We spent the weekend catching up on our sleep, but we're still riding the high from last week's ZURBwired 5. It was amazing to see how much we were able to accomplish in the 24-hour time constraint for our participating nonprofit, Family Giving Tree. The Elves and ZURBians worked their butts off to make it all happen, and we'd like to thank the Elves for sticking it out for the entire 24 hours.
Family Giving Tree came to us needing their website rebooted and refreshed. But it wasn't just redoing their website. They also had another interesting challenge '— helping them celebrate the millionth child they've helped.
Family Giving Tree ensures that the holiday wishes of children in low-income neighborhoods are fulfilled. They also provide backpacks stuffed with school supplies to children within the community. They've been doing this since 1990, so they've helped a lot of kids over the years. This year marks the organization helping one million kids and they needed us to create a marketing game plan to help them celebrate that achievement.
Here's a quick rundown of what we accomplished together in 24 hours:
- A full website visual redesign
- Rewrote website and print messaging
- A logo update
- Newsletter template
- Brochures, Thank You cards and posters
- Stickers and invitations for the 'One Millionth Child' campaign
- Two new t-shirt designs
- Social media images and strategy
Let's take a closer look at some of our bigger wins.
Brochures, Thank You cards, Invitations, Stickers, Posters, Oh My
This year, we had a very tight deadline for all the print materials. The brochure, Thank You cards and Invitations all had to be to PrintHQ by 4 PM, while the posters and stickers had to be to Zazzle by 5 PM. This was so we could ensure that we got all the print materials back by 7 AM on Friday. So we didn't waste anytime and got both the content team and visual design teams cranking on all the print materials, working in tandem (something we did a lot of during ZURBwired).
The brochure was the most content heavy piece and we based it on their previous brochure, but made the language more playful and brought more of the tree metaphor to the forefront. For example, we used words like "roots" or "cultivating deep roots." While the content team was doing that, the visual design team was iterating on the the actual design of the brochure, taken it from sketch to final design.
Together with the Elves we also iterated on the tagline for the Holiday Drive Posters, going from "Be This Child's Elf" to the final tagline of 'Will You Be This Child's Elf?" Meanwhile, Caleb worked on creating the final poster.
Thankfully, the printers graciously gave us an extensions on our deadlines. This video captures us making our deadline:
Everything came in at 7 AM Friday morning. It was really exciting to have all the print material in hand in such a short span of time. Really makes all the hard work tangible when you can hold it in your hands the next morning!
Reimagining the Website
While a lot of our daytime effort was placed in meeting the print deadline, we also hit the ground running with the website redesign. The web design team was hard at work on auditing the old website and coming up for the workflow for the new design, sketching out wireframes of all the pages. Using Foundation 3, the team was also able to whip up the scaffolding for the site, which made it easier for the content team to visualize what they were writing for.
The scaffold also helped the visual design team out as they designed the skin for the entire website.
We worked very closely with the Elves to make sure that the website redesign properly communicated Family Giving Tree's story. Our videographer, Jim, captured the collaborative efforts in this video, check it out:
Both teams worked into the wee hours of the morning with the engineering team hooking up the backend of the site, getting the site up and working by 7:45 AM, beating last year's record of 7:58 AM! Check out the final site.
We also went the extra-mile by working on things that hadn't originally been planned thanks to some help from our volunteers. One of our volunteers, Jocelyn, cranked out not one, but two new t-shirt designs. Check out her sketches:
And the final designs:
Time for a Bit of Tomfoolery
It wasn't just all work and no play. We had a lot of fun throughout the day and night. It's a tradition that we do a wacky photo shoot in the middle of the night. And this year was no exception. Once again, Jim was there to capture it all on video:
See more photos on our Flickr stream.
But through all the fun and hard work, we all walked away with a great sense of accomplishment. More than that, we were able to help a worthy cause and teach Family Giving Tree our unique design methods, which will help them create awesome work for years to come.
The caliber of service and the attention to detail is something that we could have never in a million years been able to buy as a nonprofit, and ZURB has truly presented us with a once in a lifetime opportunity with ZURBwired this year. With the most talented designers and strategists at our fingertips, it's been a truly incredible day. Thanks so much for everything ZURB!Jennifer "Queen Elf" Cullenbine, executive director and co-founder
We'd also like to thank all of our volunteers who helped us out this year. And, of course, thank you, Elves, we did it!