The AHOY Centre, London

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The AHOY Centre, London

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It’s so great to work for local charities and the AHOY Centre in Deptford couldn’t be more local. Based on Borthwick Street, right on the waterfront, AHOY have been providing activities on the Thames for young people, adults with disabilities and people who have difficulty accessing the joys of the river, for over 10 years.

AHOY approached Bowlers (via Twitter no less) to update their promotional postcards aimed at corporate sponsors. AHOY achieve a considerable percentage of their charitable fundraising through corporate team building events – the Oarsome Challenges, a variety of rowing adventures on the Thames and even the English Channel. We were slightly surprised to hear that their most successful strategy for securing sign-ups for these challenges was to stand in the morning rush hour in Canary Wharf and the City of London, handing leaflets to passers-by. In a world gone digital it seems the touch of print proves an exotic distraction and lasts rather longer than a tweet.

Their original designs were typical of a grassroots community charity but they knew that to appeal to a corporate market they needed a rather more sophisticated design approach. The AHOY logo was not to be touched but we felt it didn’t quite have the feel needed to attract the desired audience. Therefore we decided to establish a logo for the Oarsome Challenges to promote it as a brand in itself. Taking inspiration from yachting brands and adventure experience companies we developed a style guide for the Oarsome Challenges literature and designed a series of postcards for print as well as images to be shared on social media. We were keen to balance the feel so that the grassroots local charity aspect is still present.

The original postcards were printed on the very cheapest shiny paper. We felt that this was a false economy and that printing fewer on a heavier card would have better outcomes. The leafleteers reported back their surprise that those not interested were handing back the postcard rather than screwing them up and binning them as had been the case before. They all said that much more care was taken – hopefully this results in more take up for the challenges in 2020.

The AHOY Centre have a packed events schedule and it wasn’t feasible to hire us every week for a new poster, leaflet or social media post so we have worked closely with the team to develop a series of templates in, online graphic design platform, Canva for the staff to use.

Top tip for charities and (most) not-for-profits – you can apply for a free subscription to Canva Pro which would normally set you back around £80 per year. It’s a great tool and a professional designed set of templates can save you huge amounts of time and money in the long run.

We regularly work with charities and are often able to offer discounts on our services. Get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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Case studies

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