What Grabs Your Attention?

When you’re looking at a few publications, what draws you in? It may be the subject matter, but given the subject matter is the same, where do you look? I’ll tell you – you look at something that is well-designed. You are likely not even aware of it, but that’s what grabs your attention.

Here’s an example. This is ZoonooZ, the official newsletter of Popcorn Park Animal Refuge. I’ve been its editor and designer for many years, and while I’ve always been evolving its appearance over time, recently I’ve been been able to make some exciting updates. What’s the difference?

Expanded use of color combined with use of the bleed makes for a much more attractive look. There was a time when using a bleed (extending color or graphics right out to the very edge of the page), upped the printing costs considerably, but with most printers nowadays the cost is the same or the difference, nominal. Result? More design freedom and a look that draws you in.

Here’s what the newsletter looked like 10 years ago. Working with a non-profit can mean keeping a close eye on expenses. Even 10 years ago, 4/color printing cost sufficiently more than 2/color that we stayed within an economical look in black and brown. With the wider availability of digital printing, prices for the two became comparable, and we brought the ZoonooZ into full color.

Here’s page 2 of the same two issues. While I was already moving forward with more inviting use of color and design in the winter issue (left), by the time we got to summer? I was having way more fun. And which overall look are you most drawn to? I suspect it’s the issue on right.

I say fun, because design work should be fun. That’s my thought, anyway. And knowing that good design can draw people in, means they’ll look longer and get more involved with the subject matter, in this case a wildlife refuge. And what do we always hope? For a non-profit, we hope that this will translate into donation dollars for the charity. In the case of a business? More sales.

If I can help you/your organization bring you more attention with some wonderful design, feel free to let me know!

Change Is Good – Especially in Design

Everything in life is always in a state of change; that’s just a given. But it can be a definite good thing when we’re bringing something new and attractive to the table.

Redesign is often a challenge, but when you’ve already been contemplating doing something new, it’s one of the best. Featured here are two covers of the official publication of the humane organization I work with. The cover with multiple images at left is from October 2020 and followed the format we’ve been using for quite some time, featuring multiple animals and their rescue stories. Even though we’d been doing that for a while, I’m still actually pretty happy with it, but it was time for something new.

I did a few mock-ups for a new design, and the cover below was declared a winner. I agree. Although it features only one animal, the photo is fantastic. There are some outstanding photographers on staff, and it’s not too big a chance to take to assume there will be plenty more great shots to choose from going forward.

I took the short index under the small cat photo in the “Inside” box, and went to a broader listing of the contents in a contrasting type color. There’s a subtle sheer black box behind the white text to help it stand out. And I went full bleed.

The result? Something that really stands out. It has been very well-received with plenty of compliments on the change. In addition, I have continued the redesign in the interior for even more appeal.

Take a quick look here, and you’ll see the evolution of this cover, starting back in 2007. However, I began working with them sometime earlier when that same cover was only two colors – primarily black and white with spot color in one signature.

Improving the look of an organization’s or individual’s communications works, and attracts more donors or customers. Change is good!

How can I help you? Please reach out!

How A Newsletter Works for You

It’s a new year and a new opportunity to reach your audience, be they fans, donors, colleagues, or others who have an interest in you. A newsletter can be a great way to let “your people” know what’s going on with you and/or your business.  Depending on your needs, a newsletter can be sent snail mail, digitally, posted on your website and social media for download, or all of the above to meet your recipients and followers’ preferences.

But here’s the thing –  no matter your delivery system, the newsletter still has to be designed, written, and produced. Of course, that’s where I come in! The newsletter you see here is one I created for Popcorn Park, an animal refuge in New Jersey. ZoonooZ  is the official publication of their Zoological Society.

One of the things that I do for the ZoonooZ (and could do for you) is use my excellent writing skills to write the entire publication from start to finish. After I write it, the ZoonooZ then goes to Popcorn Park’s director for proofing and any corrections in content. Or I can design a beautiful newsletter for you; you can send me all the content; and I can do the layout and prep for e or standard mailing. Or I can re-design that tired newsletter you already have that needs a facelift!

This is a simple 4-pager, and it’s gone through some re-designs over the years since its inception 23 years ago. Personally, I would prefer more white space, but because there is always so much content to squeeze in, it presents a challenge. Your newsletter, however, will have a unique look all its own that represents you and/or your organization.

Who do you want to reach? What do you want to tell them about what’s new with your organization or cause? And if you’re a charity, remember — a newsletter keeps your donors in touch with you and serves as a fundraising piece. Can I help you with your newsletter? Just contact me and let me know.

See more samples of newsletters and other graphic projects.