I was contacted by The Sperry Van Ness Legacy Foundation to create a fresh new newsletter design for their quarterly outreach in an effort to increase donor contributions. The Legacy Foundation is the non-profit arm of Sperry Van Ness’ business. It’s a philanthropic organization promoting self-sufficiency through business.
The Legacy Foundation had a really neat objective, and in working towards their goal, they got involved in some really important projects: from helping troubled or at-risk teens get a college degree to working with third-world country’s small businesses so that they could get on the road to self-sufficiency. I respected how they were giving something back. The foundation had been operating for some time before I got involved in the design process and I was eager to add some value to the project.
With a newsletter design (or most periodical publications), a lot of the work is front-loaded. You need to choose a type palette, color palette and your basic grid structure. Decisions about page numbers and folios need to be locked down and tested. Then you start applying the styles to the current issue’s content. During this phase you can see where you need to adjust some of your rules to allow specific content to shine. I worked on the newsletter for a year, and with each issue was rewarded by the flexibility I had put into practice in the early stages.
This wasn’t the only work I produced for Sperry Van Ness but it was certainly the most rewarding. Not only did I get to design the newsletter and oversee the production of the issues I worked on, but I also got to read about the work Sperry Van Ness was doing with people who needed a boost. It was a real eye-opener for me to see how a large business could make a difference with a non-profit organization.