Each year The Medici Circle selects a senior design student to take part in designing their Primavera invitation. I was selected for the 2016 gala.
Upon entering the board meetings I noticed a number of opportunities to improve outcomes. What began as an invitation to create a print mailer turned into much more.
I culled what I could find of their original brand. I found a Parisian style script M as a mark, and a few newsletters, all within the mast of the university. The university web presence for Medici was a simple brochure style webpage with little attention. This led me to investigate just how the board was driving funding. The primary funding driver was the "give" option on the university webpage, but considering the demographic of donors the process for providing donations was complex and cumbersome.
Visitors land on the give page and are met with a login screen, or the option to continue as guests. After tackling this sign up process, they enter a long and bloated list with multiple levels of hierarchy and hidden options listing hundreds of funds that a visitor can donate to. A search for Medici reveals no less than four funds. How could a visitor who may have little familiarity with web payments be certain they were giving to the proper place? This is a challenge I had bumped into with another passion project of mine, the creation of bgsugd.com.
To solve the dilemma, I built simple powerpoint that walked the board through their old brand presence and sold them on a simple but solid rebrand utilizing geometric proportions. This mark would be much more functional across modern digital devices. The board wasn't expecting the presentation but were on board by the end.
I began taking meetings across the school of art with the acting chair Charlie (instrumental in this process), the Medici board, and members of marketing. What followed was a series of meetings, emails, and content conversations where I acted as art director for the project. The university has since updated their giving platform for the Medici, providing a common sense vanity URL to deliver visitors directly to the appropriate funds. This common sense measure will be rolled out across all funds in time. Also, vanity URLs are being applied to Medici so they can be accessed without swimming through the long URLs buried within the site. Lastly, a new type of web template has been instigated that will allow the Medici to stand out with a better brand presence and feature their exclusive content within the network, a home within a city, as it were, with a clear address and common sense directions. The marketing division is taking over the collection of emails, member roles, and donation tracking for the board as it should be. The board will benefit from the university mailing support, as well as some innovative new fundraising methods that were previously not tied into their efforts.