Archive for ‘Sector: professional societies’

August 12, 2010

Entrepreneurs Organization

overview
Few topics are more difficult to express than general business. Most organizations with such a wide range of constituents resort to horribly cliqued images of brief cases, conference rooms, coffee cups, and computer screens. It is hard to stand out. But the Entrepreneurs Organization brings a fresh and vibrant approach to express the challenges of entrepreneurialism.

Five Criteria for Graphics that Work:
Evaluating Entrepreneurs Organization

spiral bullet Use of logo: An organization’s logo has a story to tell—encapsulating the personality, philosophy, and tone of an entire organization.
Using the simple letterforms, the Entrepreneurs Organization’s logo embellishes simple letterforms with a few equally simple geometric shapes that convey time, success, business, measurement, and progress. It is quite remarkable how much can be done with so little! The single red color adds pizzazz and recognizability. Infinitely flexible, this image is a good example of ‘less is more.’

spiral bullet Theme: The visual first impression is dominated by the total gestalt—look, feel, purpose, and benefit. Further contact is consistent and supports personality and philosophy.
Building from the “O” in the logo, the Entrepreneurs Organization incorporates the symbol into other headers. The typographic style and use of black, orange, and white gives publications a clear geometry.

spiral bullet Content composition: Building from a recognizable theme, the presentation is easy to grasp, clear, and engaging.
Clear and crisp, the Entrepreneurs Organization’s home page does not allow the photography to visually dominate. Instead images accent the four major topics, organized under the main tabs. Although there are many choices, the composition simply groups selections, fitting the screen perfectly. Media choices are expertly handled and also don’t predominate but support the presentation.

spiral bullet Consistent style: A series presents a visual language and an ambient atmosphere, promoting a positive experience and relationship with the audience.
Entrepreneurs Organization blends a multimedia delivery in a seamless and consistent way through style and color. Their publications expertly use interactive platforms. Their newsletter builds from the blog structure. But their magazine mimics print, albeit technologically advanced, through the KnowledgeBase platform. Although it requires a lot of scrolling (and does offer a print version), this example shows the difficulties in trying to design one media through the principles and features of another.

spiral bullet Distinctive: The most successful presentations have a memorable twist—something extra that is unique.
Although they may not be the most innovative, the Entrepreneurs Organization’s graphics certainly are on the visionary end of the strategic design spectrum. Weaving various media delivery into a thematic cohesion is one of the marketing manager’s greatest challenges. A study of EO’s offerings is a lesson in what to do right.

See the Overview of the best Midwest organizations to present strong and compelling graphics.

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July 8, 2010

American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery

overview
If any group should look good graphically and understand the importance of first impressions it should be an association comprised of cosmetic surgeons. So the warm and well-presented image that the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery presents is expected. Appropriately, it is polished, attractive, simple, and elegant. Generally, to call graphics ‘pretty’ is condescending—but here, it is a compliment.

Five Criteria for Graphics that Work:
Evaluating American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery

spiral bullet Use of logo: An organization’s logo has a story to tell—encapsulating the personality, philosophy, and tone of an entire organization.
Combining the letterforms (C and S) with brush stroke swashes creates an elegant and humanistic logo for the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. Somewhat flame-like (which doesn’t feel as appropriate as the other references), its configuration is distinctive. Although the typography is very conventional, as a classic unit, the logo block has flexibility. However, the logo presents best in two colors.

spiral bullet Theme: The visual first impression is dominated by the total gestalt—look, feel, purpose, and benefit. Further contact is consistent and supports personality and philosophy.
Beautiful faces gaze at the viewer from AACS’s pages. Gorgeous photos rotate on the website which encourages visual intrigue. The theme of cosmetic perfection, though obvious, is enhanced with a color palette, geometric borders, and strong use of a white background.

spiral bullet Content composition: Building from a recognizable theme, the presentation is easy to grasp, clear, and engaging.
Probably the easiest way to make static templates interesting is through photography. AACS uses them with expertise and appealing composition—distinct from fashion yet exuding glamour and health. Though their publications are limited to members-only, the website content is targeted well to the viewer groups of both patients and surgeons.

spiral bullet Consistent style: A series presents a visual language and an ambient atmosphere, promoting a positive experience and relationship with the audience.
AACS’s design strategy is simple and easy to implement. Although they invite readers to share cosmetic surgery stories, what happens to these stories? It is not clear. Yet other information, such as the Myth and Fact section is educational and helpful.

spiral bullet Distinctive: The most successful presentations have a memorable twist—something extra that is unique.
There are more exciting graphics to be found from other organizations, but few that are more elegant or tasteful. AACS uses the basics well, imparts a crisp professionalism and accessible presentation.

See the Overview of the best Midwest organizations to present strong and compelling graphics.

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June 16, 2010

Society of Women Engineers

overview
To organize information for compelling communications, skillful marketing encompasses a blend of making the complex simple, using space wisely, and choosing media for meaningful features. The Society of Women Engineers accomplishes a strong understanding of strategic integration. Investigating their graphics is a tour of handling the fundamentals effectively.

Five Criteria for Graphics that Work:
Evaluating The Society of Women Engineers

spiral bullet Use of logo: An organization’s logo has a story to tell—encapsulating the personality, philosophy, and tone of an entire organization.
Though simple and almost elegant, the SWE logo is not as exciting as their website design. Although the logo conveys industry symbolism with the gear image, the design is not as contemporary. However, it scores highly for flexibility, simplicity, and recognizability.

spiral bullet Theme: The visual first impression is dominated by the total gestalt—look, feel, purpose, and benefit. Further contact is consistent and supports personality and philosophy.
Although subtle, the look and feel of SWE’s graphics is crisp and ties together through color and symbolic icons. All programs and features have visual clues that support the stylistic approach and tie them together. The use of video to support the various programs is particularly well done.

spiral bullet Content composition: Building from a recognizable theme, the presentation is easy to grasp, clear, and engaging.
SWE’s site excels in the layout of information and inviting pages. With consideration to screen size, the home page is exciting to view, pulls the reader into the main choices from “above the fold” and places further attractions below. The designer is sensitive to how people view and how to prioritize content.

spiral bullet Consistent style: A series presents a visual language and an ambient atmosphere, promoting a positive experience and relationship with the audience.
The friendly and accessible approach continues through all SWE’s publications. Particularly worth viewing is their online newsletter with links to current programs and features. Easy to read with short drop-down articles, the All Together newsletter represents strong communicative policies. It brings their comprehensive offerings together in a monthly overview. Conversely, though SWE’s magazine uses high tech features online, it demonstrates the difficulties of trying to make print e-legible. The scrolling and cumbersome interface works counter to their otherwise savvy use of e-functions.

spiral bullet Distinctive: The most successful presentations have a memorable twist—something extra that is unique.
Anyone who wishes to express a professional, visually inviting, and integrated presentation can learn from viewing SWE’s materials. It is exciting to see blended media support a range of initiatives, provide useful and easy online features, and develop an engaging visual language. Their graphics make me wish I were an engineer!

See the Overview of the best Midwest organizations to present strong and compelling graphics.

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June 13, 2010

American Society for Surgery of the Hand

overview
Simple is generally better. Too many organizations make the mistake of trying to be comprehensive at the cost of clarity. As busy eyes scan, the shorter and snappier a message can be, the more likely comprehension will thrive. American Society for Surgery of the Hand expresses a range of offerings with an elegant and inspiring approach.

Five Criteria for Graphics that Work:
Evaluating American Society for Surgery of the Hand
spiral bullet Use of logo: An organization’s logo has a story to tell—encapsulating the personality, philosophy, and tone of an entire organization.
Hands are one of the most challenging of forms to illustrate. Art schools teach that the test of drawing skills is the ability to render hands convincingly. ASSH achieves a graceful and elegant representation. The brush-stroke infuses a humanness that blends with a simple graphic treatment, though the typography is not as imaginative.

spiral bullet Theme: The visual first impression is dominated by the total gestalt—look, feel, purpose, and benefit. Further contact is consistent and supports personality and philosophy.
Carrying the friendliness of the logo to the website home page, the viewer is welcomed by simple choices, directed at viewer interest. The photos communicate the three audience segments even without the words. However, the template overwhelms the theme on subsequent pages.

spiral bullet Content composition: Building from a recognizable theme, the presentation is easy to grasp, clear, and engaging.
Classic and simple, the logo and homepage presentation is distinctive. Almost a splash-page, if there is content that appeals to all the groups, this page could be extended below the fold. However, few organizations do as well above the fold!

spiral bullet Consistent style: A series presents a visual language and an ambient atmosphere, promoting a positive experience and relationship with the audience.
Although the ASSH website presents a geometric style with rounded corners, the simplicity of the homepage is not reflected as well on subsequent pages. Navigation is clear, but lacks the warmth they began. A better template could be chosen that makes more efficient use of space.

spiral bullet Distinctive: The most successful presentations have a memorable twist—something extra that is unique.
Any organization with such a strong logo should make greater use of it. Rounding corners on boxes adds a flair but doesn’t take advantage of the potential present. Yet, it is refreshing to be so welcomed and supported with strong and clear information. Unusual, the ASSH ABOUT segment, so touted by the other 99% of sites, is found under the Member section.

See the Overview of the best Midwest organizations to present strong and compelling graphics.

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