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Designs on Democracy

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Design Action Collective

  • how to get the best out of your design team: best are those who really know who are they, know they're mission, know their clients. not just cool looking, but have a solution for story to tell
  • how do you want to tell your story? what's you angle? interactive process, back and forth with designers
  • branding. creating a logo is very interesting process, has to come from organization. the soul of the organization, don't need every bit of info on the logo. logo is a handshake to begin a conversation. a reminder, like signing a letter. logo is one piece of the branding. what's important is to tell your story in a way that people recognize
  • website: consistent color scheme. don’t need a lot of flashy graphics. web process - every graphic design shop has its own sheet (creative brief form) to clarify what you want; wire frame, color scheme.
  • how do you avoid a situation when you're trying to be poetic, makes it harder to understand; how to be creative while viewer still understands message. if audience does not get the metaphor, doesn’t matter how cool it is. know the audience and know what you're trying to get across. creative problem solving process is what so exciting ( as well as frustrating)
  • are there consensus building strategies? how do you have an effective efficient back and forth between designers and advocate? point person on both ends – only one person talks to the designer. on the design end, bunch of bouncing ideas, only one talks to the organizer
  • questions organizer should ask before approaching designer: what is your org, who are you trying to reach, what's the demographic, what's the distribution plan? won't do any design work until everyone's on the same page
  • how to manage your client: have a very clear idea of what you can assert. others sat, you give me the money and I'll give you what you want. as designers we have a responsibly t to tell a story accurately
  • knowing who your audience is. organization has to be clear on this, before have logo or design
  • how do you define success? how do you know if design and campaign is successful? what's the gauge for how well the design worked? keeping in touch with clients, we get feedback. you'll get buzz about it, gee where'd you get your stuff done?
  • what's the timeline between hey I want a logo and here it is ? depends – they normally set that up front. best practices process: concept discussion, first round of concepts, feedback, second round, feedback, final design, tweaks. each stage can be fractured out into multiple back and forths. responsibility of designer and client to keep track, what it means to the budget and timeline
  • how find photographers and fine artists and illustrators? we go by word of mouth, referrals, people we know who worked with these people. relationships built over time
  • hard to convince struggling nonprofit to go to professional designer in the first place. everyone in nonprofit runs on shoestring budget. always someone to do it for free or cheaper. question is it worth it?
    • professional designers add value. the way to save costs is to have a good conversation with the designer and talk through the process. the more streamlined it is, the less money it takes.
    • find a designer to sit in your board. interview designers and have them sell to you. find an investor to pay that bill. invite designer to attend events.
    • what's the cost? industry standard: $100-150 per hour. way cheaper than a lawyer. sliding scale, some pro bono depending on the cause. if you come to the table with clear and concise ideas, lots you can do in an hour
    • find movement person who will do design and freelance work
    • takes research to find the right designers
    • you are paying them for a service – if you don't like the color, font, tell them
    • good fast cheap, you can only have two of the three. be clear on what you want
    • designers add value to the campaign – having an understanding and respect for what they're trying to do, their time, will get the best amount of work for the amount of time. clear, respectful communication

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