Posted February 14, 2012
Our best, most fruitful client relationships often begin through a referral or a “sighting” — that is, a chance recognition of work we’ve done for another client. That’s how we came to be invited to help the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, which had seen the popular website Jell created for the Grant Park Music Festival and cited it as the kind of “clean, concise, and accessible” design they were seeking to replace their circa-2000 website.
We arrived at our kickoff meeting prepared for a rapid discovery process and many questions for executive director Unmi Song and administrators Sydney Sidwell, Nick Burt, and Jeanna Rathell. Working through a series of comparisons to other leading foundations, we were able to quickly discover key differentiators for the Fry brand. We then clarified Fry’s positions on attracting the right kinds of grant applicants, setting grant priorities, guiding the application process, and determining which website features could aid — or distract from — Fry’s unique mission.
Fry’s leadership suggested three primary goals: 1) make abundantly clear Fry’s mission to fund Chicago-based organizations in four specific program areas; 2) remind applicants constantly of the quarterly deadlines for grant applications); and 3) lead applicants through the application process in a clear, step-by-step manner. We also needed to translate Fry’s existing branding (a print identity and annual reports by Sam Silvio) into the visual language of the online world.
Jell added two additional priorities: adding a “Grantee Spotlight” feature to capitalize on the compelling success stories and Daniel Shea photography featured in the annual reports; and providing visitors with the best possible user interface for reviewing past awards.