‘I’m not designing a five-year-olds party invite. We are meant to be professionals’
That’s a phrase I never thought I would have to utter at work, much less to have to repeatedly tell once respected colleagues. I’m a numbers guy, I live in spreadsheets and deal with absolute certainties.
That was until I tried to organise a charity coffee morning. It was a nice thing to do and we were aiming to raise a lot of money for a local charity, who were badly in need of a cash boost. Then I was given all the advice you would expect from an office starved of colour and inspiration.
We don’t have a marketing department and we don’t really need to advertise our goods as we work exclusively with a number of very long-standing clients, so when I thought about sending out an email and putting a poster up, it seemed that we all reverted a little bit back to our childhoods.
The rainbow background should have been the very first warning sign which I should have picked up on. Unfortunately, I managed to miss this and just thought it was attention grabbing. Then the multi-coloured party balloons stood out a little bit more and my attention started to get turned. It wasn’t until I realised that I hadn’t included either a cake nor a coffee, to advertise our coffee morning, that I saw the true extent of what we had designed.
If you had given a toddler a pot of paint, glue and an endless supply of glitter, the end product might just have been a better poster to look at. Even with the charitable view, we had created a mess of a poster and we hadn’t even started on the company-wide email.
A really quick about face happened and I abandoned the design committee and turned to the professionals. Well nearly, I didn’t want to give away the actual design process of the poster and email, so I just downloaded some newsletter software instead. It kept me in total control of the end product, but also ensured that the email I did send around to everyone in our company, would be well received.
I’m really not sure how my boss, or even the big boss, would have reacted if I had used our glitter inspired first attempt. We’re quiet a conservative organisation and this would certainly not have matched in with our company colours. I mean, which company even has forty different colours and eight different shades of glitter.
The coffee morning went down really well and we raised a good sum for the charity. The only downside, is that I seem to have become the person to create the emails from now on for every event we are ever planning.
I might even be allowed to sneak in a couple of rainbows and a waft of glitter into the next one I am asked to create. Who knows.