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For some years I have been taking care of the graphics of a non-profit organization, stimulating but sometimes pungent, which leads me to carry out my work with demanding deadlines. In the beginning, I focused more and more on graphics, creating a trendy layout that followed the parameters of what we all define as ‘cool design’ was my main goal, but the more I worked, the more all my ideas got modified or delete everything.

I was angry, I didn’t understand. Why don’t they want to improve the appearance of their identity? Why isn’t that beautiful infographic full of icons and colors convincing?

With time and experience, all my doubts faded.

The fundamental aspect of non-profit marketing strategy campaigns is focused on the message they want to send to donors, mainly concentrated on text and images, putting graphics in the last place.

When a sudden emergency breaks out, such as the latest horrible episode that hit Syria and Turkey, within a few days the texts must be ready and effective, and the photos sent by photo reporters, here the designer has a fundamental role, he finds himself participating in a real marathon against the clock.

Every nonprofit organization has its own guidelines and you can’t go beyond that.

Precisely in cases of civil or health emergencies, the guidelines are beneficial, leaving no room for trendy fonts or nuances.

A study by the Stanford Social Innovation Review created a framework, called Nonprofit Brand IDEA, to keep nonprofit brands relevant and recognizable while staying true to their mission and core values. The acronym of the framework stands for integrity, brand democracy, brand ethics, and affinity. According to the study, “a nonprofit brand is most powerful when the internal identity and external image of the organization are aligned with each other and with its values and mission.”

The ‘concept of what is ‘trend’ doesn’t work – the messages, the selection of images taken by photo reporters, the choice of typographic characters, all of this serves to make a difference.

– Martina, designer of Alibi Creativo