Welcome MHF!

Mackenzie Health Foundation Logo

Who attends a fundraising professionals networking event on a sultry August evening? Only some of the very best development pros in the GTA, of course ;-) Out of a pleasant encounter featuring icy drinks and warm conversation I made a connection that would soon bear some lovely fruit, and am happy to have recently completed a first project with Mackenzie Health Foundation. Welcome MHF!

Design Edge News

OBM Spring Campaign info graphic

So cool!  Design Edge Canada has written a lovely profile piece of the Ve’ahavta rebrand! Always nice to get the recognition from the design community, and of course the more people know about this wonderful organization the better. Read the article here.

Creative Thinker Seeks Like-Minded Partner

fingerprint heartI’m always looking for relationships. No, not that kindI’m talking about client relationships. As a graphic designer-slash-branding specialist working in the not for profit sector, I am always on the lookout for that special someone who will see me as a strategic partner, a creative thinker they can count on… as opposed to a (shudder) ‘supplier’ of graphic design.

It’s not just semantics. In this age of message saturation and A.D.D, how I express what I do for my clients is an ongoing challenge. Not that I lack the right words, but rather because the people I am trying to reach (Marketing, Communications, and Development Directors and Managers, Executive Directors) are bombarded by the same claims and promises. Ad nauseum.

The prevailing wisdom in communications these days is to banish ‘marketing-speak’. Be real. Cultivate your authentic voice. Well, good. Works for me. The trouble is, the word ‘authentic’, is bandied about to the point of meaninglessness. Sigh.

In fact ‘authenticity ‘ is central to my process (yes, it’s literally in the middle) – right there on my website: “insight, authenticity, and inspiration“. I recommend to my clients to know why they’re doing what they do, and tell the world. To have a powerful brand story that will resonate. To be great while doing good. I think it makes sense to apply that same spirit of authenticity to how we work together.

When I receive an initial inquiry or quote request from an organization by email my first impulse is to fire one back asking when we can schedule a short chat. I feel it’s important to ‘meet’, at least briefly, the person I will potentially be working with over the course of a few weeks or even months. Experience has shown me that our first interaction is a good predictor of how the entire process will unfold.

When all goes well, I get a chance to prove that I’m the real deal, ready to go above and beyond what’s expected, to take my client’s branding and communications to the next level. Ideally, a dialogue is created, based on mutual respect and integrity. Over time, my client develops a comfort level with my knowledge of their organization, environment, and communications challenges. They know they can count on me to deliver. I know I’m doing my best for them. A beautiful working relationship ensues. And who doesn’t want that?

Welcome Jewish Family & Child!

Jewish Family & Child ServicesI am proud to announce that I will be working with Jewish Family & Child on an exciting new project! As Canada’s only Jewish CAS centre (and so much more), JF&CS is a centre of excellence offering a wide range of innovative and holistic services to the Jewish and wider community. Welcome JF&CS!

Ve’ahavta Logo Launch

Ve'ahavta logo Tee - the big reveal!

Ve’ahavta logo Tee – the big reveal!

Sunday evening I  had the pleasure of attending Ve’ahavta’s annual gala Starry Nights at the beautiful Koerner Concert Hall in Toronto. It was a great event featuring Ve’ahavta’s ‘Tikun Olam’ awards celebrating the outstanding contributions of some seriously impressive individuals, several moving stories and presentations, and an inspiring keynote and performance by rapper and human rights activist Emmanuel Jal.

And then there was the launch of the new branding. I could not be more delighted as the identity I designed was introduced. The rebrand video (see below) played next, and as the show wrapped up a group of volunteer students in t-shirts sporting the new logo took to the stage. Applause!

A bit of back-story: I had first approached Ve’ahavta last May searching for volunteer opportunities for my son and stepdaughter as they prepare for their bar and bat mitzvahs, which led to the three of us sharing an unforgettable experience helping out on the Ve’ahavta MJRH (Mobile Jewish Response to the Homeless) van in July. As my kids were working through their transformational year, Ve’ahavta was approaching it’s own auspicious milestone – it’s 18th anniversary. One thing led to another, and I’m proud to have offered Ve’ahavta my services to bring their new brand to life.

Here’s hoping the new branding will help this wonderful organization prosper, grow and help more people in need – wherever, and whoever they are.

The video I produced about the new Ve’ahavta branding:



Sherri Gallowitz and Avrum Rosensweig

with Ve’ahavta President and CEO Avrum Rosensweig

Sherri Gallowitz and Emamnuel Jal

with Rapper, Actor, and Human Rights Activist Emamnuel Jal

Sherri and Lauren, Ve'ahavta's awesome front-line Mobile Response to the Homeless Pro

With Lauren, Ve’ahavta’s awesome front-line Mobile Response to the Homeless Pro

Toronto Mini Maker Faire

Sherri with Alison Evans Adnani at Maker Junior at Toronto Mini Maker Faire 2014

Enjoying Toronto’s Mini Maker Faire with Alison Evans Adnani, Maker Junior founder.

A couple of weeks ago  I braved the crowds at the Toronto Mini Maker Faire 2014 at the Toronto Reference Library and all I can say is WOW, if that was mini, then maxi would definitely require a bigger venue! The event was packed with makers, tinkerers and visionaries and their wares: 3D-printers, drones, robots (and every conceivable combination thereof), fun workshops ranging from electronic circuitry fashion accessories to low-tech screen-printing and origami, a team of (fully functioning) R2D2 droids, and for a special treat for this print design enthusiast: a coffee drip printer invented by Ted Kinsman. Amazing.

Here I am with Alison Evans Adnani, founder of Maker Junior at her booth. I felt a bit of shared ownership as I’ve designed all print and digital graphics for Maker Junior from day one, including of course the logo featuring mascot “LEDy”. Only one negative item that day – Maker Junior sold out of their adorable and educational kits early on day 2. To compensate they DID win Best in Show!


Designthinkers 2014

Designthinkers 2014Last week’s highlight was Designthinkers 2014. This year was exceptionally inspiring with keynotes and breakout sessions by an amazingly talented and generous international roster of presenters. Standouts for me included Debbie Millman, Paula Scher, Marty Neumeier, Erik Spiekerman, Irma Boom, Javier Mariscal, and Andrew Zolty. So many great talents with a bit of a common theme – follow your passion and the work you want to do will come. I’m already halfway there…


125 Montreal Winters

OBM FundraiserA couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a fantastic fundraiser for Old Brewery Mission at the Centre des Sciences in beautiful Old Montreal to kick off OBMs 125th anniversary Capital Campaign. With winter approaching it was only fitting that the 125th anniversary campaign “125 Montreal Winters” that I recently designed for the organization welcomed guests to a sparkling event dedicated to changing the conversation around homelessness. With the delightful Mélissa Bellerose, Communications Manager, OBM.

Ve’ahavta Brand Exploration


A visioning exercise


Symbol showdown!


Ve’ahavta values vote

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of leading a series of focus groups, or  “Brand Exploration Sessions” at Ve’ahavta. As always in this type of direct consultation,  very diverse and impassioned stakeholders (Staff, Donors, Volunteers, Community Partners) had a wealth of valuable insight to share with me as we explored all things Ve’ahavta.

The collective wisdom of these focus group sessions, augmented by the results of a larger audience online survey conducted by the communications team as well as direct consultations with Ve’ahavta program participants set the stage for creating an authentic and powerful new visual identity.