Design

How we helped the Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics upgrade their branding

The Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (WAFCC) is an advocate for the State’s ninety free & charitable clinics. The organization provides state advocacy, education opportunities, consulting services, and telehealth services to clinics. WAFCC fosters collaboration, networking, and resource-sharing. They selected Jill B Gilbert for two branding initiatives–brand guidelines and a custom presentation template consistent with these new guidelines. 

Brand Guidelines

Brand guidelines are the rules an organization–large or small–follows to ensure their brand is consistent across various digital and print communications.  These guidelines typically communicate the organization’s voice, style, logo, type, and colors. 

They show the accepted use of the logo, any color variations, and placement, including  very important “Do’s and Don’ts.” If an organization uses specific graphic styles, icons, or illustrations, the guidelines contain these, too.

Brand Guidelines are meant to be flexible, changing as the organization grows and changes. The WAFCC Brand Guidelines are a living document, soon to be updated with examples from the new slide presentation template. 

Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (WAFCC) Brand Guidelines Mockup
Brand Guidelines | Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics
"I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ANYONE TO WORK WITH JILL. SHE HAS A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE, IS VERY KIND, RESPONSIVE, AND DID A WONDERFUL JOB ON OUR VISUAL BRAND GUIDE."​
Heather Ule
WAFCC

Presentation Template

The most common methods of communication are email,  PowerPoint (/Google Slides/Keynote/Other) presentations, and social media. 

Branding is important in slide presentations, because it sets the tone for your organization’s message. Consistent style and message are key!

Jill B Gilbert designed a template that was a great match for WAFCC’s message and style needs. 

"This was my second project with WAFCC. I enjoyed working with Heather and building a relationship. We plan to work together on more projects in the future."
Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics Slide Presentation Template
Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics | Presentation Template
Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Best Practices, Branding, Color, Consulting, Corporate Identity, Design, Graphics, Guidelines, Logo Design, Marketing, Standards, Typography

Jill B Gilbert selected to advise Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety on Learning Management System

The physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS), a New Jersey non-profit organization, provides Continuing Medical Education (CME) to nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, and other medical professionals. Over 30,000 individuals subscribe to their service.

PPAHS needed advice on a new learning management system they plan to launch later in 2022 and selected Jill B Gilbert to help. 

Jill pulled several tools out of her tool kit to help–experience designing and building websites, expertise in graphic design and typography, and, most important, the ability to assess PPAHS’s needs and create a plan for the new LMS website. 

PPAHS was thrilled with the results, and plans to use Jill for future projects. 

Slide presentation for the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
Learning Management System Website Content & Design | PPAHS
Jill is an absolute delight to work with. Truly a guru of design! In addition to help with this project, we learned so much from her about fonts, colors, headings, etc.
Dots in a Row
Michael Wong
Executive Director, PPAHS
Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Branding, Color, Consulting, Design, Graphics, Typography, Web Design

The Eclectic Menagerie is full of whimsical, larger-than-life sculptures

Roadrunner

e•clec’•tic men•a’•ger•ie
:
site south of Houston with an eclectic collection of concrete and metal sculptures

sculpture garden curated by Texas Pipe & Supply with larger-than-life rusted steel and stainless steel sculptures by local artists

Elcectic Menagerie Park. A private collection of massive steel monsters guarding a Texas pipe works.
—Atlas Obscura

Driving south of Houston on Texas 288 over the years, I have marveled at the giant animal sculptures along the freeway. I was excited to see new additions as I drove by, but never stopped to look. Then I researched The Eclectic Menagerie Park, located on a narrow strip of the Texas Pipe & Supply property. I made it my mission to stop and smell the (metal) roses.

Jerry Rubenstein, Chairman of the Board of Texas Pipe & Supply, started the outdoor sculpture museum decades ago with a couple of concrete animal statues. He commissioned local artists Ron Lee and Mark Rankin to create about two dozen metal sculptures, from a giant dinosaur and armadillo to a fishing rod and reel with Jerry's old red pickup truck caught on the lure. A stealth bomber stands at attention as Snoopy flies his Sopwith Camel. A semi truck cab is stuck in the dirt, waiting to be towed out. King Kong hangs menacingly on a crane and colorful cows stand on a surfboard up in the sky.

Enjoy a sample of the Eclectic Menagerie images below. 

Eclectic Menagerie Gallery

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Art, Design, Photography, 0 comments

Entropy. The Beauty in dirt, rust and decay.

Lichen and moss on rock

en’•tro•py 
:
a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder

Entropy. It's a natural phenomenon, a measure of chaos, disorder and randomness in a system. It's part of the life cycle, where things ultimately decay and the cycle starts anew.

life’•cycle
the series of stages in form and functional activity through which an organism passes between successive recurrences of a specified primary stage

I took a series of random walks through manmade and natural settings—in search of interesting lines, forms, colors and textures—and found beauty in rusty, dirty and decayed things.

Some observations from these walks:
  • colorful moss and lichens on rocks improve with time.
  • rust patterns on manhole covers, sewer grates and checker plate metal are attractive.
  • usually overlooked, thistles other weeds have exquisite forms and colors.
  • fungi on decaying trees have unusual shapes and rich textures.
  • earth cracked after months of drought reveals beautiful, random patterns.
  • dirt splashed on a fire hydrant or squashed by giant tires creates uniform patterns. 

Enjoy these things while you can; they are temporary. At the end of their life cycles, they crumble into the earth or wash away, only to start the cycle again. That’s entropy, returning things to an orderly state. Enjoy my photos below. 

Entropy image gallery

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Art, Design, Photography, 0 comments

Old, rusty, abandoned equipment provides great photographic subject matter

35mm filmstrip, abandoned farm

Old, rusty, and abandoned equipment fascinates me. It has rich lines, angles, and textures, even though its colors are faded. A large property south of Houston, Texas provides a backdrop for a recent photo session. Perhaps a farm in its former life, the City has walled off the property with a six-foot fence and planted vines along this fence that, eventually, will obscure the view of what some feel is unsightly. Suburban progress encroaching on this old, rusty aesthetic.  

Rusted steel drums, corrugated metal and giant tires rest peacefully next to a barbed wire fence. A Corvette body sits on the ground, a shell of its former sleek design. A rusty axle reminds me of an old plow. A couple of Case excavators and an old John Deere Tractor sit idle, as if their operators took a lunch break and never returned. But there is life, as Black Angus cows and their petite newborn calves graze near a once-colorful dump truck. They look at me as I snap photos. 

I want to go inside and get a closer look at these interesting items, but the electric fence warns me to stay out. I enjoy what I see from the road…

Abandoned farm Photos

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Art, Design, Photography

Jill B Gilbert delivers stylish slide templates for The Justice Hub School

Custom slide template and presentation for The Justice Hub School
Custom slide template and presentation for The Justice Hub School

 The Justice Hub School provides underserved youth in Houston’s Third Ward with academic and leadership skills to succeed in life. Jill B Gilbert was pleased to create a colorful new brand and a stylish custom presentation templates for this public charter school. 

Our graphic design team created two templates aimed at different audiences–prospective donors and board members, and prospective students. Both templates employ Justice Hub’s new brand and color scheme. The image above shows the second, less formal, template on an iPad Pro. 

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Branding, Color, Corporate Identity, Design, Education, Logo Design, Marketing, Standards, Typography, 0 comments

Halloween Thanks to CLHS Teachers and Staff: “No Tricks, Just Treats!”

Halloween Poster in Appreciation of CLHS Teachers and Staff by Jill B Gilbert

The Clear Lake High School PTSA wanted a Halloween poster to show appreciation to the school’s teachers and staff. 

Jill B Gilbert created a 20- x 30-inch poster with a black cat and pumpkins, a haunted house on a hill, and spider webs. The poster, created in Adobe Illustrator, uses various tints of purple for the background, with oranges and yellows for the pumpkins and a hint of glowing green. 

Thanks to the amazing CLHS teachers and staff from the PTSA! Enjoy your treats!


 

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Art, Design, Education, Graphics, Illustration

Questions to ask if you want a new or refreshed brand

A couple of weeks ago, a client selected my design firm to help with getting their brand on merchandise to sell at events and in their online store. I asked if they had their brand in various layouts and file formats for digital and print purposes. If the answer was, “Yes,” they were ready to go. 

It turns out that what they really wanted was a new or refreshed brand, as they felt the current one was outdated. 

If you want a new or refreshed brand, find answers to the following eleven questions before you speak with your graphic designer. 

Great Explorations | Original Brand
Great Explorations | Original Brand

Arm yourself with plenty of information before you start the design process. If you don’t know where to start, seek advice from a graphic designer in knowledgeable in design, business and marketing issues and trends. 

1. What are your business goals?

Believe it or not, a brand is more than a logo or graphic design; it is about your organization’s message, and how you communicate that message verbally and visually. So, it follows that business goals are connected to your brand. What is your organization’s “big picture?” Are you expanding into new markets? Are you planning new products, services, locations, or methods of reaching out to current or prospective clients? 

2. What do you want this Brand to accomplish?

Think about how the graphic design of your brand fits into your marketing plans. If you have an established brand, you might want to update it to capture new markets. If you plan to launch a new brand, how will you generate brand awareness in the marketplace?

3. Who is your target audience?

Do/will you use digital marketing–social media, email, blogs to communicate with current and prospective clients– or traditional print, TV, radio and merchandise marketing methods? Where and how will you display your brand?

4. What marketing channels will you use?

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5. How Do you want your brand perceived?

What 3-5 adjectives describe your brand’s personality? For example, “youthful, urban, and edgy,”  “corporate, seasoned, and traditional,” or something else? Do you see your brand as casual or formal; modern or traditional? Where do you see your product or service positioned in the market?

6. What are your brand/company values and mission?

If you closely tie your business model to your values and mission, then your brand design may reflect them. A preschool might want to incorporate a school or students. An environmental organization might want to use a tree, a leaf, something green, or something related to the earth. 

7. Do you want to avoid certain topics, themes, imagery or colors?

Images and colors mean different things in different cultures. You may think that all firms that cater to your target audience have brands with similar elements, and you want your brand to stand out. Or, you simply might not like the color orange or purple. 

8. Who are your key competitors?

What do you like or dislike about your competitors’ brands? Your graphic designer should create a brand that stands out from the competition, at the same time keeping in mind that you are going after the same audience. 

9. Which existing brands do you admire or want to emulate?

If you are a tech startup, do you admire the designs of Apple, Dell, or Microsoft?All of these are quite different, yet recognizable worldwide–and each has gone through a transformation over the decades. What do you specifically like about the brands you admire?

10. What do you like and dislike about your current brand?

Knowing what you like and dislike is valuable information that will help you to launch your new or refreshed brand. You may think the colors or typeface are outdated, or you may think you want to start over with a new design. Either way, this is a great opportunity to enhance your overall brand strategy.  

11. What is your decision making style?

When you embark on a branding initiative,  your graphic designer will ask you to make a series of decisions, from design choices like brand style, images, color and typography (fonts) to technical choices like file formats, resolution, and the size your brand will be displayed. Where you are on the scale from Decisive to Indecisive will impact your ability to meet project objectives, scope, schedule, budget, and timeline. 

Do you make decisions quickly? Do you make decisions based on feelings or facts? Do you get bogged down in “analysis paralysis?” For a description of business decision making types, read more here

When I say, “You,” I really mean “you and your key stakeholders in this branding effort.” I recommend that you seek input from your key stakeholders before reaching key project milestones, but I do not recommend building your brand “by committee.” 

 

The Justice Hub School | Original Brand
The Justice Hub School | Original Brand

Spending time to answer these eleven questions–including input from key stakeholders–can better position you for success in your branding initiative. Credit to 99 Designs for their original post; I added my perspective to their eleven questions.

Is all this effort worth it? Clients who understand the importance of branding say it is. If branding is new to you, So You Think You Need a New Brand might provide some insight. 

As always, if you lack the internal resources to do a branding project, seek outside help. And, if you don’t know where to start, seek advice from a graphic design professional that also understands business and marketing issues. You will be glad you did.

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Best Practices, Branding, Color, Consulting, Corporate Identity, Design, Graphics, Logo Design, Marketing, Typography, 0 comments

Eight Million Stories, Inc. selects Jill B Gilbert to create a brand for a new school

The Justice Hub School | Original Brand
The Justice Hub School | Original Brand

Marvin Pierre is Executive Director of Eight Million Stories, Inc., a nonprofit founded in 2017 to support disconnected youth in Houston, Texas. Building upon the success of Eight Million Stories, he is founding a new school in Houston’s Third Ward. Marvin chose Jill B Gilbert to create a brand for The Justice Hub School that is attractive, edgy and has an urban feel. This project also included development of a brand guidelines document that will grow with the organization.

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Art, Branding, Color, Corporate Identity, Design, Education, Graphics, Guidelines, Logo Design, Typography, 0 comments