Donating Your Talent

Start from the Heart

Several years ago I started donating my time working on the design for the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness Run/Walk in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I did this because one of my dearest friends had breast cancer and this was one way I could walk with her and do something helpful. When I began this, the designs for the poster and brochure were bright and eye catching, and I continued in this vein. As you can see, the design had movement, was simple and colorful. The tagline, however, was powerful. There was something missing in the design.

Then one day, I was at the YWCA looking at some black and white photos that caught my heart. They were taken by a local photographer, Mary Harrison, and each reflected the spirit of her subject. This, I knew, could capture the emotion of our Breast Cancer Awareness tagline, in a visual. So I took the idea back to the walk/run committee, and they agreed. Our 2003 campaign was begun.

We asked a woman who is a breast cancer survivor, and her family, to pose for our first photo. Because of Mary Harrison’s personal touch in using black and white photograpy, we kept the entire campaign in black and white, with pink as an accent color. This gave it seriousness, drama, with the pink bringing in a soft, human touch, as well as underscoring the breast cancer theme.

This theme was used on the posters, brochures, t-shirt, and Web site design. Not only was it visually attractive, the color scheme stood out among all the other events and billboards around. And best of all, the look of the pieces reflected the depth of the subject, and it became personal. Which is as it should be.

Each year, more courageous survivors and their families have agreed to be a part of our campaign, and each year our contributions have increased. I like to think the way we carry the message has had something to do with that. This year, 2007, we have six people portrayed, and their stories are on our Web site at

Once again, with the help of ACS, volunteers, and our sponsers, we’re striding toward breaking our goal, and ultimately helping to pave the way for a cure for cancer. Perhaps you’ll join us.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s