|How time flies …
Yesterday it was winter, today it was
June — and the annual report had to be designed, printed
and mailed by June 30!
Lanzafame, Biophan’s Vice President for Business Development,
was not a last-minute kind of guy. He was thorough, detail-oriented
and very smart — but sometimes even the best-laid plans
go awry. Luckily, when delays in the financials derailed his
timetable, he had someone in mind who worked well under pressure.
“I remember this project well,” said David Wright,
president and founder of IDU Creative Services. “John contacted
me about the annual report in April, but when we finally sat
down for our first meeting there were only about eight business
days left to complete all of the creative work.”
Choosing a results-oriented creative
John had worked with David before — in January he had hired David
to design Biophan’s corporate
identity, then asked him to
create a number of print and trade show pieces for Biophan
and its sister companies. John knew that when push came to shove,
David had a solid track record for delivering under pressure.
“David was always a pleasure to work
with, and able to generate high quality materials under very
tight time constraints,” said John. “We made some
pretty unreasonable demands for fast turnaround, but David was
always able to come through for us.”
However, this project had more challenges than just a
short timeline. This would be the first time Biophan was including
a creative wraparound in their annual report. Would the
new approach create a logjam of conflicting reactions from the
leadership team? And there was an even bigger challenge: no ideas
were on the table for a compelling theme to sell the company’s
progress to their major investors.
Developing the conceptual theme
“After immersing myself in the raw materials, I proposed ‘growth’ as
the most effective theme for the annual report,” said Wright. “The
letter to the shareholders indicated dramatic growth on a number of fronts,
making this a compelling concept. I set John’s aspirational statement
about the company on a beautiful double-spread photo, then wrote
five additional aspirational statements to set in a series of
complementary full-page photos.
“I had an advantage, though,” continued Wright. “I
had worked with John to develop the Biophan brand identity, so
I was able to write about key concepts that I knew went to the heart of Biophan — like
curiosity, agility, confidence, and vision — and set them in photos
that emphasized the theme of growth.”
Designing the right creative solution
David’s team worked hard through the week and over the weekend
to get the initial draft done, and on Monday morning sent the completed
draft to John. With only one day scheduled for initial review and
edits, John deftly handled inquiries from the leadership team and
sent back glowing responses — “excellent”, “great”, “nice
job”, “look and feel is outstanding!”. The
hard work was paying off.
“My team wasn’t the only one working under pressure,” said
Wright. “John was in New York for a trade show and I remember
he had to stay in his room overlooking Broadway and Times Square
that night to proofread the first draft. Poor guy! And Rich Sadd,
our printing representative at Bowne of Cleveland, was expecting
a child that week.”
Achieving the desired response
Despite these many challenges, the creative work was completed
on schedule and the final art sent to Bowne for printing and distribution.
According to John, the annual report received a positive response
from both shareholders and investors.
Michael Weiner, the company’s
CEO, was well satisfied with the project, pointing out in a
testimonial to David that Biophan’s market cap and share
volume grew exponentially during this period of time.
Leveraging the successful design
was also satisfied, and asked his assistant Lisa to contact
David for more design projects. It
was time to start working on the Biophan Marketing Agenda, including
new folders, updated pull sheets, 10-foot trade show booth, 20-foot
trade show booth, posters, banners and handouts for the annual
But that’s another story …
Click here to
see samples of the Biophan Annual Report.
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