Category Archives: nonprofit

Your Design Is Full of CRAP

How to use the four principles of graphic design to create images that engage audiences and make your organization look good As a 20+-year professional veteran of the graphic design field – most often working with nonprofits – I believe an organization’s marketing materials need no, require good design. In my experience good graphic design has…

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Giving ourselves permission to feel sadness and anxiety

A few days ago I was scheduled to deliver a marketing workshop to a bunch of educators at a state conference, and I just didn’t know how. I mean, I give workshops all the time. But this was one was more difficult than usual. The day before the workshop, Trump was elected U.S. President, and…

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Ideal Audience Personas

How to create an Ideal Audience Persona: three reasons & a worksheet

Knowing who you are as an organization and how you are perceived is a critical part of the branding process. Once you’ve got a handle on your mission, vision, values, and messages (congrats!), you’ll want to start disseminating your brand identity to the world. But do you really know who you’re trying to reach? A…

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In the Mood for a Mood Board

In the mood for a mood board

A Mood board is a tool that can be used during branding to help organizations get a sense of how their brand is evolving. Mood boards are a collage of: Colors Textures Patterns Images I’m a creative person and graphic designer. Even if I’m not working on a project that involves designing visual identity, I’ll start to…

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The one critical element every great brand needs

The one critical element every great brand needs

I feel like I’m always using the word authentic to qualify the word brand. I do this because authenticity in a brand is of paramount importance. You can’t just make up your brand. No matter how much you want to pay me, I can’t develop the character of your brand either. Your brand is who…

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How an Airbnb experience got me thinking about nonprofit brand values

I spent the first week of August on a road trip with my husband visiting Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in western Kentucky, to go mountain biking. We planned one night en route near Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, where we booked a place to stay on Airbnb. I was immediately attracted to Jamie’s…

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