Making powerful connections
We’re always keen at Wingfinger to find an appetising and appropriate graphic identity for our clients’ projects. Using a range of methods, from a simple colour scheme through to custom illustration, a graphic solution can inject a bit of zing into an otherwise dry report.
The front cover of the Powerful Connections booklet, complete with commissioned illustration
Powerful Connections is a 16-page A4 booklet explaining ‘How public agencies connect with the voluntary and community sector to influence policy and strategy’. When the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Forum approached us about this work we were blissfully ignorant of the intricacies of regional bureaucracy. The report explores topics like: local compacts; the vital difference between commissioning for service delivery and the strategic planning of services; consultation fatigue; and stakeholder involvement tick-box suspicion… Our job was to make an inviting read out of it.
Sorting out the bodies
Within the report 74 bodies are named. We were given a set of very rough sketches showing some of the interrelationships between these bodies and the processes they were obliged to undertake. We soon realised that these diagrams with their seemingly impenetrable tangle of lines of communication, accountability and feedback could become part of the solution. After making sure that we understood what the sketches really signified, we simplified and rationalised them, picked a lively colour scheme and, lastly, applied a subtle wavy distortion to the whole lot to give a more casual, friendly feel. These diagrams were placed in the document to break up the text and introduce colour and interest on the page.
The final diagrams in all their purpley goodness
Somewhere along the line we decided to colour the pages lilac – (hey! it works, okay?) – but suspected that even this might not be enough to hold every reader till the very last page.
The final trick up our sleeve was to drop in the occasional cartoon illustration depicting some of the characters inhabiting this world. At this point, however, we discovered that our mental images of bureaucrats needed a bit of updating. Our contacts at the Regional Forum failed to see themselves as brief-cased, bowler-hatted and brollied civil servant stereotypes – so we opted for a more up-to-date and representative range of characters.
The finished book was well received and, although not quite ‘unputdownable’, certainly increased the chance of the reader persevering with the complex and challenging content.
A unique look
Our in-house cartoonist has added his sketchy wonderment to many Wingfinger jobs, from medical journals to our own company marketing. You can see a few more samples of his work in the Other section of our gallery. If you’d like to find out more about Wingfinger’s custom illustration services, get in touch and tell us what you’re looking for.