All About Caring Project
Art direction, stakeholder interviews, word association, copywriting, illustration
Each year, AIGA hosts a Createathon: a 24-hour-long event where creative folks use their talents to help nonprofit organizations grow. I was assigned to refresh the brand for All About Caring, a nonprofit organization devoted to providing students with ongoing support and services during the transitional phase of high school students going to college.
As art director, I led a team of three creative individuals each with their own unique talents brought to the table: a graphic designer, a brand designer, and an illustrator
If the predominant challenge isn’t obvious yet, I’ll make it perfectly clear: My team and I had 24 hours to complete this project. While there was some creative briefing and communication with the client before the Createathon actually began, the bulk of our work took place over the course of 24 hours. Four designers, in a small office space overnight? Time management was imperative.
At the sound of the bell, the team made introductions and we immediately discussed a schedule of work, how much time to spend on each task, review sessions, and who works best under what circumstances (Do you need frequent breaks? Naps? Are you a night owl? Early bird?, etc.). I assigned owners to the final deliverables, empowering my team to take the lead in their own way.
In preparation for the evening’s event, I held a creative brief interview with our nonprofit’s points of contact. This acted as the foundation for our design decisions during the event.
Once we took care of administrative tasks, my team and I started brainstorming and planning the rebrand. We started with a word association exercise based off of feedback within the creative brief, then moved on to mapping visual associations based off of that exercise.
In the creative brief, the nonprofit owners used the phrases “A hands-on feel” “supportive”, “one-on-one”, and “personal”. Part of their services include preparing care packages for teens heading off to college. These care packages are assembled by hand, so we focused on those aspects using a craft paper texture in our elements.
For one of our exercises, I asked my team to create mood boards that we would then evaluate and discuss.
We evaluated the current brand and, with our brainstormed visual associations, we created two logo concepts both focused on a “Helping Hands” motif.
After some deliberating, we chose concept one. The second logo, while well-crafted and thoughtful, didn't quite hit the mark of evoking a hand-made feel that we were looking for.
With the logo and brand direction settled, I assigned each team member pieces of collateral to which we would apply the brand. This included stationery, a brochure, and other materials. Creating a brand refresh for an organization is all well and good, but without context, these materials won't go very far. So, we created a set of brand guidelines to provide our client with a design roadmap.
We also created custom illustrations that reflect a “hand-made with love and care” style. We complemented these elements with bright color highlights to evoke a “youthful” vibrancy that our client wanted.
The organization was thrilled with the results and began using their brand elements immediately. I'm incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such talented designers to use our talents for good!