In an effort to raise $20 million to boost both the endowment and annual fund, NOLS launched Campaign NOLS. I designed a case statement to help explain the campaign goals to major donors. Photography was the color-driver in this piece, and the addition of used-topographical-map as a fly sheet makes each one slightly different, just like each student’s experience with the outdoors is truly unique.
Since 1965, the National Outdoor Leadership school has taught leadership skills through wilderness experiences.
Through open-enrollment courses as well as significant partnerships with REI, they teach thousands of students each year. Hundreds of those students come from the US Naval Academy and the Archer School for Girls in LA.
NOLS also runs the Wilderness Medicine Institute, certifying thousands of Wilderness EMTs and Wilderness First Responders every year. NOLS operates in more than a dozen locations around the world and is a premiere advocate for the environment.
I was a Senior Designer with their in-house team at their worldwide headquarters in Wyoming.
Designing the Details
For the fly-sheet, I hand-sorted piles of old, retired maps from courses (yes, really!). I hand-delivered the ones that weren’t too torn, taped, or ripped to the printer in Denver. They were then trimmed and bound into the booklets.
For the visuals, I focused on using a limited palette from NOLS' brand standards and used Adobe Garamond exclusively. The goldenrod yellow, navy blue, and pops of red became a mainstay of the campaign for several years.
Designing for Flexibility
The inside back cover included a pocket for inserts.
We knew that some details—like naming opportunities and progress toward our goal—would change several times throughout the duration of the campaign. In a move toward sustainability and simplicity, we simply updated and reprinted inserts in smaller runs throughout the campaign, rather than reprinting the whole piece.
A Successful Campaign
As the campaign wrapped up, another designer took the system I created and implemented it in a booklet, celebrating massive success for the school.
What I Learned
I learned that USGS maps are not always FSC-certified 🤷🏻♀️or at least the old used maps I included in the design weren't. (Honestly, they were so old that they probably predated FSC certifications.)
So we couldn't proudly display the FSC logo on the piece, but it did make for a great story to share with our stakeholders one-on-one as our fundraising team met with donors.