Continued from the previous page
Phase 2: the "Case" story
serve the message, the story and the budget
During the beginning stages of the campaign, the 'pocket pitch' brochures were distributed widely and very well received. They were doing their job establishing the campaign -- priming potential donors for phase 2, the full story.
I had great plans and designs for the "Case" booklet. It would tell the full story, with citizen endorsements, expert testimonials and a compelling story line. Here was the initial layout.
This 100lb cover stock cover would actually be die-cut for a pocket folder to hold the additional sheets, and the pocket would be out fitted with 'hooks' that would entrap the DVD. In order to keep the whole packet together, we would bind the booklet into the pocket folder rather than having it loose in the back pocket.
The crown "closer" would be a spectacular fold-out center spread, opening to a whopping 32-inches wide that would show the whole scope of the project, including cameos for each of eight planned gallery exhibits. One anchor exhibit is "Our Town" which is a life-size board game that weaves the walkway around, throughout assorted exhibits in a "game of life" -- the spread would have a playing board style illustration connecting the various exhibits. This concept was very well received by the campaign committee, so I set about producing it.
Sometimes it doesn't go the way you want it to.
The architects and engineers bogged the project to a snail's crawl, and we found ourselves approaching press dates without renderings, floor plans or the really essential materials we really needed for the signature illustrations to sell the sizzle. That, coupled with rising costs of the concept -- now approaching $3 just for the cover jacket -- and another buck-fifty to print and bind-in the fold-out, I realized I was going to need a fall-back design. What I really needed at this point was a mega version of the pocket pitch book -- yet different enough to come off as classy. I needed a broadsheet.
The Classic Broadsheet
This is probably one of the more overlooked design vehicles these days because of the advent of digital printing. No one wants to tackle a 17.5 x 22.5 press sheet. In fact, most corner printers these days can't handle it. But the broadsheet is a dynamite solution when the pocket is as tight as the deadline and you've got a big story to tell.
This design comes off like a 'book' yet is still just a single sheet of paper, printed two-sides, and folded to tell the story. This time I would not engage in the cross gate folds because an 8.5 by 22-inch "brochure" is a bit much to handle. This time I will use the traditional 3-fold approach, then open from the bottom to display the whopping 17 x 22 broadsheet -- real WOW! The folded size is 6 wide by 11 tall -- fitting nicely into a brightly colored 15-cent pocket folder with a 4-cent sticker applied to the outside.
Telling the story in folds
Again, the cover was black and white, with the pencil drawing of the tree house -- something lost to today's childhood. Page 2 paints a compelling story, with supporting facts and testimonials, about the lack of childhood in today's society. Page 3 presents the success stories of the existing museum.
As the folded-in flap of the tri-fold opens, we present argument for renovating the derelict building into a world-class interactive learning center. On the far right panel, we tell the story of what this renovation will entail, and why the costs are easily justified. Just like the pocket pitch book, the closer for that panel invites the reader to "Come Inside" and look around.
The brochure then unfolds to an impressive 17 x 22 inch poster displaying the entire scope of the dream facility. I only had two illustrations to work with, visualizations of finished exhibits produced by Jay Paulus Design, based on the museum's "dream team" conceptualizations of the exhibits. I had to chop those up, move them around, and weave the individual pick-ups throughout the text describing each area of the museum.
Success! We were off to the printer and in four days we had brochures in time for the roll-out stage of the capital campaign. The result is an impressive collateral piece. Everyone was totally impressed, and feedback from recipients is spectacular. No one on the campaign board even missed the booklet concept that would have cost 8-times as much, and taken 6-times as long to produce. Whew!
Here's the way the flats played out. This time, folding was not even an issue because it's a straight half-fold, and a three-fold roll-over. Nothing exotic. (Below you see the actual Adobe Illustrator flat which made up side 1 of the broadsheet. Side two is shown above.)
Design to fit the message, the story and the budget.
The compelling lessons here are
never overlook the simplicity of a single sheet of paper
tell the selling story in easy, teaching steps
utilize the unfolding process to reinforce the story
always learn the capabilities of the printer's equipment -- which can be exploited in the design process to produce an effective printed communication.
The best way to think outside of the box is to get press sheets from your printer and begin folding. Think in reverse, because you want to see how the folds affect the reader's experience. Make some folds shorter than others -- be creative. But also be sure to confirm with your bindery department that they can handle the job.
With just a little thought, and a little creativity, you'll be innovating creative published pieces in no time.
Would you like to have a copy of the finished broadsheet for your samples file? I'll be happy to mail you one -- all I ask is that you make a $10 or more (tax deductible) donation to the Harrisonburg Children's Museum capital campaign, to help us build this world-class facility! If you do, I'll mail you the brochure and I will ALSO kick in a MATCHING donation, out of my own pocket to DOUBLE your donation! How's that to show my commitment to the project? CLICK this button to make your donation
Be sure to also see the sister to this story which tells of another problem this project faced, finding the right photographs to tell the story.
... and thanks for reading!
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