Designing for Change

Last year I was invited to be a part of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Under 30 focus group to help the city of Atlanta understand why we live in Atlanta, why did we move here and why do we stay.

This was part of an ongoing effort to help modernize the city of Atlanta to be more attractive young professionals. The city of Atlanta has 200,000 undergraduate and graduate level students but is having difficulty retaining the talent for work post graduation. It was also to ask for our help to engage our peers to go out and vote yes for the Transformation Referendum — Untie Atlanta.

I was excited to have an opportunity to be part of something that could dramatically change where I live and offered to create a strategy and lead a team of designers in creating supporting promotional materials encouraging people to vote yes. These materials were to be handed out at events and booths the Chamber had at summer events around the city.

To → Through

The strategy, “To → Through”, guided the team through the creative process: In today’s networked society communicating to our audiences no longer has the impact it once it had. We’ve come to rely on what people in our trusted networks share with us, we’ve also changed how we consume information. Smartphones, apps, and social media have changed our habits. We expect our friends to push content to us. We spend less of our own time seeking it out.

In order for our message to been seen as authentic and resonate with our audiences we need to empower them to tell their own human and inspiring stories. These stories will bring the emotional impact of the referendum to life and create the shift from communicating to our audience to communicating through our audience. This has the ability to exponentially scale the reach of our messages and content as it is shared through our audiences trusted networks.

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Final mark and variations for different applications.

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Collateral: Stickers to be handed out at events.

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Collateral: Male and female t-shirt designs utilizing the full range of the brand system.

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Identity: Element of the brand system.

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Collateral: Information cards allowed for the large amount of initiatives to be broken down into easy-to-consume chunks of content.

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Collateral: Pins and canvas shopping bags rounded out the different ways to show your support and promote the referendum.
Credit: Design: Jessie Krier, Laura Gosnell; Creative Direction and Strategy: Frank Rauss

A Few Good Words

Frank’s professionalism, passion, energy and humility make working with Frank anything but work. He talked to me about the importance of creating more than a logo, that we needed a brand that connected to the people we were trying to activate on a personal level. His work put the importance of the campaign in their hands and humanized the impact of what we were working to accomplish. His knowledge, creative talent, big picture strategic thinking and detail management are a complete package and rare find. The responsibility he puts on himself to create an environment and community he is proud to be a part of is infectious.