Graphics and Causes

It's been a hopping summer here at Studio Haus! Business is booming, and with two night classes and a Haus renovation, there hasn't been a lot of free time. Time seems to be a commodity that few people have enough of anymore, yet it's such an abstract notion. It seems so clichéd to talk about busy-ness though. Much of our lives feel like warp-speed movement to keep up, but really, much of our busy-ness is our own doing, isn't it?

One of the time factors that for many can go by the wayside in their busy-ness is the time to read. And I'm not just talking about books and magazines—a lot of marketing campaigns are using less copy and more visuals to spell out their message. You may remember the October 2014 blog that talked about photography. It’s also possible to use illustrations to spell things out.

Take for example this really fun project Studio Haus recently completed for a van-pooling company. Many of the reasons their customers would want to use VanStar’s services could be spelled out in bulleted copy, but instead the creative team chose to use graphics alongside professional photography to support the messaging. This reliance on visual communication not only helps provide a quicker read for customers, but it also helps people who don't read well or whose primary language is not English, thereby broadening the company’s reach.


The same applies to another project for a non-profit I'm excited to be involved with: Pet Community Center, whose goal is to help end pet overpopulation which leads to millions of animals dying in shelters every year. We are developing marketing materials for communities that not only may have English as their second language, but who potentially may be at a lower education level than other demographic bases. To help all potential customers understand the information about various treatments PCC provides for pets through their new mobile services program, we use icons of a dog and/or cat to indicate which services are for which pet.

The recently completed indoor graffiti ad for the Nashville Adult Literacy Council was developed using a single startling statistic to recruit volunteer tutors: "One in eight Nashville adults can't read." Statistics can be challenging to communicate, but the importance of a particular figure can be overlooked without it being mindfully put into perspective. So the ad took an approach of showing the numbers visually. Each person that can't read is represented by an icon of a human empty of color alongside multiple others that are colored in. It’s simple, yet carries so much more weight than just copy alone.

The solution to conveying a message at its essence can be difficult to come up with, but to state any message simply and with impact is part of the entire creative process at Studio Haus. It's a challenge definitely worth conquering for causes I care deeply about, and it's what I love to do!