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Design showcase: Emma 25

Four of our most recent winners use their stationery for good

Every year, we award free Emma accounts to deserving nonprofits through our Emma 25 program. We love to watch these wonderful organizations turbo-charge their marketing, expand their reach and do more good in the world using email to spread the word.

Since custom design is included for all honorees, this program is a particular pleasure for the design team because we get to interact one-on-one with many of these awe-inspiring Emma 25ers. In this month's design showcase, we're taking a look at the custom stationery for four of our most recent honorees.

Rape Crisis Center | Emma Design Showcase
Client: Rape Crisis Center
Designer: Leigh Bernstein
Design Level: Concierge Design

The Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties is a facility dedicated to helping victims of sexual assault and to working towards the ultimate prevention of the crime through education and awareness. Leanne Graham, the Center's Director of Grants Management, wanted the stationery to be consistent with the website's sense of warmth and comfort.

Leigh was instantly a fan of the Center's soft colors and textures, but she knew that some features were geared more towards the web — and would need an email-friendlier alternative for the stationery design. She rebuilt the website header to feature the organizations's slogan, "healing. hope. empowerment," in lieu of the website's navigation bar; this way, the header design is streamlined and the logo is the clear focal point.

The website header features a bit of animation that works really well in a browser, but email clients' super-sensitive spam filters can be finicky about animation. Still, Leigh wanted to convey a sense of movement in the email header, so she added some floating dandelion seeds across the design to create a gentle, dynamic swirl. She also liked the ripped paper border that surrounds the website's featured image, so she re-purposed that texture to frame the mailing content area. The result is a beautiful, brand-consistent stationery that takes into account all aspects of the website design without losing sight of the unique needs of the email environment.

To learn more about the Rape Crisis Center or to donate to their cause, please visit them online.

Help-Portrait | Emma Design Showcase
Client: Help-Portrait
Designer: Taylor Schena
Design Level: Concierge Design

Earlier this spring, several Emma staffers were lucky enough to see a TEDx Nashville talk by Jeremy Cowart, a celebrity photographer and the founder of Help-Portrait. The idea behind this organization is simple but powerful: those in need often feel ignored and unimportant, but a day of pampering followed by a photo shoot under the spotlight can help them see, appreciate and document their own beauty and dignity — often for the first time in their lives.

Taylor was thrilled to create the stationery for Help-Portrait, but there were immediate questions as to how certain aspects of the website branding could translate to a fabulous email design. On the web, the little square images in the background are tiled from one edge of the window to another, which requires a particular kind of code that makes the images automatically repeat to fill the screen. However, that kind of code is not accepted by all email clients, so Taylor used the square images as a background texture behind the header, and then used an email-friendly solid gray beyond the header area.

For an extra kick of consistency (and to help drive traffic, of course), Taylor used the same navigation bar in the stationery as what appears on the website. However, she scaled down the size of the links and scaled up the logo — so the emphasis is still clearly on the identity of the brand.

Want to find out more about Help-Portrait? Click here.

Teton Valley Education Foundation | Emma Design Showcase
Client: Teton Valley Education Foundation
Designer: Leigh Bernstein
Design Level: Concierge Design

The Teton Valley Education Foundation is an organization working to improve public education in Teton Valley, Idaho through advocacy, grants, volunteer coordination and educational programming. So far, they have been using their email stationery to advertise their community meetings, Volunteer Recognition Luncheons and Teacher Appreciation Week — event-based marketing that fosters the reputation of the Foundation as an industrious, engaged organization.

Deneen Bowen, the Foundation's Executive Director, requested the stationery right at the time they were about to re-brand their website. Fortunately, they already had a good idea of how the new identity would look. Deneen sent over a brochure that included all the new colors as well as her favorite element, the green swoosh, so that Leigh would have a solid idea of the new aesthetic they were going for. Deneen stressed that she wanted a clean design with happy, bright colors, and Leigh was glad to oblige. Now, the Foundation has a new website and new stationery that consistently and cheerfully reflect its brand story.

Get involved or donate to the foundation on their website here.

Elders Share the Arts | Emma Design Showcase
Client: Elders Share the Arts
Designer: Kelly McClain
Design Level: Concierge Design

For over 30 years now, Elders Share the Arts has been working with seniors in the New York City metropolitan area to encourage their creative potential and affirm their place in the community as storytellers and bearers of history and culture. ESTA organizes a number of community and larger-scale events, and their email stationery has already helped with the promotion of everything from their small-group Story Circles to the Annual Flamekeeper Gala.

Jennie Smith-Peers, the Executive Director of ESTA, submitted the request for stationery along with several great images, and Kelly narrowed it down to the four pictures that she saw as perfect reflections of the organizations' mission. The blue background color came from the ESTA's own branding and website, which has a very clean design and user-friendly structure. Kelly created bits of texture and depth to frame the header and peek out from behind the content area, but she intentionally maintained a simplicity of design so that the spotlight would remain on Jennie's beautiful, powerful photos.

If you'd like to become a part of the ESTA story, visit their website here.

Until next time … love and hugs to all the nonprofits out there who are fighting the good fight!
Your Emma Design Team

If you would like to request your own Concierge Design stationery, head over to our online form. Not yet an Emma customer? Come say hi!