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Sophistication a New Goal for Sports Graphics


Livestrong Annual Report
Gets in Gear


Working in the non-profit field, Carmen Garza of ThinkCarmen.com, found that many organizations do not have well-designed annual reports.

For example, she served as creative art director and graphic designer in a one-woman department for an extraordinary organization that treated the annual report as an afterthought. She says there was little understanding of the time required to create an exceptional piece, and the board of directors did not consider the utility of the report for raising money and awareness.

Says Garza, who now heads her own Texas design firm: “My approach was to challenge myself to envision what an annual report for an admirable organization should be. I conceive of the annual report as an essential part of a non-profit’s vitality, to show the community how donations are used to help people. Such a flow of communication is critical to the stability of the organization. The Livestrong annual report was therefore a self-exploration project to imagine how to represent a non-profit organization inspired by self-motivation. I wanted to examine the different perspectives in life that fuel a person to excel and overcome the obstacles he faces.” In the end, Garza decided to focus on Lance Armstrong’s story, realized through the use of guiding quotes and bicycle imagery, with particular attention to the positive potential of stubbornness and a strong will.

Photography, notes Garza, was a big challenge. She says: “Gears and chains represent the various functions of this organization in achieving its mission. I did not want to use staged imagery, so I went to one of the city’s largest parks and lived there for a week. I wanted to capture cyclists who bike for a hobby, rather than as a profession, to show that ordinary people can overcome their challenges by drawing on their inner strength. I obscured myself from the cyclists so I could spontaneously capture their passion and focus, in both their relaxed and dynamic moments. As a result, the photography reinforces the Livestrong story, forcefully animating the organization’s defining manifesto.”