DesignMil is a one-day design event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; this event connects nonprofits with designers and creatives who can help them create branding materials and enhance their visual identity.

My group worked with The Women’s Center in Waukesha. The Center was looking for branding guidance on their upcoming 40-Year Anniversary Luncheon. The luncheon is an annual event that serves as a key fundraiser for the organization. They had already selected their keynote speaker for the event–Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the NFL–and were looking to establish marketing materials that branded the event and corresponding fundraising campaign as more traditionally masculine.

Strategic Process

My primary role in the group was to solidify a plan for strategic communications to maximize our work within the timeframe. In our pre-event planning meeting, I facilitated conversation to help our group understand the Center and its goals. Example questions I asked were:

  • Who is your target audience for this campaign?
  • What kind of support are you looking for from this event (i.e. financial, advocacy, etc.)? Is there anything tangible they can gain from supporting you?
  • What products/materials are you looking for out of this event?
  • How much should the material we are creating overlap with your current materials and color scheme (most of the materials our liaison shared with us used a traditionally feminine color palette, with colors like peach and pale green)?

Campaign Design & Inspiration

Our liaison from the Center initially approached us with the idea of “A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and ideas for imagery that mimicked the movie–including ideas like top-hats, monocles, etc. Our team determined from our needs conversation that this particular title was a bit unwieldy and, not knowing much about the movie, we were unsure if it was good or bad if participants equated the movie with the Center.

In our brainstorming session, we decided to utilize the theme of strength/empowerment and condensed the idea to “League of Champions,” which was a play on the original idea, combined with Vincent’s work with the NFL.

Images posted above are designs and mockups we created; The Women’s Center will update the pieces with content as they receive more information about the event and their sponsors.
At the end of the day, we presented our work to all of the nonprofits and designers.

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