Sensical Design & Communication is a small graphic design firm in Washington, DC, specializing in publication design for non-profits and financial-services companies.

Sensical Design & Communication is a top graphic design, publication design, branding, and web design firm in Washington, DC specializing in publication design for non-profit and financial services organizations.

Sensical Design is based in the Capitol Hill area of Washington DC. We provide a full range of graphic design services, including print publications, collateral, book design, magazine design, annual report design, branding, logos design, infographics design, and web site development. We have an excellent reputation in the community for tackling complex, challenging projects and delivering on time, on budget, and without drama. Call today at (202) 546-8049 or email info@sensicaldesign.com to learn more about how Sensical Design can improve your visual design.

Rock Creek Education Logo Design

Rock Creek Education LogoSensical Design created this logo for Rock Creek Education, a startup nonprofit that will advise state and district policy makers on education policy as well as work with middle school and high school math teachers on improving their teaching. David Wakelyn, founder of Rock Creek Education, suggested a design based on the historic Taft Bridge, which spans Rock Creek Park at Connecticut Avenue, near the organization’s office. We proposed several options related to the bridge, its iconic barrel vaults and arches. Another key feature of the bridge is the stone lions that guard its approaches. One of those lions was kind enough to model for this colorful icon, which ended up being the selected design.

David Wakelyn, founder of Rock Creek Education, said, “Dan took my initial idea and created something better. He’s easy to work with and willing to go back and forth as much as it takes to get the design right.”

 

SAMS Annual Report

SAMS Annual Report 2015The Syrian American Medical Society is a nonprofit organization that has been supporting life-saving medical care during the Syrian civil war, both in Syria itself and in refugee camps in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. The organization asked Sensical Design to create its 2015 annual report. The report is 48 pages and filled with dramatic photos and stories from the field, as well as chilling statistics (178 health workers were killed in Syria in 2014). We strived to create a publication that was lively, approachable, and easy to understand, while still being appropriate to the serious subject matter.

Kathleen Fallon, the SAMS Advocacy & Communications Manager, said, “Dan Kohan and Sensical Design created amazing and high quality work for our annual report this year. Dan was wonderful to work with, creating a unique design that perfectly highlighted our programs and mission. Despite our short timeline, Dan was extremely flexible, and his work was efficient and high-quality. We highly recommend Sensical Design and hope to work with them on another project in the future!” You can download the full report here.

 

Multi-Language E-Books for PAHO

PAHO Guide CoversHappy New Year! We wanted to draw your attention to a project we worked on across much of 2014. The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) asked us to design their new internal procurement guide as an e-book. The guide runs about 80 pages and includes a variety of tables. It was first written and designed in English, then translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and French over the course of the year. We created a coordinated series of covers for the different language versions, with subtle color variations, as shown here.

For each book, we created two version for each language, PDF and ePub/Mobi, to give users the widest array of options for using the guide, whether they have a desktop computer, tablet, or Kindle. Although the finished products look quite similar whether PDF or ePub, they’re quite different under the hood. Sensical Design was able to draw on our years of experience producing print and electronic publications to follow best practices, make the process simple, and complete the work on time and on budget.

 

Some Book Interiors

Sample spread from Civilizations of the Unconscious

Sample spread from Civilizations of the Unconscious

Sample spread from How to Perform a WAN Qualification

Over the last few months, we worked on a couple of complex book interior designs that are worthy of note. Sample images are at right (or above, if you’re on a small screen), and if you tap on them you can see them larger.

The first two images are from the book Civilizations of the Unconscious by Dr. Nandini Dickens. This book is a scholarly work that offers a new attempt to decipher the mysterious, ancient Linear A script from ancient Minoan Crete. Because it’s a book encompassing both history and linguistics, it contains a large number of complex charts, maps and graphics, including the characters of Linear A, which had to be hand drawn. And because Dickens’ theory ties the script to Tamil, a language of southern India, there’s also quite a bit of Tamil.

Dickens began working on the book with another designer, who designed the cover, but the complexity of the interior was beyond his abilities, so she (wisely) turned to Sensical Design. “I appreciated the artistry, the skill, and the expertise Dan took with the interior design,” Dickens said. “I think the text was very difficult to manage because of the ancient fonts involved, but the way he dealt with them was impressive. The hardcover edition of the book was beautiful and much commented on by the people I showed it to.”

The final sample image is from the book How to Perform a WAN Qualification by Toni Schimmel. This how-to book for network engineers is in color and contains hundreds of diagrams, lists, and illustrations; the image at right only gives a slight taste. Schimmel also started this project with another design firm, in this case one operated by a large Internet company that you may have heard of. After months of back and forth and frustration, that company ended up refunding her money. Sensical Design finished up the project in good order, with no drama.

Schimmel said, “Dan rescued us from the clutches of a large, no-frills publishing conglomerate! Our book was complicated and technical. It was imperative that it be easy to read and a pleasure to the eye, to ensure the reader does not stray. Dan was the only one who understood our dilemma and rallied like the old publishing houses when they had a critical deadline. We will use Sensical Design whenever possible.”

See our publishing services page for more on how we can help you with your book projects, complex or straightforward.

 

Website Updates

We hadn’t delved into the code controlling the look and feel of our Sensical Design website for a few years, and it was getting to be time for a refresh. So over the past few weeks, we’ve been making a few updates in spare moments. The most significant was to make the site responsive, i.e. to make it adjust to the screen size of any device, from desktops to smartphones. This wasn’t a priority when we were building the site a few years ago, but it’s become a must-have for websites now that so many web visits are from mobile devices.

We also updated a few things, replacing the contact form and Twitter feed, changing the font from Helvetica to Proxima Nova (much easier to do now than it used to be), and making other minor fixes. If you see anything that seems to be broken, please let us know.

If your company or nonprofit has an outdated website that isn’t mobile-ready and needs an update for responsive web design, or needs a total overhaul, get in touch. We’d love to help bring you up to date.