What are your typical pain points when having design work done?
For Lori Lynch, Director of Special Events at Camillus House, getting the design work right for their special events is a major priority. Their major galas involve producing program books, which are a lot of work. She found that the processes of other design companies tended to be tedious and time-consuming and this was a major pain point. She needed an efficient system for briefing and giving feedback on design work, along with ensuring deadlines were met.
We spoke to Lori about how she came to work with Designed.co and what that experience has been like for her and the Camillus House team:
About Camillus House
Camillus House has been around for more than 60 years. It started out as a small soup kitchen and overnight shelter that cared for Cuban refugees who were moving to Miami.
Since then, it has grown into a large organization with 13 properties for housing and services. They serve thousands of homeless and poor people every day, helping to get them into programs and services to get them on their feet.
As they state: “Camillus does much more than offer a free meal, medical care, a shower, or drug treatment. We offer a second chance to the desperate, the lonely, and the ones society has left behind.”
Among the services Camillus House provides are; housing, healthcare, career help, addiction treatment and basic needs such as food and clothing. They rely on their donors and their major annual fundraisers to help fund these critical programs.
Why does design matter?
Lori works in special events and is responsible for Camillus House’s two main annual fundraisers. She needs to have high-quality design work done to help her in marketing those events.
Design work should help to engage potential donors as well as showcase their sponsors. As the creative lead at Designed.co, Jeremy coordinates projects and design work that ultimately help with donor engagement and supporting fundraising efforts.
“Designed.co is now on their second event with me. It’s about developing the graphics and branding for the event,” Lori says. “We start with the logo and go from there to build up the other design elements.”
The two events have been run annually for a long time – 20 years and 12 years, respectively. Lori says they are very well-known for what they are – while the branding stays similar, the design work must be revamped each year. Designed.co has been there to help Camillus House breath a fresh look into each new event.
Design work before Designed.co
Lori describes what it was like to work with other design firms, before discovering Designed.co. “In addition to doing basic branding for me, they also create a digital program book for me,” (a book to feature sponsors, along with event programming and information about Camillus House).
“That book is so labor and time-consuming, it’s insane. Anything that falls into that program book was basically the nightmare part of my job, primarily because there didn’t seem to be good organization with it. No matter how much I tried, we almost always went past deadlines,” she says.
Why did they have trouble meeting deadlines? Lori says it was largely due to the process the other design firm had for sending updates and receiving feedback on the design work. She would have to print the program book, make edits in red pen, scan it, then send it back. The process was tedious, making it difficult to meet deadlines, especially if it came down to a lot of back and forth.
In contrast, Designed.co uploads the design work into one spot (the dashboard) where Lori can go and make comments and any edit suggestions. “It’s just so easy and efficient,” she says.
Why did Camillus House decide to hire Designed.co?
“It ticked every box for me in terms of the ease with which I can work with them and their software,” says Lori. “Hard deadlines are always met, and usually early!”
“They’re also very cost-effective,” Lori says. “The bottom line though was, do they have the talent and the goods to pull it off? And I can tell you, yes, yes they do.”
Designed.co has worked with Camillus House to produce the program book for their events already. Lori describes it as “phenomenal.” “Previous companies that I worked with created such a large digital file that no one was going to wait for it to open. Jeremy noticed this right away and worked with us to cut it down.”
“Designed.co has a team in place that not only has the technical ability to do the work, but the creative as well – that’s very important to me,” Lori says. “Their platform is so very well organized. I don’t have the literal hundreds of emails and files I had before. I love the editing feature – it’s clear and straightforward. I click, write my comment and get on with my day.”
What about the communication side?
“There is always a designer and project manager assigned to a project, so I’m not dealing with 50 people,” Lori says. “It’s great that there aren’t “too many cooks in the kitchen.”
Communication happens in the app, but Lori gets an email alerting her that something new has been added in the app.
Camillus House uses Designed.co on a project basis, as that’s what their design needs are suited to. However, if they were to need more ongoing design, they wouldn’t hesitate to subscribe as members to Designed.co. “I don’t usually give testimonials, but I can’t say enough about them,” Lori says.
One of the big lessons learned is that quality design can very much be about the process in place to get there. How work is delivered and feedback communicated is important. When the process is streamlined so that client and designer can communicate easily, they become a partnership and design quality improves.
Designed.co works with organizations and businesses to craft quality designs. Schedule a demo here today.