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.

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.

 

Sensical Design Featured in GDUSA for Green Design

GDUSA screenshotThe September issue of Graphic Design USA, a news magazine for the graphic design business, features their annual Green Design roundup. The story highlights eleven firms around the country that are committed to sustainable design practices. We’re proud to say that Sensical Design is one of the featured firms. The story features an interview with principal Daniel Kohan and highlights a recent project, the Ruka Press book The Pipeline and the Paradigm.

After seeing An Inconvenient Truth several years ago, Sensical Design principal Daniel Kohan found himself increasingly concerned about the potential devastation of global warming. Kohan decided to dedicate his firm – a small Capitol Hill studio focused on publication and book design for nonprofits and financial services companies – to sustainable design practices.

You can read the whole story on the GDUSA website.

 

Water Scarcity Website

Water Scarcity Solutions websiteSensical Design was asked to create this special-project website for the 2030 Water Resources Group. 2030 WRG had developed a printed catalog of case studies of their international work helping governments meet water-supply challenges. We were asked to translate the material into a website that would put the case studies into a searchable, filterable database on the Web. Users can open up items they are interested in learning more about or download the full case study as a PDF. The site was built on the Expression Engine platform using an agile development process (simultaneously working on the design and the programming) that allowed us to go from conception to launch in only six weeks. The site was also designed to be mobile-friendly and responsive. You can see the live site here.