Case Study: Joey’s Corner
As a result of the passing of my son, Joseph Michael Osborne, in October 2004, I founded the nonprofit design studio Joey’s Corner to honor his life and memory. This studio commits full-time to meeting the design needs of nonprofit organizations that focus on health care, children’s and social well-being issues.
After opening my design firm in 1981, I began doing pro bono design work for various nonprofit groups. I don’t remember exactly how it started, but over time I saw a pattern: Many of these organizations had very few printed materials, amateurish identities and no consistency whatsoever across whatever materials they did have. It always looked to me as if everything was “designed” by the daughter of a friend’s brother’s neighbor on a 15-year-old computer program.
I also saw that many of these organizations were doing amazing work—locally, nationally and internationally. They needed well-designed, strategic marketing tools just as much as—if not more than—corporate America. General Motors or Coca-Cola, for example, can spend millions and millions of dollars each year on design, marketing, advertising and promotion, whereas nonprofit groups typically exist on donations, operating on shoestring budgets. “Design” doesn’t even appear on their budget sheets.
A consistent, well-designed branding and collateral system better arms any organization—including a nonprofit—to present itself in a professional manner and, thus, to be more competitive. Because hundreds and hundreds of nonprofit organizations compete for the same donation dollars, this edge is just as imperative for the nonprofit sector as it is for the for-profit sector. Understanding that those better equipped with well-thought-out, beautifully designed materials are more likely to gain the attention of potential donors, Joey’s Corner is dedicated to providing pro bono, strategic creative services to nonprofit groups focusing on health care, children’s and social well-being issues. We deliver targeted design solutions, from corporate identity and marketing materials, to website design and product development.
To date, Joey’s Corner has worked with more than two dozen different nonprofit organizations, supporting them and helping them leverage the power of strong visual communication and design to further their profoundly valuable work. It is a true force of full-time design good.
Joey’s Corner is a non-profit 5o1(c)3 organization funded by donations and fund-raising. Occasionally a project is underwritten by a donor with an interest in a particular cause, or perhaps by an individual who can truly understand the power of effective communication tools.
This case study is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.