Posts tagged ‘The Churchill Centre’

August 21, 2010

Deficits at the Top

overview
In times of prosperity, organizations want to show off graphically. In times of recession, organizations proudly do a lot with a little. Yet there is always a line of professionalism to uphold. Except for nonprofits. Amateur graphics run rampant, which can’t do much for a group’s credibility!

As digital tools allow groups to create amateur graphics more easily, the overall quality of design has diminishes. Ironically, design is more important than it has ever been due to the Internet. An even playing field allows small groups to compete with large groups, local orgs to compete with national, national with international. The scope has exploded!

In completing my evaluation of the Midwestern nonprofits, the 80/20 Rule is in full force. Of the 700 evaluated, 160 have graphics that score highly enough to discuss. Yet to find a consistently strong graphic strategy seems impossible. None score high in all five categories!

Beginning with the overall graphics of those who score the highest:

DEFICITS AT THE TOP:

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, preview, review, is strong in every category but publications.

Metals Service Center Institute, preview, review, could have a better website.

Second City, review to come, has an unimaginative logo and scan publications.

Popcorn Board, review to come, has a confused identity but strong in all other categories.

International Association of Lighting Designers, preview, review, is compelling graphically but weak in publications.

Entrepreneurs Organization, preview, review, compiles a strong package that could go one step further to be truly distinct.

Churchill Centre, preview, review, offers a lot of online features but is weak in publications.

Perhaps the two organizations that come the closest to being a true blend of excellence are the Entrepreneurs Organization and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Both prove that big budgets and fancy approaches are not as good as following basic rules in good communication.

Each week, I will examine organizational graphics that are of the Not the Best but Could Be category. Visual communications include the most important membership benefits and the biggest ways to attract prospective members. If improved strategically, each group explored has tremendous, if not unlimited, potential.

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The Sebastian Study 2010, national review will be available at the end of the year. If you want to be sure that your organization is included, please click here.

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June 14, 2010

Churchill Centre

overview
In a market where a niche focus is strong, The Churchill Centre has an advantage. Conveying mission and purpose clearly can be an organization’s greatest communication challenge. But with such a focused dedication on the study of Winston Churchill, transforming past wisdom to current relevance is an inspirational journey.

Five Criteria for Graphics that Work:
Evaluating The Churchill Centre
spiral bullet Use of logo: An organization’s logo has a story to tell—encapsulating the personality, philosophy, and tone of an entire organization.
Although obvious, The Churchill Centre logo gives the Churchill portrait a graphic distinction. Crisp, memorable, and communicating without words, this logo offers flexibility and reflects the greatness it represents.

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.
Strong and succinct design makes the reader feel that Churchill’s example and wisdom is as current today and when he lived. There is a blend of education and entertainment—even a timeline of his daily activities. The range of offerings invokes an adventure into “one of the longest and most interesting lives of any person who has ever lived.”

spiral bullet Content composition: Building from a recognizable theme, the presentation is easy to grasp, clear, and engaging.
A great example of editing and organization, The Churchill Centre’s website has an accessible amount of choices—offering a range of interests—but is not overwhelming. The presentation, although conservative, supports its content, which is engaging and even fun. The site alone invokes a comprehensive educational journey. Redundancy, however, on many internal web pages between narrative and side links seem to not take advantage of the page space.

spiral bullet Consistent style: A series presents a visual language and an ambient atmosphere, promoting a positive experience and relationship with the audience.
Supporting a terrific logo, The Churchill Centre’s overall graphic approach is simple, yet provides a sophisticated geometry. The logo, which can appeal small, inspires icons as part of its visual vocabulary.

spiral bullet Distinctive: The most successful presentations have a memorable twist—something extra that is unique.
From exploring The Churchill Centre’s website, the visitor is led to comprehensive resources for information on Churchill—even including “books of dubious merit.” Using web media to perfection, the casual visitor receives a quick overview and the dedicated historian finds a complete resource. Both discover the relevance of Churchill as a visionary.

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

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