When the target audience changes…

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Graphic Design | No Comments

Having a clear idea of who your target audience is helps you to create artwork that will resonate with them and be more effective. However, what if the targeted audience changes right before the artwork is due to be printed?

This happened while I was working on a design project at the Seattle Art Museum. Diwali Ball was a fundraising event created to raise money for the upcoming Gardens and Cosmos exhibit. Diwali, the “festival of lights”, is celebrated in many Indian communities and was the perfect theme. For this event, the museum was planning on having a DJ playing Bollywood music to accompany dancing, henna tattoos, drinks and Indian food. The original target audience for this event was young adults, 21 and over.

Initial Diwali Ball poster

Initial Diwali Ball poster

To create artwork for this event, I was inspired by henna tattoos and the bright colors that are traditionally used in Indian artwork. Since the DJ music was going to be a large part of this event, I decided to design artwork that combined all of these elements to create a fun poster, postcard and other marketing materials.
The clients loved it.

However, a few days before these pieces were supposed to go to press there was a big change in focus. Since young adults typically did not contribute much money to previous fundraising campaigns, it was decided that the campaign should feature a more traditional design that might appeal more to an older audience.

Final Diwali Ball poster

Final Diwali Ball poster

Fortunately, whenever I design for a project, I usually create at least three options to present to my client showing different approaches. In this case, my clients were happy with one of the other proposed designs that featured a simple henna-tattooed hand against a patterned background.

In this case, the alternate design concept worked out perfectly. However, I may have had to come up with an entirely new design to target this different audience. This is a good example of why it’s important to identify who the target audience really is at the beginning of a project.

The Diwali Ball fundraising event for the Seattle Art Museum’s Garden of Comos exhibit was very successful and exceeded attendance expectations by 12.5%.

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