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Once upon a time, we cracked a hard case.

“Could be one...

could be four...

might be three...

but we need something now...

and probably something else later.”

Truth talk: designing a case study can feel quite a bit like what, I imagine, herding cats must feel like. I recently experienced just such an adventure first-hand (the case study, not the cat herding) when we dreamed up a customer case study to highlight the benefits of my company’s hosted solution.

The problem: Things started out well – we had a good plan, encompassing interview questions, a wire-frame of our desired layout, and a list of possible testimony givers. We were sitting pretty until we had to involve actual other humans. In addition to very disparate responses, we struggled to receive confirmation of approval in a timely manner, all while an event deadline loomed!

The solution: By designing content modules and utilizing digital printing in multiple sizes, our finished piece could grow and evolve as each customer's story was approved. Our initial case study consisted of a single, letter-sized sheet printed double-sided. This could then be adjusted to a single, four-up tabloid size, adding a letter-sized sheet tip-in when needed, and finally a double, four-up tabloid with staple-binding.

Letter-sized case study

A single customer study.

Tabloid-sized case study

A single tabloid piece features two customers.

The completed study features four customers.

I love how this case study proved, once again, design is more than just decoration. Design principles should be used to “think outside of the box” in order to create really sophisticated solutions and, in the case of our customer study, a little paper-knowledge and design techniques rescued us! Huzzah, Design!

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