Dealing with Public Relations Concerns of a Client

Also, we would like to talk a little bit more about the graphic concepts and the use of the student heads with the logo. We, SAF included, need to be very sensitive and mindful of perceptions of race and equity in our materials.

Working with a Non-Profit Foundation representing the interests of a public school district, led us to walk the fine line of racial insensitivity and celebrating diversity many times. Our design direction for the SAF was driven heavily by using the faces (illustrative and photographic) of students of varying races, so we were tasked on many occasions to consider how and when we used those faces in particular touchpoints. For example, on formats where we could only fit one face such as the RSVP which was designed to show the transformation of a little, African-American girl, we were asked not to include a face because of those who view it may not understand the broader context of the message. We understood and managed these concerns as a team, by developing variations of the original design of said RSVP, and the clients were satisfied with our final solution.

The Faces of "Transformation". These are GRPS specific students that appear in our various touchpoints.

Being put in this dilemma helped us develop a stronger sense of empathy for our users, which should be of course, a major concern of any designer. It helped us consider scenarios previously unconsidered until the client had mentioned their concerns, so we have learned to be aware such design considerations in future projects.