About Study

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Everyone has a graphic face to present. Whether distinct or forgettable, design is an organization’s self-portrait. To support the millions of dollars spent each year on logos, websites, publications, and promotions, there is scant study or information about its performance. Few can quantify results, many learn from experience, and little is shared. The Sebastian Study seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of investment and business decisions.

The Study analyzes of nonprofit visual communications as representative of business in general.  Judging philanthropic organizations can cover every sector. All groups depend more and more on their visual representation, concerned with developing a strong foundation and managing evolution. This study looks at the best examples and what makes them effective.

The Study includes an examination of  graphics in the virtual reality world of Second Life. 80 nonprofits are reviewed and the best presented. Virtual reality creates new demands, uses real life principles, and must unite a consistent voice in greater media.

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Determining Design Performance

Measuring communication design effectiveness is not simple. It is a blend of factors that include timing, politics, expectations, perceptions, aesthetics, and judgment. Most of these factors are within an organization’s control (especially when anticipating trends).
How does visual perception affect audiences?
How does design grow initiatives?
What can decision-makers do to ensure choosing wise options?
What development process is most effective?
How does design mesh with and support corporate goals?

A graphic designer contributes on the front-end of the communication process. The client follows through and gauges effectiveness—then responsible to evolve and sustain. So a complete study includes the spectrum of design: from development to delivery to results. The Sebastian Study will explore how design affects business. To build knowledge by learning from the end results can help organizations develop a visual vocabulary that makes the most business sense.

With a background in design,* my advantage is a position of educated objectivity. Of the 1500 organizations included, I can view their materials as their audience does. My opinion, however, does not tell the story. So I will discuss with organizations that I review, then add their wisdom to this growing collection.

Hoping to collect the best examples and practices of communication design, the emphasis is to discover what can be learned from the results. —Liane Sebastian, publishing pioneer:
Wisdom of Work blog index
Sebastian Study design analysis
Idea Initiators creativity self-seminar
www.wofw.com design presentations

* My clients are exempt from The Sebastian Study (they know who they are).

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