or scrolling through Instagram, and suddenly, the phone rings interrupting your important business?
You might feel disgruntled at having your bubble burst, but then you remember: phones are for calling people! I think we all forget.
In 4th grade, my teacher would go on and on about the importance of writing skills, and how vital writing would be in our everyday lives as adults. I’m not here to get into a conversation about the loss of proper spelling, debate the double space after a period, or discuss my favorite new slang terms (savage). I do want to say, my teacher was right — given the prevalence of texting, email, and social media, writing is more important than ever.
The problem is, with email being omnipresent, we feel pressure to write and respond quickly, not always giving ourselves the time we need to process information. While it’s true that some people process and express best through writing, many people benefit from a conversation. I was reminded of this when I called a client with a question instead of responding to their email.
Over the phone, we were able to quickly get over the obstacle with the revisions I was working on — and it was something neither of us had thought of until we spoke to one another.
Design is a conversation. It’s a visual conversation with the audience, and that is why good design is rooted in real conversations between real people.
*The Union Method*
Uniting strategy and visuals to create the impact you need.
What happens in the mind of a “creative” person is always mysterious to a “non-creative” person. It’s true that intuition is a powerful tool for creativity, but it’s also true that intuition is born from experience. Creative work is work — it takes practice, discipline, thoughtfulness, and skill.
While creating something that is visually pleasing is always an important part of what I do, something that is only visually pleasing, that doesn’t rely on any strategic intentions, is worthless. Getting to the goals, intentions, and strategy is the foundation of the Union Method — the process every client and every project go through to make the most effective design possible.
What’s valuable about having a repeatable method is that it’s strategic in and of itself. The Union Method is designed to be flexible enough to work on different types of projects, but concrete enough to get the results needed in different situations. It’s both intuitive and intentional, so clients can trust that the work we’re doing is effective, without needing to micromanage every aspect of the creative process.
Your fundraising goal.
Why does it matter?
What would happen if you didn’t do it?
Who does it matter to?
How would people’s lives be different if you quit tomorrow?
These questions are at the root of how we design.
At every new stage, with every new objective, these are the questions you must ask if you want to make the biggest impact you can.
Contemplation and action can be at odds, you have to find the balance of asking and doing that works for your organization, but don’t sail a rudderless ship by getting mired in day to day operations and forgetting to check the map.
Check back next week for more insights into how we think strategically about every design project we take on.