On Saturday, May 2, 2015, a group of over 70 local designers and developers donated their time for the annual Design Like Mad marathon in Milwaukee, WI. We spent the day helping area non-profits with their brands. This year, I was partnered with Samantha Lenox and Joel Kelly. They are both professionals who work in the Milwaukee area, and I had never met them before. A week before, our creative team met with the group of Lead2Change representatives to determine what their business needs were and to develop a plan of action for the day of the event.
About Design Like Mad
Design Like Mad is an organization that puts together one-day “design marathons” that pairs teams of creative professionals with non-profits to provide pro-bono design work. The teams work on projects such as logo design, business cards, letterheads, website development, marketing and other promotional materials — all for free. Why do we do it? Because, we believe that combining creative minds with compassionate organizations builds a stronger community. Find out more about Design Like Mad »
Lead2Change is a youth leadership organization committed to authentically engaging in young people in meaning activities that will aid them in being successful leaders in college, their careers and the community. Their mission is to empower and inspire youth to be catalyst for change in their communities. This is accomplished through Philanthropy, Neighborhood Engagement and Career Readiness programming. Find out more about Lead2Change »
Discovery Meeting Re-cap
During our discovery meeting with Dionne Grayson, our Lead2Change liaison, Samantha, Joel and I learned all about their organization and everything they were hoping to receive design help with. They were entering year five as an organization and wished to have a redesigned logo, website, and print materials (business card, letterhead, envelope, brochure, banners) that looked “more grown-up,” attractive, and effective at conveying their organization’s values. Their new brand should reflect and communicate the sense of enhancement, youth, energy, and commitment to their target audience. The extra challenge for us was going to be that they have two completely different target audiences: 1) Professionals and corporations that they reach out to for support in the form of donations and volunteers. 2) Young students from 13 to 18 years old attending public and private schools in the Greater Milwaukee area looking to join their philanthropy, career readiness and neighborhood engagement programs. In addition to the main logo, they had specific sub-logos for each of their programs that would need to change in order to be consistent with the new brand look.
The list was quite long, and daunting for an 8-hour time period, however our group was not discouraged. We developed a plan of action and eagerly waited until the following weekend for when we could start working!
Design Day Rundown
On Saturday morning, everyone arrived at the Milwaukee Public Library for our marathon work day. After a brief kick-off meeting, the three of us jumped right into design and spent an hour knocking out some logo concepts. We focused on adding a human-element to the logo in order to build a greater emotional connection and decided to keep the orange and blue color scheme since it was working for the two target audiences.
Around 10am, Dionne and her representatives stopped by and we each presented our collection of logo concepts. Since we had so many projects to tackle, there wasn’t much time to waiver back and forth from logo to logo, so they were really forced to make a decision on the spot. I think this was a good thing actually, because they were actually able to go with the first one that “felt right” instead of including a group of opinions. In the end, they decided to go with one of my concepts, with very little editing, and they were very happy with the result.
Next, we made the group decision that Samantha would take lead on reworking their website, and Joel would focus on the corporate identity pieces and postcard, and I would spend the rest of the allotted time on building out the sub-program logos and designing banners with those new logos.
The biggest issue with the current sub-program logos was that they lacked unity. For the re-designed logos, I used the same typefaces, colors, and shapes in order to convey a sense of unity.
Somehow everything came together great under the time constraint. We worked really well as a group and Lead2Change was thrilled with the end result. Check out our final presentation here.
At the end of the design day, 5pm, every group presented to the rest of the creatives and non-profit groups in the library’s theater. There was a lot of emotion and excitement for the great changes that were made for every brand.
It was an exhaustingly successful day for me. I had a blast helping out for a good cause and I hope to be a part of this kind of event again in the future.