Giving visibility to the blind and visually impaired.
Outlook Nebraska is a nonprofit that advocates for and educates the community about the more than 30,000 blind and visually impaired individuals who call Nebraska home.
Outlook Nebraska was built on the idea that blind and visually impaired individuals can work, play and live life to the fullest. Founded in early 2000 with just four blind associates manufacturing paper products, it set out to foster a blind and visually impaired workforce in Nebraska. As the non-profit grew, so did its offerings, moving from job creation to enrichment opportunities that include adaptive technology training, recreational activities and cultural experiences. Unfortunately, they suffered from a lack of awareness in the community, and internally, they were going through an identity crisis that made it hard to deliver a succinct and unified message.
They reached out to Wheelhouse Collective for their expertise in creating effective communication strategy and design. They needed to define themselves and make their presence known in Omaha and beyond. At the time, they were in the middle of a major building renovation that would add technology classrooms to accommodate more people. Their unveiling was an opportunity for them to introduce their new brand, messaging and building.
The project started with extensive research, including focus groups and online surveys, that provided a greater understanding of not just who their audiences are — and yes, they have many — but who Outlook Nebraska is. The research revealed Outlook Nebraska’s archetype, which was the foundation that allowed the Wheelhouse team to craft a brand story that became their internal rallying cry. The team also developed a new high contrast color palette and brand identity that helped them stand out and get noticed.
As we began creating the communication pieces, we developed a messaging hierarchy that organized their information. To ensure that accessibility was incorporated into our design and executions, we collaborated with a few of Outlook’s low and no vision employees. With their feedback, we designed inclusive pieces that resonated with Outlook Nebraska’s clients and their families. Separate materials were produced to educate local non-profits, elected officials and the community at large.
When all was said and done, Wheelhouse Collective delivered a new adaptive website that organized Outlook’s extensive information, a suite of collateral pieces — including braille, a striking backlit exterior sign that was easily visible to drivers and pedestrians, and a comprehensive brand standards guide for the internal team and the organization’s vendors to ensure a seamless consistency among communication pieces. For their new walls, we proposed a photographic mural with 3D reliefs that featured their employees, so everyone sighted or not, could enjoy their new branding.
Our favorite part of this project was getting to know this wonderful organization and working closely with the selfless group of people dedicated to making the lives of those who are blind and visually impaired infinitely better.
The unveiling of the expanded facility and new identity drew praise by donors, clients, legislators and community leaders. Armed with fresh collateral, a creative message and a clear path for the future, Outlook Nebraska felt ready and invigorated to take on the challenge of leading the charge in education and advocacy for the blind and visually impaired, helping them live life to the fullest. We can. We will. We dare to.
research, brand strategy, logo design, identity, copywriting, web strategy, campaign strategy, accessibility, design, digital, environmental graphics, photography, creative consultation
Strategy, Creative Direction & Design: Cathy Solarana
Strategy, Creative Direction & Copywriting: Neveen Hegab
Research: Diane Krajeck
Photography: Justin Limoges
Web Design & Development: Pixel Bakery Motion Studio