Taea: visual communication for non-profit organization

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Ask about the availability of the thesis by sending email to the Aalto University Learning Centre oppimiskeskus@aalto.fi
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Over the past decades, there has been a major increase of new organizations in the non-profit sector. As a result we can observe high competitiveness between NPOs. The other observed problem is low public trust and confidence in non-profit organizations. People have a small understanding of what the term “non-profit” stands for, therefore they less willingly support it. Establishing a community of supporters is fundamental to NPOs and a key element to their functioning. Raising the awareness and improving organizational model of action remain important goals for a modern non-profit sector. Graphic design is becoming a key instrument in establishing unique language of communication, translating the visions and values of the organization. It allows to distinguish organization from others, helps it to become more visible. Visual communication should be unified throughout all platforms and send the same message in line with organizational image. The most challenging aspect of designing for NPO becomes creating effective tools which will help organization to grow its community. It is important to cultivate the members showing them appreciation for given support. Empathy and empowerment remain key aspects of effective stewardship campaign, also applied to the visual communication of the organization. Internet with public domains and social media has emerged as powerful platform for reaching the audience. It allows non-profit organizations to connect and activate members of their community. Through empowering an audience and creating engaging narratives, the organization can establish longer-lasting relationship with individual members. Such actions, lead to improved stability and final performance of the organization. In my thesis, I developed visual communication system for Taea — a non-profit organization established in 2014, in Helsinki by Martin Zistler. I applied a three steps methodology with defining the problems, followed by research and production. Such structure helped me to focus on the most important aspects and allowed me to find specific solutions to recognized challenges. In the final stage of my thesis I used all findings to develop a project — a system of communication consisted of visual identity and website design. Through the proposed design, I tried to respond to the main challenges of modern non-profit organization, focusing on evoking participation and building credibility of the NPO.
Dodson, Zachary
Thesis advisor
Dodson, Zachary
non-profit, visual communication, particapatory-design, community
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