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Masters of Design: Corporate Brochures by Sean Adams

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RAY Text
Job:06-12640 Title:RP-Masters of Design-Corporate Communication
#175 DTP:174 Page:9
Working as a team can be difficult and lead to diluted ideas
and solutions that everyone can support. The most original
ideas are quickly lost when multiple decision-makers need
to agree. VSA Partners does not have this problem. It is not
the kind of firm where everyone always agrees and sees the
world in exactly the same way. But it is their differences that
are at the heart of their success. Partner Dana Arnettsrst
impulse on a project is to understand the business implications
of what the designer is doing for the client. A designer needs
a critical understanding of the clients business objectives.
Gaining knowledge about the client’s business leads to an
understanding of what will best serve them.” Arnett says.
VSA PARTNERS
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA
Dana Arnett Jamie Koval
VSA Partners • Chicago, Illinois, USA
OPPO SITE AN D
PAGES 10 11
The 2007 Annual Review
is one of many projects
VSA has created for IBM.
This collaboration ranges
from brand strategy and
design to key investor,
partner, and corporate
communications. VSA’s
goal is to infuse the
IBM brand with clarity,
humanity, and wit, from
print and Internet-based
tools to inspirational brand
presentations for business
groups companywide.
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Job:06-12640 Title:RP-Masters of Design-Corporate Communication
(160)07-AC52241 #175 DTP:174 Page:10
001-047_C52241.indd 10 7/15/09 10:12:51 AM
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Job:06-12640 Title:RP-Masters of Design-Corporate Communication
(160)07-AC52241 #175 DTP:174 Page:10
10
MASTERS OF DESIGN Corporate Brochures
001-047_C52241.indd 10 7/15/09 10:12:51 AM
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Job:06-12640 Title:RP-Masters of Design-Corporate Communication
#175 DTP:174 Page:11
He continues, “You’ve got to know who
the audience is. Once you understand the
audience, you’ll know how they receive
and interpret information. It’s imperative to
determine what message in which format will
best speak to the client’s audiences’ needs.
Narrative
Partner Jamie Koval adds the concept of
narrative to the list of project priorities.
“I think when we began working in the area
of corporate communications seventeen or
eighteen years ago, not a lot of storytelling
was going on. Our approach at VSA was based
on what the whole sector needed,” he says.
Two decades ago, corporate communications,
and especially annual reports, had been
typically a staid medium. VSA’s idea of
storytelling at the time was a fresh approach
and continues to succeed. The storytelling
concept allows a reader to become more
engaged with a client’s business. Arnett
adds, “When design is deeply embedded in
an understanding of a client’s business and
customers right from the start, it is possible
to get the message across to influence and
persuade people, whether it’s a bumper
sticker or an annual report.” “People absorb
information in so many ways these days—
from printed pieces to social networking sites.
Designers need to work with them all,” Arnett
says. He believes there was a time when a
designer could do an effective campaign
with just print. It could be centered only
on a brochure. The audience now receives
most information online—it’s a quicker and
more fluid way to interact. But that doesn’t
mean that printed matter is irrelevant. Koval
explains, “There are some messages that need
to be delivered in print. It needs to be held in
someone’s hands to be experienced. All those
little moments turning a page are a unique
experience. How a print piece is produced—
from its format, scale, and materials—add
a keepsake quality.” It is these factors that
engage the audience. At VSA, printed matter
has a unique viability.
Linear Experiences
The printed work created by VSA Partners has
a high level of skill, aesthetics, and a strong
tactile quality. “The fact that print is a linear
experience—there is a beginning, middle,
and end. It can be something you can hang
on to and have sitting out. Printed things can
be used in many places. You can hand it to
someone. It has a personal touch,” says Koval.
“If anything, going forward, print will be more
customized and tailored, but it won’t go away.
The choice of media and format is determined
by the client’s needs—not what the client
thinks they need, but what solves the problem
and produces results. VSA researches trends
and gets to the heart of what the client’s
consumers want. They reach audiences in
the way they want to be reached. As a result,
VSA is broad based and interdisciplinary.
Web and viral marketing are employed as easily
as traditional print investor relations. They do
whatever it takes to connect with the audience.
“Tell the truth.”
—Jamie Koval
VSA Partners
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