Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa
One of my main tasks was to redesign the organization’s
brochure. It presented both editorial and design
problems. Key messages were buried because there
was too much text. A bottom rule and the HPCA logo
had been placed in a variety of conflicting renderings.
Because the logo is a symbolic image, a graphic butterfly
which could serve as a beacon of hope if used sparingly,
its repeated use in the brochure was inappropriately
playful. Text was not fitted correctly to the accordion
fold and was difficult to read.
Because of these issues, this vital publication, distributed to patients, healthcare providers, and stakeholders, was not promoting a professional, polished image of HPCA. The overuse of the logo, along with the fact that there were no photos of patients or hospice care, represented a large missed opportunity to establish credibility and visually depict patients and caregivers. The compassion and spirit of hospice care was not being conveyed. Given these issues, my main challenges were to cut copy considerably and add visual interest. I started with copy-editing.
To rethink the content of the brochure I challenged
management to extract one core competency of the
organization from the current brochure. This forced
concision and allowed me to unpack dense paragraphs
and replace them with smaller, digestible ones. By
limiting the amount of text in the brochure, legibility
improved drastically. I also refocused the text so that
it was more grounded in facts and figures. I added
statistics and quotes from the World Health Organization
to emphasize the trustworthiness of the work HPCA
Then I concentrated on the visual content. I began gathering success-oriented photos, showing active patients who benefited from hospice care. This helped paint a more accurate portrait of hospice work, as all hospice patients are not in the end stages of life. I also took care to ensure the photos were balanced, representing a range of ethnicity and age. The photos were then placed strategically to break up the copy and parallel the story told in words.
These changes ultimately translated into a better-paced design and layout that clearly show the organization’s vision and heart. HPCA saw that this streamlined approach would work on its web site as well. The goals for the re-design of the brochure, humanizing it by including photographs and stories, was then taken up by the in-house web team. Now all HPCA media would embody the spirit of the organization and the core values of hospice care.