The Spirit of Generosity: Creating a Donor Wall For a Lifetime of Iowans at The Iowa State Fair

Donor Wall Honors the “Character and Generous Spirit” of Iowans

Planning for the unknown future of a new donor campaign is a tremendous factor when it comes to planning and designing donor recognition. Robin Taylor at the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation had one better. She wanted to build a donor wall with no (or very few) donor names to start. Essentially, a blank slate for the “Spirit of Generosity” to grow. It is designed to honor the character and generous spirit of Iowans and gives ample opportunity at many giving levels with donations starting at $100. “Spirit of Generosity” campaign.

The challenge was to design something that looked complete the moment it was installed even though there were no donor names. It also needed to be economical as we are a non-profit foundation. A stained glass window provided the inspiration and Latitude’s graphic design team was able to take my vision and bring it to life. Now we have a striking piece of art in the atrium of the Bruce L. Rastetter 4-H Exhibits Building as well as a revenue generating donation program.

Robin Taylor - Assistant Director of Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation

Signage As Art

The challenge here was to design a “finished” looking wall that is an open canvas for donation opportunity, has design and functionality that can transcend time, and has the qualities of an art piece in the newly renovated Bruce L. Rastetter 4H Exhibits Building. In addition, the wall needed to attract visitors no matter what event was happening in the building. While it is the 4H building during the Iowa State Fair, it is the most highly used building year-round meaning the design had to be intriguing no matter who’s eyes were on the wall.

The design inspiration came from a stained glass piece the client presented. From here, Environmental Graphic Designer Andrej Steinbergs set forth creating the full design and determining the best materials based on the application, and the execution of fabrication with the production team.

Andrej explains, “covering such a large area with a seamless appearance was tricky. Due to material size limitations we had to break the installation up into 13 pieces. This was accomplished by using the "lead" or the gaps between stained glass sections as a breaking point rather than more conventional and noticeable vertical and horizontal seams. The final design fits together like puzzle pieces. As donor panels are added, the "lead" or gaps between them will still be exposed creating a natural and dimensional reveal. To achieve the stain glass look the design included use of frosted clear acrylics with second surface printed textures and colors. We were thrilled with the design challenge and the final installation."

Inspiring Iowans With Signage

“All of the components of the wall showcase what Iowa is all about. Each piece lends to what our state has to offer, from architecture to nature to industry” Tony Squire, our Central Iowa Sign Expert.

In addition to looking beautiful and honoring donors, this wall also has an educational component and take away information on how to get involved. To do this an extra touch was added by integrating a storyboard that gives context to the design and a literature pocket to encourage better understanding and engagement for future potential donors.

This team was able to take my vision and bring it to life.

Robin Taylor, Assistant Director of Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation

Still Curious?

Here's how to be a part of the “Spirit of Generosity” campaign.

See more donor wall inspiration.

Have a question or need some help? Email Tony Squire or reach out to any of our Sign Experts today.

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