For our Design Thesis, Madeline Baratta and I gave the volunteer program at Rigler Elementary a proposed new brand identity, promotional materials, and volunteer handbook that they could use to strengthen their volunteer program and outreach.
Rigler Elementary is a multilingual elementary school in NE Portland. The school is prominently Hispanic and Latino and has strong Spanish-speaking community.
Looking to strengthen their volunteer programs, Rigler volunteers reached out to the Portland State Graphic Design department for some new visual materials.
For our research, we looked at Rigler’s history, its programs, and, most importantly, visited and volunteered there, where we engaged with parents and volunteers. We discovered there are a lot of successful things happening at Rigler already: there was no need to build a new strong and friendly community from the ground up – a strong support network was already in place through family, parents, and established volunteers; additionally, there were a lot of great programs that were already in place.
We also recognized a couple obstacles: beyond the lack of resources in terms of budget, the systems and volunteer roles could be confusing or unclear. Many times the the requirements and outreach were the biggest obstacles in the way of getting volunteers; due to it being a bilingual school, not all of the parents or family members spoke the same language (and a few parents couldn't read) so there was often a language barrier to overcome.
We wanted to strengthen the volunteer program through two things: branding and a volunteer handbook.
Branding the Rigler Volunteer program helps make it appear more professional, which is great when looking for more volunteers and partnerships. It also is a great way to give a face to what is a cornerstone of the Rigler community.
We recognized that most of the printers at Rigler only printed in black and white, but wanted to still provide a palette for larger projects and events, as well as for the web. We chose the above color values, and expanded the palette with tints and shades of those colors.
It was important to us to choose a font that was easily accessible for any teachers, parents, or other volunteers who didn’t have access to the full library. Asap suited us nicely, and worked in English and Spanish!
We created a series of icons for the different programs and volunteer opportunities at Rigler. Since not all of Rigler volunteers could read, it was important that these were clean, legible, and easily recognized and associated with each program.
We chose function over style with our wordmark—a simple all-caps, bold form for Friends of Rigler that made it easy for any teacher or parent to use, along with our own proposed lockup.
Before strengthening outreach outside of the Cully/NE neighborhood, it was important to strengthen the community that is already here. The Friends of Rigler Volunteer Handbook is a bilingual manual that contains information on programs, resources, and points of contact so everyone is on the same page (literally).
By clearly defining roles and programs in both English and Spanish, it can be used and referred to by everyone in the Rigler and will be a great tool during outreach and initiation. This manual helps you get easily familiar with Rigler’s volunteer opportunities and how to get started.
Rigler is proud of their volunteers and we wanted volunteers to proudly show and share that they are a part of the Rigler community. We hope to strengthen this feeling of community with swag and other materials. Friends of Rigler is more than a volunteer program—it’s about being part of a vibrant local community!