What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We were excited about the logo drafts they provided. As I mentioned, they gave us a couple of different styles, layouts, fonts, and color palette choices. They were very quick to implement edits and hand things back to us. In the case of the logo, we were only contracting them for three drafts but they provided the fourth one that they’d whipped up during the process. It provided a good alternative color palette that we were able to pull on, so they were great. The array made it very clear. Everybody came down very solidly on one of the designs but wanted the color palette from a different design. So, it was a clean, sharp, decision. They also provided some cool font alternatives that we got to play around with and the ones that weren’t selected, we were able to recycle into the panel designs.
The panels required a bit more back and forth because there are more moving parts. A lot of regulatory language and photo credits needed to be included, so they were somewhat restricted by what we had to have on there. They did their very best to make it work. When we weren’t 100 percent happy with the first panel design, they took it back, incorporated all of our requests, and provided us with a second draft that we were very pleased with.
How did GA Creative perform from a project management standpoint?
They were great. They presented it all in a way that was accessible members of the interpretive panel, many of whom aren’t graphic designers; they’re community members and we wanted to get their gut responses to these drafts.
We were a little bit scattered with our panel, added to the fact that it was managed between myself and a DNR employee who oversees the grant. They did a great job of following up and reminding us where we had left things with all the other projects that we were juggling, trying to make sure that they were able to get things done in the timeline that we had given them. I have to give them credit for very gently nudging us along to make sure that we were able to finish things within the timeline we’d laid out.
We never met them in person because our team works two hours away from Seattle. We did do a shared viewing walkthrough of the initial project outline so we had one of telecommuting meeting. Other than that, it was all by phone and email.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They were very responsive and offered a very large packet of examples that we had pulled together for logos that we liked from other projects and panel designs that we liked from other parks. I think they did a tremendous job of reviewing that to get a feel of what we were shooting for and distilling a very vague set of directions that our interpretive subcommittee had pulled together for them.
Are there any areas they could improve?
The biggest comment that we got back from our subgroup was that the use of fonts looked like it came out of a word-processor, which makes sense for a first draft. That was the only thing that made people less than pleased on the first round.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
GA Creative took the wheel on making sure that we stayed engaged the whole way. There were plenty of times during the busy spring and summer months that we got sidetracked, even though we knew we only had a limited time to do this. GA Creative kept us on task, so I can’t criticize them at all when it comes to maintaining engagement.