5 Steps to Great Graphic Design for Nonprofits

Nothing is as compelling as managing the design, of a printed piece or web look for your organization, service or campaign. It’s easy to get swept away envisioning the impact it will have on your target audiences. And the creative adventure of bringing that piece, or web design, to life, is usually a welcome change from strategic and administrative work.
   
However, the excitement often fades when you dive into the process of finding, hiring, and managing a designer or design team. I urge you to take these five steps to generate the design results that make the greatest impact for your nonprofit:

===> Step One: Take your time to find the RIGHT designer.
NOTE: Take this step immediately, not when you’re in desperate need of a designer.
       
    Here’s how to find your designers:
   
==> Step Two: Gather favorite design samples
       
Keep a folder of favorites, printed materials you identify as good design in the same range as your
organization’s image or the image you want to establish. Bookmark website designs too.
                                 
==> Step Three: Compile your list of prospective designers
   
Contact communications colleagues (make sure you like their design sensibility first, judging by their products) and ask for designer recommendations. Get basic information on pricing, work style, and client base. Also contact the communications director at those organizations who produced the print materials or websites you’ve tagged.
    
==> Step Four: Hone your list to the top three or four by interviewing ten to twelve designers
       
Contact the top ten to twelve before you have a design project ready to go. At that point, you won’t want to waste a minute in getting design estimates in.
               
==> Step Five: Write a creative brief the moment you get a whiff of a pending writing or design job.
                        
For details on the "how-to" of each step, read the full Getting Attention article.
          

Nancy Schwartz on April 11, 2006 in Graphic Design, Nonprofit Communications, People | 1 comment
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  • Arizona Graphic Designer

    If one is designing for a non-profit or a for profit business, the same standards of graphic design applies.

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