Open Your Heart

Rebranding an Annual Appeal

Art Direction, Branding, Print Design

open your heart cover design


Assistance League Minneapolis/St. Paul has established branding and standards. But this all-volunteer membership chapter wanted to enhance its existing branding and messaging. The branding needed to be consistent and resonate with the Assistance League’s values across its educational and community outreach programs. I started the process with their one-and-only annual appeal, “Open Your Heart.” 

The invitation that had been in use for years was tired, the messaging not up-to-date and its black and white photos didn’t spark interest. My solution was to create a “brand” within a brand, by taking the look I had created for Assistance League’s annual report and applied elements to the Open Your Heart materials. The appeal had to stay “fresh” year after year. To make this happen, I chose illustration that could evolve over time, select new quotes for the cover and new photos to represent Assistant League programs.

All of Assistance League’s outreach marketing channels needed professional photography. I asked award-winning photographer Debra Fisher Goldstein who captured the spirit and energy behind the Assistance League’s mission, programming, and its members.

Open Your Heart Brochure Design 2014

ABOVE: Assistant League’s 2014 Open Your Heart Invitation. Design is based on last year’s winning design with modifications to keep the appeal fresh. BELOW: Assistant League’s 2013 Open Your Heart Invitation, mailing envelope and thank you note designs.

“Open Your Heart” 2013 appeal brochure design
“Open Your Heart” Appeal Envelope Design
Open Your Heart Thank You Notecards

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Appeal Brochure
Thank You Notes
Mailing Envelope
Remit Envelope

Yesterday was the Assistance League’s monthly meeting where we ask members to pick up their “Open Your Heart” packages to prepare for mailing. I can’t even count the number of people who came up to us and RAVED about the wonderful, fresh design. They loved it!”

~ Susan Casey, Assistance League “Open Your Heart” Planning Committee


Assistance League is a nonprofit organization of volunteers committed to identifying unmet needs and addressing them through programs developed and administered by our members. They are a 501(c)(3) philanthropic nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian, all-volunteer organization. The money for the programs is generated from the Assistance League Thrift Shop and from grants and donations. The Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter is one of 120 Assistance League chapters nationwide. Each year, over 170 members work to fund and serve community programs.