Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Young People Get It!

Photo Credit: Melissa Montecuollo
As I have done for the past few years, I presented at our annual Orientation for New Staff conference (ONS) to talk about branding and design. This year, however, we introduced a new interactive component to the talk, giving new staff some time to create their own fake prayer letter using a variety of options (photos, captions, headlines, etc.).
Staff were given 3-4 options for each of these elements of a prayer letter,
then asked to choose 7-10 pieces and create their own pretend letter.
Photo Credit: Anna Maffety
After giving them a few minutes to work in groups, I led a time of debrief, giving an overview of some main principles of design and communication.
These were the four options for the header. Which one do you think works best?

What I learned from leading this new activity is that these young staff get it! As I debriefed with them, I found them to be very astute and intuitive about design, catching on to ideas of scan message, using the right colors and fonts, communicating visually through images and layout, and other important principles.
This is the moment in my presentation where I tell staff to have someone
take a picture of them while they're speaking. It always gets a good laugh.
Photo Credit: Anna Maffety
Each year as I teach this component at ONS, I'm finding that the new staff get it so much more quickly than a lot of older staff I work with. It makes sense, as these new staff are much more familiar with current culture trends like the use of visuals, social media, and shorter bits of communication rather than longer ones. It doesn't take much for me to sell "branding" to them because they totally get the value of good branding. It's encouraging to see things move this way, and I'm hopeful that this means my quest to brand InterVarsity well is in good hands with these "young'uns"!

Note: If you are interested in using this training tool with your staff, area, region, or students, please contact me!