Case Study:
Redesigning a fundraising event for Bloodworks Northwest

In 2014, The Puget Sound Blood Center (Now BloodworksNW) shifted the visual language of their primary fund raising gala “Faces For Life”. A yearly event featuring various auction items and testimonials benefiting the 70 year old blood center, it’s life saving research, and most importantly the patients in need.


Auction Slides from the first Faces event.

In the beginning, Faces for Life leaned heavily on auctioning unique masks created by local artists, patients, and friends of the blood center in addition to unique and valuable auction items to entice bidding. This drove the look and feel for the identity of the event, including the painterly style of the event logo.

It wasn’t unusual for masks to be graciously donated back to the blood center by bid winners, these can still be found around the offices and donor centers. They’re a reminder of our history and community support. Though striking and thoughtfully illustrated, they’re not always incredibly aesthetically pleasing.

The event ran strong for 7 years, but eventually the mask concept was phased out.

2014

As the event moved on from the mask imagery, the name remained for the sake of recognition. To keep the name relevant, the event focused on the symbolic “faces” of those who are helped by the blood center - the patients who needed life saving transfusions the most, and notable employees of the blood center who helped make transforming discoveries.

These people became the heroes and inspiration.

Redesign:

Faces For Life had always been a black tie event supporting a serious mission. When it was decided to redesign the identity, we used this attitude for the backbone of the visual direction.

My goal for the overhaul was to create a more regal and timeless brand, which would contrast and compliment the live entertainment of the auction and the hosts jovial tone during the event.

To go along with the redesign, the budget allowed for some nice embellishments with the collateral. Foils, varnishes, embossing, special stock for the save the date, invites and auction program, etc.


Ideation for auction program booklet cover. Far left was chosen. Stardream silver cover stock, with blind embossing in the corners and silver foil for the logo.

Typography:

Since the event branding was moving away from the painterly look and feel, I created a logotype based on script font similar to Vladimir, implementing some super subtle shadow and depth elements within the letters themselves to add fidelity. Supporting the typeface with a more legible, Twentieth Century.

Color Palette:

The client (a committee) agreed that purple, white and silver created a regal and mature theme. Keeping the tone dark with pops of metallic and white and the occasional Bokeh background, contributed to the mature and metropolitan feel of the event.

Results

With the redesign, 2014 saw a 30% increase with fund raising income. We received kudos from a vast majority of donors and employees - some of whom have been donating and supporting the blood center for over 40 years, and tend to be leery of change. We used this fabulous feedback as a gauge for when we would roll-out our name change and rebrand in 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of the organization.

Web

Tying everything together, I built a simple landing page using Twitter’s Boostrap framework for HTML/CSS.

Bootstrap is a great tool for quickly setting up web projects. The grid system, iconography, button assets and templates provide a great foundation for customization. With about 50% of our views being on mobile, Bootstraps mobile responsive UI protocols keep things super efficient as well.

Featured here is the 2016 design.

See it live at FacesForLife.org

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