15 July 2012

Library Foundation Marketing Brochure Redesign

The redesigned Foundation brochure exterior.

One day, the president of our library district's Foundation called me to ask if I could send to her an image of a large etched glass partition I had taken a photo of a few months earlier.

Redesigned Foundation brochure interior.
The partition is referred to as the Katherine's Tree, named after a former library patron. The etching is of tree leaves, and donors to the Foundation of a certain monetary level can have their name—or the name of someone for whom they are making the donation for—etched onto an existing leaf motif.

The president went on to explain that a local designer had been in contact with the Foundation to offer his services to redesign their brochure for a modest fee, and that the president wanted to use the image on the brochure. I was happy enough to send her the photograph, but was curious why she was interested to use an independent designer not associated with the library district or foundation to do the work.

Alternative Foundation brochure interior design.
The reason I asked was because in the past I had provided extensive design service for the Foundation when they held a fundraising gala event, and being as the Foundation generously supported the library district, I would have thought it a natural consideration for the Foundation to first inquire about the library's ability and willingness to help them out when possible. I looked at it in terms of helping each other out and keeping the work "in the family" as it were.

Also, considering how we are in a time when budgets are particularly tight and under scrutiny, the library could provide design service for free, rather than have the Foundation spend money on an outside designer. The money they saved could then in turn be put toward the cost of printing...or possibly taking me out to dinner! (just kidding on that option). Either way, I considered that because the library and Foundation were in partnership to serve the same community purpose, we would naturally work together to help each other out when possible.

Old Foundation brochure exterior.
The president liked that idea, so I suggested that she speak with the library director to determine if such an arrangement was possible. She did, and everyone agreed that if I was willing to take on the extra work, that it would be a nice way to help them out.

I met with the president a couple of weeks later to go over her brief and see what she was looking for. She presented me with the most recent Foundation brochure, and an insert that went along with it for filling out and mailing in to become a member. The two would be included into the new brochure design, increasing the size from an 8.5x11 inch trifold page to an 8.5x14 inch quadfold. The old design was created around 2007 and was in need of updating both in content and style. I had seen it before, and agreed that a new concept to accompany the need for updated information provided a good opportunity to give the brochure a fresh look.

Old Foundation brochure interior.
She had already taken an old brochure and marked it up, adding and reducing text in various places to show me how she thought it might be best organized. I came prepared too, with a rough sketch to show her what I was thinking of in terms of concept and supportive imagery. Together, we worked out a plan, and a few weeks later I sent her a couple variations of a sample brochure proof to review and comment on. My samples included the same exterior and two styles of interior--one that featured a very large detail of the Foundation logo, another that featured a close-up shot of a detail of the Katherine's Tree glass etching.

A few weeks later, she sent some additional text and requested some minor content and design revisions. Another round or two of proofs and revisions ensued, then we once everyone was satisfied, I sent her a final proof for the printer, along with the file specifications and contact information for a few local printers. This was so the Foundation could shop around for printing services that suited their needs. They could have a pick of price, paper, turn-around time, and any other incidental services. I anticipated from our conversation that they would opt for a print run of between 5-10 thousand, depending on how they wanted to approach their fiscal spending and any concerns about the potential for future content changes.

I am hopeful that they will be much happier and better served than ever before by their new brochure. I'm looking forward to seeing the results...and maybe that steak dinner too! =)


  1. I like the fresh, new brochure; it has a light, airy look. Cleaned up a lot of stuff, put the logo up front. Nice colors and love the painting of the building! Good job, sir.

  2. Thank you, Bookworm. You wouldn't know it by looking at it (as you shouldn't), but I even "extended" the watercolour painting's sky by adding more to it. I was never a very good true painter, but thanks to the miracle of Photoshop, I can now paint like a master painter!