Introducing the re-thought, re-targeted, re-designed AbilityFirst Magazine!

Newly redesigned AbilityFirst MagazineJust in time for Labor Day Weekend, meet the new AbilityFirst Magazine.

Two years ago we designed the publication as a semi-annual replacement for the Southern California-based non-profit’s annual report, and supplemented it with a second issue mid-year. We primarily targeted donors and corporate sponsors, so the distribution was narrow and the cost per issue was relatively high. It was well-received, but it always felt more like a corporate brochure than a “real” magazine.

A few months ago, AbilityFirst asked us to take another crack at it, to see if it could become more magazine-like and engage a broader audience. We were thrilled. We made the publication larger, suggested they incorporate their sponsors’ advertising, and energized the  pages graphically. My colleague Ted Bickford pushed to make it more dynamic. Our wonderful designer Anat Rodan was inspired to make it even more beautiful and lively. And our client AbilityFirst let us run with it, encouraging our efforts and championing the result.

The first issue is about to hit the streets, exposing to a wider and more diverse audience the amazing work AbilityFirst does with developmentally disabled kids and adults.

But guess what? You get a sneak peek at the newly transformed AbilityFirst Magazine right now.

Let me know what you think.

New issue of AbilityFirst Magazine

AbilityFirst Magazine cover with boy holding basketball

One of our favorite clients is the incredible AbilityFirst. The work they do with developmentally disabled people and their families changes lives for the better, dramatically, every single day.

We just posted the newest edition of their semi-annual magazine on It’s full of moving personal stories like T.J. Mitchell’s, the 10-year-old with Down syndrome featured on the cover. T.J. has made tremendous progress through the loving, supportive programs AbilityFirst provides its participants.

They were also at the center of the effort to pass California Bill SB-309, the legislation that enables support for families with disabled high school students, without which their educational programs would have been cut off.

You can read the current issue of AbilityFirst Magazine online by clicking the image, or this link.

Magazine and annual report twofer

As many  of you know, AbilityFirst is a wonderful non-profit agency serving children and adults with developmental disabilities — autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other conditions. They provide education, training, housing and employment throughout Southern California, and the work they do transforms people’s lives every day.

AbilityFirst Magazine cover

After months of hard work, they have just launched their new magazine! (Designed by us, of course.)

The publication primarily targets donors, but also their clients and partner agencies. It’ll be published at least semi-annually; perhaps more often. Reaction from the first recipients has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re excited that it’s getting out there, telling powerful stories in a compelling, approachable, warm and very human way. Take a look!

AbilityFirst provides jobs for disabled workers

Our wonderful non-profit client, AbilityFirst, just got some nice coverage on our local CBS news. They do great work with developmentally disabled children and adults.

Doesn’t seem that I can embed the video here, but please do click on the link and take a look.

With California’s budget disasters, a lot of funding has been cut for organizations like this. Hopefully our upcoming campaign for the camp they run — Camp Paivika — can help compensate for some of that loss.

AbilityFirst Capital Campaign

Developmentally disabled kids come from all walks of life. But the one thing they all need is a shot at becoming the best they can be.

AbilityFirst Capital Campaign logoSounds trite, I know. But it’s true. And our client, AbilityFirst, gives them that shot.

Unfortunately, their facility in Inglewood, California, is too small and too old to do the job. (Kind of like my French teacher in high school.) So AbilityFirst is putting together a capital campaign. And guess who’s helping them by designing the identity package, brochure, and other communications tools?

Yep. Us. 

The theme is Building Independence. Celebrating Community. And the goal is to raise $5 million to build a new Joan and Harry A. Mier Center so that the job of educating, training and housing disabled kids and adults, and offering support and counseling for their families, can continue. So far, so good.

AbilityFirst (which used to be known as the Crippled Children’s Society) can be explored here. Wonderful folks doing wonderful work.