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!