I’ve worked with the Salvation Army’s International Development department for a long time. This work has included their bi-annual newsletter Develop, JUST Gifts catalogue and various exhibition resources. Each year I help the department design material for their focus project. Previous years projects have included Captivated, Watershed and Farm.
This year’s project – Together We Rise – focuses on supporting communities who are working together to save, work and learn together. The project strapline ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ encapsulates the message.
At the start of the project I received a brief that outlined the key messages, the desired look and feel, the target audience for the material and the various elements required. Along with the brief I was supplied with a mood board. This document contained a number of images which highlighted the desired style for graphics and colour palette.
Overall the goal was to create something that communicated the real hope people have when they work together.
Off the back of the brief and mood board I produced a concept document (ahead of schedule) that contained a logo, graphic elements, colour palette and typography styles. The initial feedback was fairly positive but, unfortunately, I hadn’t hit the nail on the head. So it was back to the drawing board.
If at first you don’t succeed
Based on the feedback I produced a second concept document. The feedback from this showed I was moving in the right direction but was still short of the destination. Carl, my main contact with the department, sent a few other images to communicate the style they were looking for.
Another concept document was sent. This time it was decided that we were close enough to start working on the leaflet. In the process of designing the leaflet a few of the elements were refined. I’ve often found you can only go so far with concept ideas. It’s often not until you start working on the actual documents, be they flyers, leaflets, posters, banner stands, etc, that things really start to take shape.
And there’s more
The leaflet was the most important part of the project. Once that was cracked I moved onto the other elements. These included a poster, background slides for use in presentations and adverts.
A pleasure, a privilege and sometimes a problem
It’s always a pleasure to work on these projects for a number of reasons. Firstly each and every project is aimed at helping people in less than ideal situations. And secondly they stretch me as a designer. Every designer has their own style, one which they are comfortable with. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and simply churn out the same style again and again.
The International Development team need the material for each of their projects to look different. They always provide a very clear brief. That’s helpful but sometimes daunting. On a few occasions over the years they’ve asked for a style that isn’t my natural default style. I’ve been forced to do things differently, to explore previously unused functions in the software I use. This has been good for me. I’ve grown and developed. And that’s good for all my clients.
On the Together We Rise leaflet is an African proverb. It says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” If I’d been left to my own devices I could have done the work on this project a lot faster. Instead I worked on it with Carl and his team. It was a slower process but I believe the design has gone further by working together.