Although there's little sign of it so far this year, August is usually known as 'Silly season' by journalists. When there's no proper news, we get stories like this one about an old man mistaking a dog waste disposal bin for a letter box and this one about a cow on the loose in Germany.
That aside, there's been very little silly news this August, so I'm about to make up for that, with an article I spotted in the last ever issue of Design Week.
(Click to enlarge)
We'll start with the sensible part of the article, which talks about the challenges of designing for charities including the idea that there should be a low perceived cost. There's also a small amount of advice about how to get good quality images at low cost (through Flickr, Think Stock, i-stock etc).
The National Brain Appeal has a new series of posters which very sensibly uses low cost stock images. Each one features an individual and, rather than choose a shot with eye contact, they've deliberately chosen profile pictures.
'Each subject [is] in profile and turned to the left to echo The National Brain Appeal's logo.'
The creative director goes on:
"We'd like to get to the point where The National Brain Appeal owns that – so you see a profile and you immediately think of the charity."
I'm going to file these comments with the reply I was given by a branding agency when I asked why they'd picked a (particularly unpleasant) colour – 'Well we chose it because no one else is using it'.
There's a reason for that.
If like me you get a little hot under the collar when people ignore what works and do something different (not different and better), you might also enjoy this post from Mark.
In the meantime, here's a few thoughts for designing for charities.
- People engage with shots of a single subject, with eye contact.
- It's not always the hardest need shot that works. Images that convey emotion and allow the viewer to connect with the subject are the best.
- There are all sorts of ways work can look low-cost. We call our approach 'inside-track' and you can see some examples here.
- If you want someone to do something, don't hide away your call to action. Make it big. Make it central to your idea.
- Reversed out copy reduces readership, so does displaying copy at an angle.
- Don't design for yourself, design for your audience.