Giving Back Through Marketing and Communications: GoodThree

Throughout the years, AMCP entrants have submitted more than 2,000 pro bono entries. While that is a lot of work donated to nonprofits, we’re sure it is only a small percentage of the time, money, effort and skill that our entrants give back to their communities. Throughout the next couple of months, we’re profiling some of these people and sharing their stories with you in our series, Giving Back Through Marketing and Communications.

Design firm GoodThree recently took home a Platinum honor from the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards for its 2012 Annual Report for the nonprofit 2 Seconds Or Less in the pro bono category. We were able to catch up with GoodThree principal and designer Matt Hannigan to learn more about the firm and how it supports 2 Seconds Or Less.

2 Seconds Or Less Annual Report By GoodThree

Tell us about 2 Seconds Or Less and its mission. How does it help people?

2 Seconds Or Less (2SOL) is a nonprofit organization based in Central Pennsylvania dedicated to serving impoverished nations by providing sustainable agriculture methods and teaching the people of those areas how to properly plant, maintain and harvest their crops.

How did you find out about 2 Seconds Or Less? Why did you decide to donate GoodThree’s services to help the organization with their annual report?

I started working with 2SOL while I was working as a freelance graphic designer and was given the opportunity to rebrand the nonprofit. After that project, I continued doing work for the organization and formed a strong relationship with them.

When GoodThree was formed, we decided to continue providing our services to them because their mission for sustainable hunger solutions worked very well with our green design business model, and they allowed us to have complete creative freedom over their projects.

How did your team come up with the design and what inspired them?

The 2012 Annual Report design was completely inspired by small individuals making a big difference. This concept is taken directly from the start-up of 2SOL and how much of an impact they’ve made on their community since that time. Every small detail of this report was taken into consideration in order to support that idea, as is common throughout all of our projects. The smallest details can make a huge difference.

2 Seconds Or Less Annual Report

What were some of the most challenging aspects of the project and how did your team overcome them?

One of the most challenging aspects of this particular project was catering the design to the seemingly never-ending copy edits. We wanted to make sure the design continued to compliment the message effectively and successfully throughout all the changes. How we were able to work through this was to maintain good communication with them throughout the process.

Another challenging portion of this project was arranging the sections of the report in such an order that allowed the design to visually tell a story and helped the content flow smoothly from page to page. Solving this issue turned out to be quite simple: look at each section from the reader’s point-of-view and figure out the most logical and visually pleasing presentation order.

How was the report received by 2 Seconds Or Less?

Extremely well. Within 10 minutes of sending the final file for approval, we received a response that simply read, “HOLY CRAP! THIS THING IS BEAUTIFUL!” We could not have been happier with that response.

Do you have plans to continue working with 2 Seconds Or Less? Why?

Yes. We have seen the amazing impact that our services has had on them and their audience, and we would like to continue to be apart of that. Their mission continues to compliment our green design vision and they are always enthusiastic about the work we produce.


GoodThree DesignGoodThree is a green branding and design firm with a desire to invest in the client-designer relationship through a “Design Thinking Forward” model. They begin with the end, and end with the beginning; they ensure that their first step paves the way for an engaging sustainable outcome, motivating them to review their design process and analyze every resource.

Have you donated your services to a nonprofit or do you know someone that has? The Communitas Awards, which recognizes exceptional businesses, organizations and individuals for excellence in community service and corporate social responsibility, is now accepting nominations. 


Giving Back Through Marketing and Communications: Randy Clark Graphic Design

Throughout the years, AMCP entrants have submitted more than 2,000 pro bono entries. While that is a lot of work donated to nonprofits, we’re sure it is only a small percentage of the time, money, effort and skill that our entrants give back to their communities. Throughout the next couple of months, we’re profiling some of these people and sharing their stories with you in our series, Giving Back Through Marketing and Communications.

Randy Clark, head of Randy Clark Graphic Design out of Brookings, South Dakota, recently took home a Platinum 2014 Hermes Creative Award for his Winds of March poster after donating his time and skills to the Colombia Support Network. We were able to get a few minutes of his time to learn about the nonprofit, how he got involved, and the key to creating successful ads.

Winds of March Poster

Tell us what Colombia Support Network does and how it helps people.

Colombia Support Network is a nonprofit peace organization that monitors human rights (or more specifically, the lack of it) in the country of Colombia in South America. Its mission involves information gathering and bringing it to light. It also works to educate people, conduct informational excursions into remote parts of Colombia and build corresponding sister city relationships here the United States.

How did you find out about CSN? Why did you choose to donate your time and skills to create a poster for the organization?

I went to Colombia as a Mormon missionary, freshly minted out of high school. I labored there for two years in the cities of Pereira, Bogotá, Cali, and Medellín.

Upon arriving back in the United States, I resumed my studies, married, had a family, and worked in graphic design for 20 or so years. While an adjunct professor for Utah State University, I entered into their graduate program. For my thesis, I choose the subject of the “Civil War in Colombia,” which seemed to be a natural fit.

Researching for my thesis, I came upon the Colombia Support Network website, which had a comprehensive source of material that I downloaded.

Joining the organization, I came unannounced to their annual meeting. Not realizing it at the time, the conference was just for chapter officers, and I essentially was crashing their meeting. I asked them to put me to work, and they did.

Walk me through the design process. Did CSN provide direction for you? Did you look somewhere for inspiration? 

The design process is the same for every project. Know your subject matter; know your audience.

There is no substitution for the time-consuming but necessary research component—both in terms of content and creative audits. Since I am a university professor with a small freelance business, I have the resources of our university library. On a Friday afternoon, after classes are out, I normally go look through the volumes of design books seeking inspiration. I’ll photocopy pages that I feel relevant to the particular project I am working on for later reference.

Most clients are painfully cautious and conservative. As a designer, one must demonstrate confidence in great design. It isn’t about salesmanship, but building a case that good design is in the best interest of everyone. No one wants to buy something that is ugly, and no one wants to do business with a company with an unprofessional image. We all are attracted to things that are designed well.

In the case of CSN, rapport and trust has developed over the years. I am given carte blanche on whatever I care to do.

What were some of the most challenging aspects of the project?

Challenges I encounter are what a designer experiences everyday: tight deadlines and limited resources. I have another challenge in that there always seems to be a huge amount of copy that must go on the poster/announcement.

Years ago, while studying as an undergraduate, our department flew in James Cross, a distinguished graphic designer who was known for his deft and subtle approaches to annual report design. Someone asked him a question that seemed so germane to our craft, “How do you determine what is good design?”

He responded with a formula I have never forgotten – AIDA. Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Before you can move people to action, you must first get their attention, then their interest, and in that order. The desire and action part comes later. That means body copy can be small, and white space is a virtue.

I also understood that screaming headlines and crowding type and pictures onto an ad will not work. One has to approach communication with thought and respect for the audience. Ads that shout are so often ignored precisely because they are intrusive. People tune out noise but willingly struggle to listen to a whisper.

If you really want your work to stand out, surround your type with space. Because your ad will be the only that does.

How was the poster received by CSN and its target audience?

I received a phone call from Cecilia Zarate-Laun, the program director of CSN, who said the governing board was overjoyed with the poster. The event sold out.

Do you have plans to keep working with CSN?

Certainly. The Colombia Support Network comprises of people, who like myself, are concerned about the country and its strong and beautiful citizenry. I see this as an extension of my labors as a missionary. One of the greatest joys I’ve received is an appreciation from the organization for which I do this work. I hope to continue doing their work for years to come.


Randy Clark Graphic DesignRandy Clark Graphic Design is run by Randy Clark, a freelance graphic designer specializing in print solutions: advertising, packaging, corporate identity and marketing. Contact Randy at or 605-691-2203.

Have you donated your services to a nonprofit or do you know someone that has? The Communitas Awards, which recognizes exceptional businesses, organizations and individuals for excellence in community service and corporate social responsibility, is now accepting nominations. 


Giving Back Through Marketing and Communications: 2e Creative

Throughout the years, AMCP entrants have submitted more than 2,000 pro bono entries. While that is a lot of work donated to nonprofits, we’re sure it is only a small percentage of the time, money, effort and skill that our entrants give back to their communities. Throughout the next couple of months, we’re profiling some of these people and sharing their stories with you in our series, Giving Back Through Marketing and Communications.

2e Creative in Saint Louis, Missouri, took home an armful of 2014 Hermes Creative Awards and AVA Digital Awards, one of which was for the company’s pro bono poster campaign for ARTS San Antonio. We recently caught up with 2e account coordinator Mike Ferrell to learn more about the project and how  the 2e Creative team used its skills to create a positive impact.

2e Creative ARTS San Antonio

To start off, what is ARTS San Antonio and what is its mission?

In brief, ARTS San Antonio is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the performing arts. Their mission is to “educate, enrich and entertain the people,” and they do so by continuously striving to deliver exceptional performing and visual arts to the greater San Antonio region. The result: globally significant artists and cultural experiences that give San Antonians the ability to directly and powerfully engage.

Tell me how 2e Creative got involved with ARTS San Antonio. Why did 2e decide to take on the project pro bono?

It’s in our blood — literally. John Toohey, president and executive director of ARTS SA, is the brother of Joe Toohey, our company’s founder, and father of Ross Toohey, our company’s principal. But regardless of the family connection, it was a project that our entire team was excited about.

As an agency, 2e focuses on working with organizations that create positive impact. Traditionally, this has meant a lot of our partnerships have centered in the healthcare and biotech spaces — working with researchers, physicians, engineers and other innovators. ARTS San Antonio was a fantastic opportunity for us, because it allowed us to remain true to our company’s spirit while stretching our legs beyond the typical realms in which we work.

We recognized very quickly that ARTS San Antonio delivers real value and impact to its community through culture and art — and they do so while having to wrestle with the financial challenges that many nonprofits face. Doing it pro bono was a no brainer to us.

Walk me through the design process. Did your design team turn somewhere for inspiration, or was there a concrete vision from the start?

The process started with the collection of all information and assets ARTS SA had for the season’s upcoming performances. In true 2e fashion, we also did our own research — in hindsight, probably far more than necessary — to learn as much as we could about each performance and the message behind it. Since this is the second year we’ve created the identity for ARTS’ series of performances, we had a good idea of what the target audience wanted to see.

Our vision was to highlight photography that was specific to each performance. However, one of the challenges to this approach was the fact that we couldn’t necessarily control the images for each show; in other words, we couldn’t guarantee photographic consistency from show-to-show. As a result, we knew the concepts would have to be accommodating to a wide spectrum of photographic styles and qualities.

We developed three concepts for ARTS SA, and the chosen concept featured photography front and center. To solve any inconsistencies, the concept relied on manipulating the photos in a way that still created a unifying style that could then be extended throughout the entire series of posters. The bright colors are used to convey both the nature of the performances as well as the spirit and energy of the organization.

2e Creative ARTS San Antonio

What was the most challenging aspect of the project?

Finding a visually compelling solution that could effectively utilize the images provided was difficult. Some images were shot in a studio; some were from the performance itself; others had portions blurred out due to the motions of the performer. Trying to accommodate all the necessary performance information and sponsor logos was also a challenge.

How was the design received by ARTS San Antonio and its target audience?

ARTS San Antonio have been very pleased with the posters because they are bold and energetic. This style has helped convey a message of confidence to their audience, ensuring them that ARTS SA is successful, healthy and strong.

How many people worked on the project and how long did it take?

A creative director, an art director and our design intern at the time worked together to create the initial three concepts. After the concept was chosen, our production manager and art director worked together to roll out one poster every month (per the ARTS SA Performance Schedule). An account coordinator helped throughout the entire process to maintain communication with the client.


2e Creative2e Creative is a brand communications agency that utilizes logic and creativity to forge engagement marketing ecosystems that generate interest and harvest intent. In other words, we take complex value propositions and translate them into engaging brand stories that make you move, think and feel.



This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – June 10, 2014

By Gregg Ellman

Reviews of the Blumoo remote system, Grill Daddy kit, Tegware Bagel smartphone case and Sparkbeats app.


Blumoo-remote-systemBlumoo, from Flyover Innovations, is a device that works with its own app to let you take control and eliminate the pile of remotes for infrared-controlled home entertainment devices.

I figured the setup would take some time, so I sat down with the device, instructions, my laptop, iPad and a nice big glass of ice tea.

After a few refills I was controlling my TV, Apple TV and even brushed the dust off my CD player.

Before starting you must figure out a place for the Blumoo hardware, a 2.75-inch tall device that looks like a mini coffee cup from the side. It’s built with an angled base enabling it to receive a signal from most anywhere in the room and is paired with your handheld device via Bluetooth.

The setup guide walks you through steps of what to plug in including RCA cables for audio and of course the included power supply.


6 Fabulous Ways Winners Are Promoting Their 2014 Hermes Creative Awards Honors

After recognizing work that’s the cream of the crop in the marketing, communications and design industries, we’re not surprised that the creativity and skills of those honored is put to good use publicizing the honors.

Since announcing the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards winners, we’ve noticed several organizations sharing news of their wins on social media and turning the downloadable graphics into unique creations.

If you need a little inspiration for promoting your awards, take a look at a few wonderful examples from this year’s cadre of winners.


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – May 20, 2014

By Gregg Ellman

Reviews of the Garmin Vivofit, Kenu Highline iPhone case and ECOXGEAR Ecoterra Boombox.

Garmin Vivofit

I had my editor test the Garmin Vivofit for 15 days since she is a fitness nut along and chases around a 2-year-old. Here is her viewpoint after testing.

Garmin Vivofit

I wore the Vivofit side-by-side with my year-old Fitbit Flex. There are a couple of differences: One, the battery – the Flex is rechargeable, while the Garmin takes two CR1632 batteries. Two, the Garmin has a screen to display information, while the Flex has five lights to indicate your day’s achievements. Both fitness trackers have similar band closures – and both are equally likely to be accidentally knocked off.

Compared to the Flex, the Garmin seems a bit stingy on the steps. But I think you always have to consider information like this “useful” but not absolute. The variation in my steps in the 12 days I was able to accurately compare (thanks to the battery needing to be recharged on the Flex) ranged from 2.1 percent to 13.8 percent.

Still, I prefer the Garmin to the Fitbit not only because of the battery type, but because the screen shows you the information you want to know with a quick scroll using the surface button. (Yes, there is a Fitbit with a screen, but it has been recalled for a band issue.)

Syncing is as easy as opening the app, holding the button on the device until “sync” appears and letting it do its thing. Garmin confirmed that any firmware updates will be sent automatically to the device while syncing.

Also, if you already own an ANT+ heart rate monitor, you can pair it with this device (though I didn’t try). The Garmin Vivofit is $130 for just the band, or $170 for the tracker and a heart rate monitor.


2014 Communitas Awards Spotlight: IU McKinney School of Law

Communitas Awards Organization: Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Title: “Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Partnership with IPS Shortridge Magnet School for Law and Public Policy”
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Category: 1.1 Company Sponsored Volunteer Project

indiana university

Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law began a unique partnership in August 2012 with Indianapolis Public School’s Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy.

The elective class taught at the public school by IU McKinney faculty has the goal of preparing students for their roles as citizens, while providing them with the opportunity to explore legal and social justice careers.

The elective is taught once during the academic year, and McKinney School of Law faculty take turns teaching the class for a week each, sharing their areas of expertise with the high school students. The professors volunteer their time, and law student teaching assistants receive academic credit for their work.

The class emphasizes student engagement. For instance, Professor Michael Pitts, whose work focuses on election law, conducted an exercise to help students experience what it was like for African Americans to register to vote before the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Professor Pitts divided the class into two groups based on gender and asked them to fill out the multipage form citizens had to complete to register to vote prior to the legislation. The girls had assistance with the process, while the boys were intimidated and their questions were ignored. Additionally, if the boys completed the applications, they were told that their voter registration cards would be mailed to them. Students walked away from the exercise with a better understanding of what discrimination would have been like during the voter registration process.

McKinney faculty covered a variety of topics from environmental justice and sexual harassment law to juvenile justice and intellectual property law, with more than a dozen professors volunteering to teach about their respective disciplines.

Law school faculty organizers of the program, as well as faculty and administrators at Shortridge, have called the law studies classes at the high school a huge success. “Feedback from Shortridge has been overwhelmingly positive,” said the program’s initial organizer from IU McKinney, Professor Carlton Waterhouse.

It’s a program that other law schools may seek to emulate. Two law professors from Colorado, Professor Catherine Smith of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and Professor Melissa Hart of the University of Colorado at Boulder College of Law, visited Shortridge in March 2014 to study the program.

Voting Rights Exercise with Professor Michael Pitts, IU McKinney alumna & Shortridge adjudicator Kelly Rota-Autry and Shortrdige students.

Voting Rights Exercise with Professor Michael Pitts, IU McKinney alumna & Shortridge adjudicator Kelly Rota-Autry and Shortridge students.



Now that you’ve won a Hermes Creative Award, what do you do?

Hermes-Creative-Awards-StatuettesWith the results of the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards announced, after patting your team and yourself on the back for creating outstanding creative work, what’s the next step? You don’t want to sit on this honorable recognition – you should publicize it! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Broadcast on social media

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Instagram … the list goes on. All these platforms are available for you to share your accomplishment with everyone in your network.

If one of your colleagues doesn’t like to self-promote, a nice congratulatory tweet or status update is always a nice way to say thanks. Include us in the tweet or plus posting, and we’ll be sure to share or +1.

Also, this would be a good time for your team to update their LinkedIn profiles. While you’re there, follow us for inspiration around the industry.

Send a press release

This old school communication tool still has value in today’s world. Not only can you publish releases online but many local trade organizations or local business papers often have an awards section where they recognize individuals and companies for professional achievements. Get a little love from your industry peers and position yourself as an expert in your field.

View AMCP’s press release about this year’s Hermes Creative Awards in our graphic downloads area.

Carve out a spot on the company website

If you’ve crafted a press release, remember to publish the piece on your company blog. Also, don’t overlook promoting the recognition on the company site. Even a small area on your homepage can provide instant credibility for your firm. If you are a marketing/communications professional, consider creating a devoted awards or achievements page.

Would you like prepared graphics? We’ve also have free site badges available here.

Hermes Creative Awards Website Badges

Website Badges for Winners of 2014 Hermes Creative Awards

Don’t forget internal communications

Good places to publicize your wins are on the company intranet or newsletter.  Don’t stop there, though. Is there a bulletin board in a common area? Post a kudos announcement to boost morale.

Other ways to get the word out

  • Include a note in your enewsletter to clients or customers
  • Showcase the statuette in your waiting area
  • Photograph your team with the winning announcement or statuette to share your smiles
  • Add a note about the award to the work showcases online. Ex. Put it in the video description on YouTube or include in the results portion of a case study.
  • Create a “Behind the Scenes” video that explains how your team creates award-winning work.

Visit to access winner certificates, free graphic downloads and the statuette store.

How do you show off your bling?


2014 Hermes Winners Posted

Hermes Creative AwardsThe results are in for the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards.  There were about 5500 entries from 15 countries.  Winners are posted on our websiteAll entrants today were mailed written notification of their results. Please allow a few days for the information to arrive.

2013 Platinum StatuetteWe will be posting more information on the blog in the coming days.

For those of you who have been with us for a while, you may notice a new return address and telephone number on our materials.  After 20 years in Arlington, we are moving down the road a few miles to a new building in Dallas. We will be transitioning over the next couple of weeks.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards.