In order to communicate effectively a Development Trust will need a range of materials which explain its purpose, promote its activities and seek to gain support and funding. Even in its first year or two of operation it will need some or all of the following print, and possibly also a Web site:
The essential starting point is a name and some appropriate way of communicating graphically the style of Trust. This may be a logo or simply a choice of appropriate typefaces and guidelines for illustration style and colour to be used in all materials. People are bombarded daily with images from the media, and will make judgements, whether consciously or unconsciously, about the Trust from the way it presents itself.
The first application of your identity is likely to be stationery. Design your letterheads, business cards, compliments slips and information sheets together.
Writing the copy for a leaflet will help crystalise what the Trust is doing - and what it offers different interests. Think of the audience you are trying to reach and the questions they will have in mind. Answer the questions:
A more substantial document should be developed to back up presentations to major funders, sponsors, supporters and clients. It should be based around the business plan for the organisation, and can act as its Prospectus. Again, aim to answer the key questions. Upgrade the design as your track record grows.
Newsletters are time-consuming to produce and may not be necessary if you get good coverage in the local paper. On the other hand a newsletter says in your own terms what you have achieved, and where you are going, to a wide audience.
Annual reports are an essential means of showing what you have achieved, and how the money has been spent. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and produce. A folder A folder expressing the design identity of the Trust can act as a flexible container for information sheets, the brochure, leaflet and current issue of the newsletter. You can put together different packages of materials for different audiences.
A set of slides which you can talk through is cheap and can easily be updated. If you have the budget, you could consider a full audio-visual presentation or video - but the personal touch may still be better. Sponsors may help fund these packages.
One you have developed a leaflet and other materials it should be relatively easy to write the copy and select photographs or other illustrations for an exhibition. Don't make the mistake of trying to cram in too many words on the display boards. Leave that to the back-up leaflets or information sheets.
For the launch you will need, at least:
Using a designer and writer will do more than put a professional gloss on your materials. First, the discipline of briefing them will force you to think through what you are trying to achieve. Second, the ideas they produce should spark further ideas of your own. Either use the same designer throughout, or include in your brief the production of design guidelines which can then be applied by other designers working on later materials. © David Wilcox firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel +44 (0)1273 677377. Fax: +44 (0)1273 677379. These information sheets may be freely distributed with this attribution, but not republished as a whole. Partnerships Online : The Guide to Development Trusts and Partnerships: other sheets