8 inspiring design ideas

The biggest challenge facing our clients is likely to be how to cut through the noise and connect with stakeholders. Here are eight ideas to get you design-inspired.

1. Extract the best from your brand

It’s never been more important to make sure your audience knows why your organisation matters and this starts with your brand. Market leaders are distilling their brands down to its purest essence. Consider streamlining your core assets to ensure your brand puts its best foot forward.

plan international uk-trustees annual report
A spread from Plan International UK Trustees’ Annual Report showing good use of their branding elements.

2. Be brave with colour

If you want to appear relevant and contemporary, consider being bolder with your colour choices. New tones are fresh and modern and will bring personality to your brand.

certitude annual review 2017
Bold colours are used to liven up the theme of Certitude’s annual review.

3. Revamp your visuals

Why not commission some contemporary photography or illustrations to help differentiate your organisation from the competition? The trend for hand-drawn graphics is a smart way to be unique and the use of flat colourful illustrations and infographics chimes well with current audiences. In terms of photography, we see the millennial generation responding to grittier, ‘honest’ photography which communicates the integrity of an organisation.

infographics design for malaria consortium
Bespoke illustrations for Malaria Consortium transformed complex messages into an attractive piece of infographics.

4. Make it personal

Digital is here to stay and it’s certainly efficient but when you want to reach out to your audience, online can only take you so far. Valued clients are once again beginning to appreciate receiving something personal and tactile. You might want to revisit your annual review and think about creating a truly memorable piece of print.

booklet design celebrating frances taylor foundation
A booklet celebrating the diversity of Frances Taylor Foundation’s work through personal stories.

5. Website quick fix

If your website is looking a bit tired, how about revamping the home page? Fresh photography, bold headlines and a new intro are a good place to start but a one-page redesign could make a real difference. As long as the new look is sympathetic to the rest of the site, a restyled landing page could deliver a more relevant, contemporary feel to your whole web presence.

website design-improvements
Our very own refreshed website.

6. Only work with the best

Engaging consultants could be an excellent way to import new skills and ideas into your organisation this year, but choose carefully. If you embark on a major project, such as an annual review, you’ll be interacting with your design consultants on a daily basis so engage people who match your working style. Search out like-minded partners with a similar ethical approach – as well as suitable skills and experience – before you make your final decision.

stock photo
Hmm, nothing to say for this photo library image but you get the hint 🙂

7. Bend the rules

To succeed in business you’ll need to be flexible and agile, and occasionally this may mean bending a rule or two. Brand guidelines are just that – guidelines – so don’t be utterly bound by them. Enhancing your brand with additional new colours or fonts is an excellent way to breathe new life into your visual identity without having to start from scratch.

spread-from  rmbi impact report we designed
A spread from the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Impact report where rules from the brand guidelines were refreshed.

8. Be authentic

In the end your visual brand will only connect if it’s a true reflection of your mission and values, so be authentic. As audiences increasingly search for brands that are ethical as well as inspiring, honesty and openness have never been more valued.

powerful image used by chain of hope annual review we designed
A powerful image used to echo the values of Chain of Hope in their annual review.
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