Conquer Your Website Design Accessibility and Inclusion Challenge

Making sure that your website reaches and communicates effectively to everyone requires attention to many factors—design, language, search optimization, and adherence to accessibility guidelines and regulations. I’ll look specifically at website design for accessibility in this blog post and address inclusive language and other factors in a future post.

Posted by Pat Heffernan on 11/9/17 10:05 AM

A Vermont designer’s marketing observations in Morocco


For her recent birthday, my wife wanted to wake up in an exotic location. She wanted to experience Morocco, despite the warnings from friends and family about "that part of the world" in this current geopolitical climate. Nevertheless, she persisted, and soon we were poring over printouts from Google Earth, planning the route that would take us around the entire country in seven days.

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 7/27/17 10:00 AM

How to select the best typography for your infographics


You sit down at your computer to develop an infographic and couldn’t be more excited to share it with your mission driven audience. Then you suddenly remember you’re not a designer. Not to worry. In the online world today, nearly anyone has access to free graphic design software and tools to create an infographic. Unfortunately, the increase of free design tools has created an increase in badly designed infographics, and poor typography is often the reason. Your goal is to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time — a poorly designed infographic will be a big fail.

Posted by Guest Blogger on 4/20/17 10:00 AM

Image Resolution and Quality: What you need to know.


Why do you need to know about image resolution? If you are ever going to print something, put a graphic on the web, or create a PowerPoint presentation yourself, you want to know about resolution and why it matters for quality.

If you are partnering with graphic design or website development professionals, you need to know what resolution is needed from your digital asset library so your deliverables can be top quality.

Posted by Dave Bowers on 3/30/17 10:00 AM

Vision Changes: Typography for Aging Audiences


A reader recently responded to my blog post Typeface Choice: Ask yourself Three Questions, by raising an important series of questions on changing vision, information accessibility and type readability for an aging population. The reader works for a nonprofit community support agency that is developing outreach materials for rural seniors, adults with disabilities, caregivers and potential volunteers, and wanted advice on the best typeface to use to “keep the printed conversation going with our target population.”

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 3/23/17 10:00 AM

Which works best for changemakers—Illustration or Photography?


You need visual impact for your upcoming, mission-driven campaign or promotion. Which will work harder for you— illustration or photography? The short answer is, whatever your marketing professional’s research shows will appeal most to your target audience. This research can include customer age, income, education, nationality, gender, political leanings, lifestyle, buying history, and more. There are many other factors, though, such as the look and feel of your campaign, your brand story, the specifics of your marketing efforts. Every situation is unique, but here are some guidelines.

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 2/23/17 10:00 AM

Design for Activism


Whether you are marketing a product to improve the environment using triple bottom line principles, working on a campaign to increase awareness of your socially responsible community service organization, or rallying support for your ideas for change using grass roots activism, impactful design will play a critical role in your success.

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 1/26/17 10:30 AM

How to Achieve Marketing Consistency in Your Materials


So you’ve decided to invest in a multi-faceted, multi-channel marketing campaign. Your presence, message and branding will appear in many channels—online ads, a website, a video on your website, newspaper ads, magazine print ads, signage, brochures, etc. Wondering how you will achieve a consistent look across all these iterations, and what just exactly is "marketing consistency" anyway? 

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 10/20/16 10:54 AM

Why should your nonprofit invest in good design?


Why should your nonprofit invest in good design? Your mission is pressing, the needs are great — why spend money on design when it seems like it would be better spent on something that has a more direct effect on your customer. Here’s why. Good design is universally understood and people respond to it.

Good design sells. Whatever you’re selling or promoting.

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 9/15/16 11:00 AM

10 Effective Design Principles You Need to Know


Whether you’re creating a new page design for your website, an online ad, print brochure or an infographic, many of the same design principles apply. Color choice, use of shapes, and page layout or composition can make or break your marketing’s effectiveness. The difference between putting information on a page and actually making it visually appealing and effective so it works well for your marketing, is a singular focus on visual hierarchy or eye path.

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 7/21/16 11:00 AM

Capturing the Event: Don't forget your visual checklist


You’ve been planning your next event for a while now — finding a location, building a schedule and making sure your speakers are ready to go. A lot of preparation goes into making an event go smoothly, but don't forget to record it. Part of your pre-planning should include an event visual checklist. At any fundraiser, product launch, or forum there is great opportunity for event visuals that can tell a story.

Posted by Tara Pereira on 7/14/16 11:00 AM

Marketing with Color: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly


Last week I ran across a New York Times article detailing one marketing research company’s process to determine the ugliest color in the world. The winner, Pantone 448, was voted ugliest color in a survey of 1,000 smokers. As the article reports, “It was described as looking like death, filth, lung tar or baby excrement…” The purpose of this was to use that color in a social marketing campaign against tobacco—to get people to associate ugliness with tobacco use, to reinforce its detrimental health affects in a visual and subconscious way.

Yet some people have positive associations of "chocolate candy" for any dark brown color. How can you and your team decide on the best combination of marketing with color and effectiveness for your next project?

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 6/30/16 11:30 AM

How to Avoid 5 Common Image Mistakes on Your Website


"Use a picture. It's worth a thousand words."- Arthur Brisbane, newspaper editor 

Images are a must. They draw interest, convey emotion, and amplify your message. But it's easy for busy changemakers to overlook essential quality checks so your images don't work as hard for you as they can. Here are the 5 common image mistakes made on websites and blogs (and how to avoid them!)

Posted by Dave Bowers on 5/26/16 10:00 AM

Make a great impression at your next tradeshow


The last time you strolled through a tradeshow you probably made a mental note about those booths and displays that were really engaging and those that looked a bit weak or boring. Here are a few ideas about how to showcase your brand in the best possible light, for the price that fits your budget.

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 5/19/16 10:00 AM

Powerful Image Selection for the Mission-Driven


When you are given a document to read or you are emailed a newsletter containing information to keep you up-to-date, what is going to keep you reading and scrolling? Certainly not never-ending text! That’s what images are for. We need to keep our materials visually relevant as well as informative. But how do you know if it is the right type of image to help you tell the story for your mission-driven organization?

Posted by Guest Blogger on 4/14/16 12:30 PM

Photo style guidelines: Seven tips for your public sector agency


You're considering an image for your upcoming campaign, but you have an uneasy feeling about its content, tone and style. Perhaps establishing guidelines for creation of new images didn't seem that important for a public sector agency, but now you have more and more calls for images, in a variety of contexts, social media, print advertising, website sliders, etc. You're starting to see the importance of consistency in feel, color, subject matter in your communication, so let’s fall back, regroup and establish photo style guidelines that tell your story, support your mission, and save you time as you move forward.

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 3/24/16 10:00 AM

How Much Will It Cost? Start at the end.


Of course the short answer to your question about the cost of an important new creative project is “It depends.” But that’s not a particularly helpful answer, so instead I like to suggest starting at the end.

Posted by Dave Bowers on 11/19/15 10:00 AM

Marketing Musings from an American in Ireland


Recently my wife and I traveled to Ireland for our son's destination wedding. Here are a few observations made with my marketing, design and photography eye.

Posted by Brad Pettengill on 11/12/15 10:00 AM