What’s Your Inspiration? The Orange@Heart Gala with Guest Writer, Miriam Silkebakken

Hosted by the Community Foundation of Orange (CFO), The Orange@Heart Gala is an annual celebration of community, compassion, and dedication to making a difference in the vibrant town of Orange, CA. We were honored to be asked by Board Member, Terri Nour, and Executive Director, Susie Cunningham, to play a role in putting the Gala together by bringing our talented graphic design team into the project. Creativity is at the heart and soul of Get Community, and for this blog, we wanted to put the spotlight on our graphic designer, Miriam Silkebakken, to explain her creative process when designing the collateral for this very special event.

Orange@Heart 2024 Gala Honoring Love Orange

“The project began with a meeting with our clients from CFO, Susie and Terri. They provided us with materials from past galas, and we went over what they wanted to keep and what they wanted to change. Susie emphasized that she wanted the graphic style to be elegant and sophisticated. Orange would, of course, be included in the color scheme, but did not necessarily have to take center stage. CFO also had an existing “Orange @ Heart” logo from last year’s event that they wanted to incorporate in the 2024 gala.

After the meeting, I compiled an inspiration board of various fonts, color schemes, layouts, and photo styles that communicated both sophistication and warmth. Based on this board, I drafted three example designs for the 5×7 inch invitation card that would be mailed to the gala attendants.

A selection of print graphic design collateral by Miriam Silkebakken for the Orange@Heart Gala

I proposed a variety of pinks, greens, yellows, and blues to complement the featured orange color, but eventually, we settled on the streamlined palette of summery orange ochre, warm cream, and subdued navy blue. I selected three fonts for the various types of applications of the project: The decorative serif, The Seasons, for the headlines and titles; the elegant script Nautica, to keep the classic “gala” feel; and the extensive Meno font family for all other copy.

Once we had established a design for the invitation card, the visual direction of all the subsequent materials was fairly straightforward. A rigid system of margins and rulers ensured that each composition was cohesive and neatly balanced. The same decal of an orange cross-section was used for the envelope and RSVP card included with the invitation, as well as the social media posts. I also placed a few different illustrations of orange peels, blossoms, and branches in the background of other pieces for more variety and visual interest.

A selection of digital graphic design collateral by Miriam Silkebakken for the Orange@Heart Gala

The distribution of the colors in the final palette was carefully considered. Most of the items had a cream-colored background because it was the least visually weighty, with orange reserved for accents and emphasis. One item for the gala was the 2×3 foot welcome sign that would greet attendants as they entered the venue; because it was larger and more prominent than something like the invitation, an orange background was effective in drawing the most attention. I also employed different background colors to indicate the three levels of sponsorship that were available for the gala. The lowest level, Community Friend, was the most common, and was given the lightest color. On the opposite side, the highest level of Community Champion received the gravitas of the navy blue. In this way, the collateral for the gala follows a cohesive design style that retains its own interesting variation.”

You can learn more about the Orange@Heart Gala HERE, and our amazing team and who we are at Get Community HERE!

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