Passion is a very powerful emotion. When it’s channeled properly and multiplied exponentially, it can yield impressive results. Such has been the case with growth of the Foundation of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and this is why passion is the theme of this year’s Annual Report on Philanthropy.
Traditionally, an annual report such as this has been presented in a printed format, although digital reports are becoming more commonplace. As a higher-education institution, a printed piece is still relevant for the UL Foundation report. However, this year, ink on paper was just not enough to convey the passion and exemplary actions of the featured donors. More was needed. Prejean Creative designers chose augmented reality (AR) technology to bring the report to life and create added value for the printed piece.
Combining Video With Print
Prejean Creative associate creative director, Brent Pelloquin, who was responsible for the design and execution of this unique combination of print and video said, “We were given the facts and figures about the success of the UL Foundation, some of the background on the people involved and it was apparent that we needed a special media application to convey the passion that each of these supporters brought to helping the university grow. We found it in augmented reality.”
Yvonne Lanoux, the Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations for the foundation, has worked with the team at Prejean Creative for the past 10 years and enjoys seeing “what’s next” from the virtual drawing boards of the designers. She also understands her mission, implicitly.
She notes, “There are people behind each and every gift the university receives. By highlighting a few of our donors and exploring the motivation and passion behind their gifts, we hope to illustrate the impact of the foundation on UL Lafayette. I think the report captured that beautifully, especially through the interactive portions of the report.”
While most of us have heard of and likely cringed at the onslaught of reality TV, widespread use of augmented reality (AR) as a design tool is relatively new, but growing. The augmented reality application uses a “quick response code”– very similar to the barcode found on packaged goods which enable the grocery cashier to scan products. When a mobile device such as a smartphone scans the code, content is downloaded from a server.
In the case of the UL Foundation Annual Report, this content comes in the form of video clips of some of the people responsible for the exemplary growth of the organization. After a mobile device scans the code, all of the videos associated with the report are loaded and as the viewer moves his or her device over select pages in the report, video presentations of the featured donors can be seen on the tablet or phone. See it in action in the video below.
Lisa Prejean, a partner at Prejean Creative notes, “The driving factor behind this innovative design tool are the great stories associated with the people who have made the UL Foundation such a success. Without these stories, augmented reality is just a tech toy.”
It’s not surprising that the design and fluidity of the report is enhanced by the minimal use of copy. Reports of this type are often inundated by clutter which comes from large amounts of copy and financial information. The use of augmented reality in this report allowed for a great deal of information without the need for a lot of printed words. It allows the reader/viewer to hear the donors’ passions in their own words.
Less is More
While AR dramatically enhanced the UL Foundation annual report, Prejean Creative designers urge caution in overuse of this application. “As with any medium, graphic technique or technological advance, it’s important to use augmented reality judiciously. Too much of a good thing gets tedious, quickly,” notes senior creative director Gary Lobue Jr. “We’ve taken a solemn oath to only use AR for the good of mankind!”
The report is also available on the UL Foundation website.