The State of Alaska's Permanent Fund has set up a Charitable Contributions Program called "Pick.Click.Give" that allows residents to donate a portion of their dividend to a non-profit of their choice. Since this annual windfall is a captive audience to solicit from, everybody's clamoring for a slice of the pie - it's a great idea and has already been quite the potential alternative source of funding for many organizations, and is really an excellent opportunity for folks to generously give back to their communities.
While at this month's board meeting for the Literacy Council of Alaska the topic came up of how it seems we're being inundated with advertisements from all sorts of agencies who are participating in the program. And seeing as how the Council is also one of the approved beneficiaries, consensus was that we should also add our voice to the choir. The director suggested running an ad on the newspaper's website (an obvious target demographic), and my quick sketch was approved for a basic concept, once again validating my impulsive doodling on the back of the meeting's agenda.
After swiping a template to get the proportions right for both layouts (horizontal banner ad + a square one) I went through the usual evolution while bouncing different variations on the theme off the director, who gave some input on the direction and style of the image. Originally I envisioned incorporating the Council's normal logo + font, but this version won out with the cartoony lettering, and in retrospect it sure does help the ad stand out amidst the typical background noise of advertisements. In my hurry I had reverted back to instinctual black & white - which afterwards was a "oh...duh" moment when I remembered it was primarily going to be viewed on the web and thus color wasn't an issue.
The main trick was to balance out all the information in the verbage: somewhere in between detailed fine print versus simple and to the point. Given the limitations of the ad's dimensions and also the short time viewers are exposed to it before it rolls over into a different one, the sizing and editing of the text was crucial.
And now we have a couple little ads to use again next year. However, the next morning while typing up this blog post I surfed over to the official site so as to get the hyperlink, and it suddenly occurred to me that after all that work one small but crucial typo had been overlooked : the program's called "Pick.Click.Give" NOT "Click.Pick.Give."
Sigh... back to the drawing board!