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WKKF Annual Report: Capturing the Community’s Voices

A mockup of the 2011 Annual Report Otherwise designed for WK Kellogg Foundation, with the headline reading: Who Knows What: Understanding Vulnerable Children

A mockup of the 2011 Annual Report Otherwise designed for WK Kellogg Foundation, with the headline reading: Who Knows What: Understanding Vulnerable Children

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As part of our ongoing relationship with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the U.S., we partnered with ROI Ventures and the WKKF communications team to create the foundation’s 2011 annual report. With their focus on engaging with communities tribally, nationally and internationally, the foundation is committed to paving paths to success for vulnerable children, propelling them to realize their full potential in the larger community and society.

From the outset, we sought a conceptual and creative direction to effectively communicate WKKF’s journey over the past year, from exploring its core values and aspirations through our recently-completed Identity Project to its fundamental work, as well as the reflections and insights gained while working towards achieving its mission.

At Otherwise, we understood that the design of the annual report would play an essential role in illustrating the foundation’s complex and multi-faceted journey. We knew that in order for the annual report to effectively represent the foundation’s work, we would need an approach that allows us to gather and share voices — from both within and outside the foundation — of people who understand vulnerable children.

The focus on multiple voices led us to the theme of “Who Knows What:  Understanding Vulnerable Children.” With this concept in place, we assembled a broad and varied group of people to communicate their perspectives and expertise around vulnerable children, sharing their wisdom and acknowledging the foundation’s respect for their values.

In keeping with the goal of featuring multiple voices and points of view, we introduced a tabloid-style form. This unique design approach not only captures the “community voices” surrounding vulnerable children, but it also creates a very accessible, personal and authentic experience for the reader, placing the content of the annual report in the category of news and information that is relevant and delivered at eye-level.

With the form of the annual report in place, we then took a design direction that incorporates the bright, warm palette of new WKKF visual identity along with rich illustration. Working with five world-class editorial illustrators, we created smart, arresting visuals that work in harmony with the narratives and reinforce the experience of consuming news.

A mockup of the 2011 Annual Report we designed for WKKF, with a headline that says "Reading is an Rx for Success: Q&A with Earl Martin Phalen, Chief Executive Officer, Reach Out and Read."

In addition, we added a very different layer of content to the piece by creating four full-page ads that serve as public service announcements related to core principles and programs supported the foundation.

To make the annual report more accessible and have a wider reach, we developed a microsite that translates the content from the printed report to the digital space. We are also currently working on a Spanish language version of the annual report, which will serve the foundation’s work in Latin America as well as its work in U.S. Spanish-speaking communities.

Finally, we created a video, residing on the microsite, that communicates the foundation’s values and work surrounding vulnerable children through a powerful, imaginative animation.

In reflection, we believe that our approach to the annual report’s design focuses on the foundation’s work in a surprising, refreshing way. We’re delighted that “Who Knows What: Understanding Vulnerable Children” has received an amazing response thus far. One of the articles in the report, “Stress Impacts Good Parenting,” written by Sendhil Mullainathan, professor of economics at Harvard University and Saugato Datta from ideas42, has recently caught the attention of bloggers at The New York TimesWorld Bank and Huffington Post, providing the opportunity for open conversation about the important ideas raised in the article.

We’re thrilled to see the impressive levels of engagement with the annual report, and we look forward to helping the foundation continue to share the collective wisdom from those engaged in communities where children come first.

Nancy Lerner is Founder and Chief Strategist for Otherwise Incorporated, and Ji-Sook Yim is an Integrated Marketing Associate for Otherwise Incorporated.

Illustration credit: Josh Epstein, Designer at Otherwise Incorporated.