Design Nut is headed by Creative Director Brent Almond. Noting that he’s “nuts about design,” Almond describes the firm as creatively curious, getting to know clients and their needs deeply, and creatively connected, often relying on partnerships with a network of experienced creatives to form the best team possible for each project. Social responsibility is a big part of the practice, particularly in how it relates to children and education. Recent projects have included a logo and conference materials for Accion, which furthers financial inclusion for third world countries; a logo for the Million Mom March for gun safety and control; a logo for the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families; posters for Creative With Kids; and the annual report for Fight for Children, which helps needy schools in the Washington DC area. Adds Almond: “In addition, I write a parenting blog (designerdaddy.com), which supports various causes, including LGBT marriage/ parenting/equality, adoption/foster care, men’s health issues, and anti-bullying . . . I also have a shop on Etsy where I sell superhero-themed lunch notes, based on ones that I give my son every morning, with 10% of the profits benefiting Food & Friends, a DC-area food bank that focuses on families and children affected by HIV/AIDS.”
Raising A Reader is a nonprofit organization specializing in early childhood literacy. Their methodology involves setting up “affiliates” around the country — they, in turn, help families develop book-sharing routines, using signature red or blue tote bags given to students with their first set of books. In existence since 1999, Raising A Reader had fallen behind the times, in terms of the branding and modes of communication. While the existing logo had a childlike friendliness to it, it lacked the professionalism to give it cachet with sponsors and donors, and the respect and trust of potential affiliates, educators and parents. Design Nut developed a new identity that kept the warmth of the original, but added strength, color and boldness. While the audience for Raising A Reader’s website was primarily affiliates, partners, and donors, the organization also wanted to enhance it to serve as an informational hub for the public. The new site strikes a balance between being visually warm and friendly — using elements of books and bookmarks to underline their mission –while also being highly professional and content-rich, with easy sight points to donate and interact on every page.