This is a really nice cheat sheet from for all you amateur designers out there. Everything I know about design I’ve learned either by looking over the shoulders of good designers or reading stuff like this. Visage also has a handy free ebook available on the same subject.

Found via Hubspot.

Designing Effective Visual Communication Infographic

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Content Reigns … But for How Long?

by Dan Hutson on December 13, 2013

Boy, my day job really makes maintaining this blog a challenge (as you can see from the length of time between posts). I’m still deciding between taking it down and overhauling it, but in the meantime I thought I’d share this article that appeared in the latest issue of Orange magazine. Orange is published by imagination, the Chicago-based content marketing agency I work with to execute’s inbound marketing strategy. was one of five clients featured in this piece that looks at how we’re all using content to differentiate, generate leads and close sales. Enjoy. OrangeIssue7

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Telling Your Nonprofit’s Story in Two Minutes

by Dan Hutson on March 20, 2013

Idealware recently posted this great video as an example of how you can use the screenwriter’s three-act structure approach to effectively telling your story. You can make it more complicated, but your story really can be boiled down to this:

  • An event that sets your story in motion
  • Rising conflict that forces your character to take bold action
  • The showdown or climax that brings your story to a successful conclusion

In the video, a little girl’s accident (the event) creates a situation that requires bold action (the girl’s family moving into Ronald McDonald House in Austin to be close to her while she heals), resulting in a successful recovery. All in two minutes (well, actually 2:04, but let’s not quibble).

This little story perfectly captures Ronald McDonald House’s mission and the difference it makes in the lives of families far better than a marketing brochure or annual report. And much more inexpensively, I’ll bet.

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Kid President Gives a Pep Talk

by Dan Hutson on January 30, 2013

I love this kid. Wonder if he’s available for motivational speaking engagements?

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Dumb Ways to Die

by Dan Hutson on January 10, 2013

This is a really charming public service message about a deadly serious subject (train safety). Enjoy.

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5 Steps to Effective Content Marketing

by Dan Hutson on October 18, 2012

MarketingExperiments really excels at their mission: identifying what works in optimizing online marketing communication. Their latest webinar on content marketing does a really nice deep dive into the how-to of structuring a content marketing program for the web. Here’s the slide deck from that session.

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The Deepest Well

by Dan Hutson on August 24, 2012

Here’s a moving video from that shows how a child’s death spurred giving that yielded life-giving water for 60,000 Ethiopians. As the cost of video production continues to drop and the the tools become easier to use, nonprofits need to make sure they’re taking advantage of this powerful storytelling medium.

{ Comments on this entry are closed } Wins Four National Marketing Awards

by Dan Hutson on August 21, 2012

Meanwhile, back at my day job … We learned late last week that won four awards in the 2012 National Mature Media Awards. The competition recognizes the nation’s best marketing, communications, educational materials and programs for adults age 50 and older. It’s the largest and most prestigious awards program of its kind.

This year we had entries in four categories and won awards in each. Our be.yourself video (above) received a Gold in Marketing & Communications, and was judged Best of Show in the marketing category. We also received a Gold in Publications/Editorial for be.magazine, which we launched last year (our entry was only the second issue published). The magazine also received a Silver for graphic design in the Art/Design category, as did our new marketing brochure system in Marketing & Communications.

The full winners list can be found here.

All materials entered in this year’s competition were part of the new program we rolled out as part of the rebranding of Southern California Presbyterian Homes as What’s most important is the effectiveness of our efforts to communicate the brand and help seniors and their families understand the truly amazing benefits of living in a senior living community. But I’d be lying if I said this kind of recognition from our peers didn’t make my day.

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The Power of Video

by Dan Hutson on August 8, 2012

Yes, it’s essentially a two-minute ad for Proctor & Gamble and its product lines. But what a commercial. Even non-moms will tear up just a little as these stories play out to their inevitable Olympic conclusion. Well done.

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be.mag Wins Content Marketing Awards

by Dan Hutson on June 29, 2012

In my day job (the one that’s making it increasingly difficult to maintain this blog) I serve as v.p. of communications and marketing for, a large nonprofit that provides senior housing and other services throughout California.

As part of our re-branding last year (Presto! Chango! Southern California Presbyterian Homes becomes!), we introduced be.magazine, a twice-yearly publication that explores the opportunities and possibilities open to seniors who wish to continue learning, creating, connecting and growing.

We’ve only put out three issues so far, so we were thrilled to learn that be.magazine had won two awards in the ninth annual Magnum Opus Awards competition, presented by Content Marketing Institute and ContentWise. The competition recognizes outstanding examples of content marketing across a wide range of industries and media.

In its first year in competition, be.magazine received the Silver for Best Design – New Publication and the Bronze for Best Nonprofit Publication. Entries were judged on the basis of information/entertainment value, relevance, pacing, quality of copywriting, appropriateness for the audience and effectiveness in achieving goals, among other criteria.

To put it into context, there were more than 500 entries submitted by big companies such as Walt Disney Co., Lexus, United Airlines and Merrill Lynch, among others. In the best design category, our Silver was to Google’s Gold for its Think Quarterly publication.

You can find the latest issue of be.magazine on our website.

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