Building Creative Capacity

The most effective and strategic messaging is lost if not shared through effective, appealing content. In our experience, the number one area of weakness for grantees across the board is sourcing and consistently designing quality content.

In our work with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids we decided to tackle this issue head on, building an interactive content strategy and design training series from scratch.

The course walks trainees through the basic principles of graphic design and building a content strategy, and then provides interactive support as students create a portfolio of graphic design in Canva, a free design program for those with limited experience.

It combines the one-on-one touch of an accessible trainer with shareable creative resources helpful to grantees across countries, bridging a massive unmet need for both raw creative materials and design capacity.

In the first lesson, grantees learn the six basic components of good graphic design, demonstrating their knowledge by critiquing their own content and other examples they find on social media.

Slide on Color Theory from Design Training

In the second lesson, grantees learn about the basic tenets of effective content, copied below, and actually fill out a guided worksheet sketching out their ideas for their content.

  • Emotional Appeal
  • Tangible Data
  • Personal Narrative
  • Timely Hook

Then, grantees get their hands dirty in the Canva platform, and start bringing their ideas to life.

To help get the grantees started, We also created a series of icons + graphic templates for the trainees to work off of in Canva. By the end of the training we were seeing our templates show up in different iterations all across the trainee’s social media feeds.

Examples of Grantees Using Canva Templates

We saw huge improvements, both aesthetically and through increased reach and engagement of content, particularly for grantees that were simultaneously in our Accelerator advertising program.

The same data point shared before and after the training