hypocritical : talking the talk without walking the walk

March 25, 2005

Arlington Pediatric Center: Volunteers needed

Okay. This is bad. Sometimes, a mark can really make or break an organization. And, unfortunately, I think it's going to do more of the latter, this time. It's even worse that it's all over the building, and likely the literature, and everything else.

At first, it causes a snicker. And a shaking of your head. Maybe even an incredulous exclamation. And no doubt, some bursts of laughter. Clearly, someone at Arlington Pediatric Center was a bit too Pollyanna in their view of the world. Because, I'm not that incredibly depraved (okay, I can be crude) and it's pretty obvious to me. I'm sure it's obvious to you, as well.

So we all had a really good laugh.

But then I started to think about it. And now, I'll get all serious. Because that's what I do. When you're ready for the downer, continue reading.

This whole thing would be a great deal more humorous if it were a commercial (for profit) organization that made this mistake. (Like, for instance, .) If they paid good money to have someone develop this logo. That would be funny. And worth a few more chortles. Some more finger pointing. But, given that it's for a non-profit, it stops being funny and starts being kind of sad.

I don't know if they paid to have this monstrosity created. But they definitely paid for the signs on the building. And the literature. And other stuff. And that's wasted money. Extremely wasted. And that's sad.

I'm fairly certain that this organization doesn't have extra cash to throw away. And that's money that's going to be taken away from other programs to fix this grievous error. So someone is going to suffer ill because of this stupid mistake.

Think design can't hurt anyone? Think again.

Look at me. Boo hoo. But it's true.

So, here's the deal. It's a call to action. Non-profits have bad design because they don't get offered good design. They generally have to take care of things in house, or take the low bidder. Offer them some good design. Offer them a new sign. Offer them some new literature. For free even. Please stop this from happening again.

I'm not a designer. Maybe you are. Maybe you're a printer. Maybe you'd like to offer the center your services. I'll definitely offer my services to consult on positioning (no pun intended), language, and visual concepts before they're sent to the client. Because, that's where my skills lie. And clearly, the client needs some help in this case. And I'm more than happy to help.

And keep in mind, it can be this organization (although I'm sure they're overwhelmed with offers):

Judy Fox
Executive Director
(703) 271-8195

3045-A Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

Or it can be another nonprofit in your area. Or any nonprofit for that matter. Anywhere. Give them some time. Give them some design.

Let's do our best to save all the bad design for companies who can afford to pay for it.


Arlington Pediatric Center: Volunteers needed
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