a creative team on a shoestring?

January 21, 2007 at 10:30 pm 2 comments

A national ad campaign or annual report for a Fortune 500 company may utilize a team of designers, copywriters, photographers, illustrators and production experts. Lacking resources, many downtrodden nonprofits get frustrated and decide that quality marketing materials are unattainable without large budgets. But quality materials can be produced on a shoestring, and they often are. Effective nonprofit designers know how to design with little financial resources. Look to the following resources for help.

There are numerous stock-art providers accessible over the internet. Corbis, Comstock, Veer and Getty Images are just a few. “Royalty Free” photography is available for as little as $250 image. Most of these stock art providers also offer a collection of images on a cd (usually around 50 images per cd) for around $500 a cd. Comstock now offers a subscription service where you can download up to 50 images a day for $499/month. Stock-art is an inexpensive option; however you need to be careful to choose images that are not too generic and not similar to images used by your competition.

These stock art providers also offer royalty images, and the price varies widely for the images. But special nonprofit pricing is available for these images. You have to call the stock art providers to acquire pricing, but it is worth a call.

There are also free sources of photography. Government websites often offer free photographs, provided you credit the photographers and/or source. Check out http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Graphics.shtml. North Carolina also offers free stock art of the state through the Department of Tourism. If you call their office, they will send you a cd of images for free. Once again, your images may not be unique and you should be vigilant about other organizations similar to yours using the same images.

Another inexpensive source of stock art is http://www.istockphoto.com. It contains member-driven stock art images. Downloads are as inexpensive as $1 a download, and do not exceed $15 an image.

Amateur Photographers:
Often amateur photographers provide a great value. They are less expensive and often very talented. Amateur photographers may not be appropriate for all situations, but you can inquire at a local, high-end camera store for possibilities.

If you have an in-house communications director or communications staff, get someone on the staff to write your promotional material. Make sure it is edited thoroughly. If you are doing an ad campaign, it may be prudent to hire a copywriter for the taglines. But providing them with good copy for those ads will cut down on the costs.

The same stock-art providers mentioned above also sell illustrations. They are a good source for reasonable illustratrations.

In addition, if you need something specific, you can always contact a local artist and see if they would consider donating a free illustration in exchange for free publicity (giving credit on the printed publications for their artwork.) This usually works best if you have a high circultion to a relatively affluent group, or if your nonprofit mission is congruent with the illustrators personal beliefs.


Entry filed under: for administrators, for designers.

knowing where to look to save money

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mr WordPress  |  January 21, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  • 2. BstCredtCord  |  November 4, 2007 at 12:47 am

    Hi, I lately moved to the USA from Australia. I still have an Australian credit card account and I would like to transfer balance to a credit card here. What do I need to get a credit card here (SSN or what?) what website can I use to apply for a card and transfer a? I found

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