The Fresh Air Fund
Streamlining Programs & Process
The concept of Friendly Towns where children go to a volunteer host family for 1 to 6 weeks in a different state is still a new idea to many even though this was The Fresh Air Fund’s 1st program. My mission was to design a succinct infographic that explains our Friendly Towns & Camp programs and how we choose hosts. This document needed to be simple because many of the children we serve tend to be the translator for their immigrant parents. This infographic would be placed in one of our Child Recruitment Brochures given to prospective participants and their families.
I designed a 3.25 x 8 inch infographic that fits inside of our Child Recruitment Brochure. This insert was also translated into Spanish and Mandarin. We then used the vector images and copy to create two 1 minute animated videos for social media.
Through this document, our programs and our host choosing process is streamlined to our audience members in an engaging, but informative way. Since children were kept in mind as our target audience, they too can understand our programs and process and voice their decision for their summer programs.
The Friendly Towns program was the first program run by The Fresh Air Fund. Despite camp being more popular, The Fresh Air Fund’s statistics show that kids rate Friendly Towns better than camp. However, registering kids for Friendly Towns has been an issue in recent years for both volunteer hosts and participants. One reason there has been a decline is because there is still some uncertainty around the Friendly Towns Program, especially in how we choose hosts.
The Fresh Air Fund decided to address this issue by creating an infographic document to place in their Child Recruitment Brochure to better explain our programs and thoroughly explain our host picking process. The Fund decided to go with an infographic because we wanted the kids to understand what programs The Fresh Air Fund offers and so they could voice their decision. This project allows us to better serve our main audience - the kids of New York City.
(L-R Child Recruitment Brochure designed before my time at The Fresh Air Fund and a side of the Insert)
Small Parameters and copywriting
The dimensions for this project was 3 inches by 8 inches which is not a typical size. Consequently, I chose to use a grid based on the Fibonacci sequence since it would give me quite a bit of flexibility in how I could layout my design.
At the start of the project, the only copy given to me were the main headers and some starter copy. I was given the task to write the copy based on this feeder material. With all this considered, for my first mockup,I wanted to have very big pictures and not a lot of copy because I believe in the mantra of using minimum words, but with maximum impact.
Why design in black and white first?
Before we talked about color, I wanted to make everything in Black and White so that I could see if the design could stand alone without the use of color. The only set instructions for color was that it needed to match the colors of our Child Recruitment Brochure.
For the images, I drew most of them using standard shapes and the shape builder tool. When needed, I used the Adobe Stock app to find vectors that I could use. Since there wasn’t that much direction in the beginning, I set out to use a lot of images to convey the ideas rather than just rely on text. As designer, I wanted to cater to our youthful audience as much as I could.
While my director was happy with the design that I created because I took the initiative to write the copy and give two different mockups at the start, the Friendly Towns department needed more copy to explain the programs and how we choose hosts. At first, I tried to pivot and suggest that we direct them to the website rather than put more copy, but I was reminded that most of our participants may not have access to our social platforms. Though the design needed to be text heavy, it made sense since this our main way of communicating was through word of mouth & these documents.
Early revision features the palette colors and additional copy. On the “Choosing a Program” page, the copy starts to encroach on the images which foreshadows a change in design.
Main difference between the top revision in this section and this revision is the amount of copy. On the “Welcome to Friendly Towns” page, the copy increases. In the next designs, I would aim to give more padding around the images so that the design could breathe.
Main difference between revisions are the amount of copy.
Consequently, the copy changed the size and number of images that were present on the page. Since the copy became the most important element on the page, the illustrations were scaled down and the layout changed quite a bit in order to compensate for the amount of copy. At several points I needed to work with the copywriters to cut down the text since we didn’t have that big of an art board and we needed the text to be legible.
Slipping it in the brochure
After several revisions mainly because of the amount of copy influenced the layout change, we ended up with a modern, but kid friendly document that could be placed in our child recruitment brochure. This document was also translated into Spanish and Mandarin to make it easier to read for the large immigrant population that we serve. Most importantly, our Fresh Air kids now could be involved in the decision making process. Furthermore, children are now further exposed to the idea of going to Friendly Towns rather than just camp.
Can we make it move?
After making the insert, the Board had a meeting and someone asked if it was possible to make an animation about our programs. The Board wanted to make this video to make it short and easy to explain our program to our audience on social media. This would be the first time an animation would ever be made for the Fresh Air Fund. When approached to create this, I was ecstatic to create this because I was making animations on the side.