Every three months, I get to pause for a few days and work on a project that is purely creative, the quarterly newsletter. I take a few days to reflect upon the legitimacy of the work that’s unfolded in the field recently, to decide what story of the many that humble me daily should make it to your mailbox, and figure out what it should look like when it gets into your hands… Designing the newsletter is, without question, my favorite beat in the rhythm of my work with Love146.
After some number crunching a couple years ago, I had an epiphany: for the same budget (or less) as a boring stuffy tri-fold letter, I could make something exciting… something that’s, well, not junk. Just cause we’re a non-profit doesn’t mean we should settle for third rate design! We just have to be resourceful about how we get there…
As a part of the Love146 communications team, I really just want to radically dignify and respect everyone our mailings impact; So we do them on a tight budget to dignify you as donors and the children in our programs. We never buy mailing lists cause we think it’s sorta rude– everyone who gets a newsletter has already engaged with Love146’s work. We attempt to never use the children in our programs as tools to evoke guilt or pity… And we try to send you fun designs in moderation because junk mail sucks.
If I get a complex design in mind (which I often do, for example, our Out of the Box newsletter last autumn), I have figure out how to print it within that same simple budget, and then convince my friends and co-workers it’s worth their many hours volunteering to assemble it. A handful of times recently, I’ve overheard (or stumbled upon) the critique that our newsletters are “so fancy they must be wasteful.” Rob and I were discussing this recently one morning in the office. I assured him (which he already knew) that our newsletters cost the same as undesigned letters, then he blurted out, “Ahhh…and they should see us all bringing ’em home– I’ve got my kids after dinner with an assembly line around our living room,watching a movie and folding. If you get salt in your newsletter, it’s from our popcorn!!”
Junk mail dignifies no one: not us, not you, and definitely not the amazing children we’re updating you on. We all deserve more than that.
Anything you’d like to see in our upcoming newsletters? Comment here, I’ll see what we can do!
Peace and Abolition,
Marilyn de Guehery
Love146 Graphic Designer
ps: I’m excited that soon we’ll be dropping another newsletter at the post office! It will also arrive to you via email in mid october. Quarterly mailings go to recent donors, so give here if you want to start receiving them!