At GDLOFT, collaboration is a big deal for us.
Our approach to it might surprise you.
Of course, we collaborate with you, our clients: nonprofits, grantees, foundations, universities and arts organizations.
But guess who else we collaborate with?
We also collaborate with your audience!
At GDLOFT, we believe that when design is a democratic process, it turns out better.
How do we collaborate with your audience?
If your audience is engaged in the design process, they become invested. We see the audience as a co-creator. With that in mind, we believe in making work that leaves room for the audience to partake in creating, finishing or deciding — whether conceptually or physically.
Here’s an example:
In our recent logo project for Impact Services, whose mission is to help the Kensington community on various levels, we wanted to make sure the community was truly represented in the logo. How?
Their volunteers, workers and community-members all drew the letter “I” in Impact. Each “I” represents a person in the community, having individuality and uniqueness while still being a part of a bigger picture. See the collaboration.
Every project is unique (audience members don’t always draw pieces of the logo), but we constantly look for the most useful ways of collaborating.
Sometimes the best collaborative outcomes result from having your community critique the design work to find the right balance, or choose the best direction at a conceptual level.
Other times, collaboration is present in the way we use print design to create interactive experiences for the audience members.
It happens in different ways for different projects, but if collaboration will help us reach the goal — we will figure out how.
Here’s another example:
The Paper Architecture Exhibition Catalog for Muhlenberg College is a great example of how we collaborated with an audience to complete the design and get them involved in the process. Audience members created their own cover art by pealing back the kiss cut paper to reveal orange designs on the white cover.
What are the benefits of collaborating with your audience?
When they aren’t viewers like a traditional audience, but instead part of the process, they will be more invested. Volunteer more. Spread more awareness. Feel more connected. Engage more deeply. Collaboration with your audience will help you achieve your goals.
Are we a good fit?
If you want a studio to “just design a brochure,” we’re not the studio for you.
If you want to collaborate in every way possible to deepen engagement with your audience, we are the studio for you.
Want to know more? In our recent interview for The Design Together Podcast with our colleague, Abby Guido, we talked about how GDLOFT came to be, how we involve our clients — and their audience — in our process, and what art students should be prepared to bring to studios.