Atomicdust may be a primarily digital agency, but we jump at the chance to work on exceptional print projects that allow us to color outside of the lines. That’s why we went all out to create something special for St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s annual report.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital believes in removing fear and stress from the hospital experience. They’ve worked hard to cultivate a space that offers a reassuring sense of hope for visiting children and their families. The hospital’s family garden, giant hot air balloon sculpture, murals, brightly painted statues, flags and more contribute to an undeniable feeling of safety and optimism.
The concept we created for this year’s report was “more,” a reflection of the hospital’s commitment to more lifesaving cures and treatments, more moments with loved ones, more exceptional patient care. We wanted the report to bring this concept to life through touching stories from patients who have been impacted by the hospital’s great work. Inspired by the hospital’s decor, we decided that the report should pair the comforting familiarity of children’s arts and crafts projects with sophisticated photography and design. This balance would lead to a final product that captured the youthful charm of the hospital in a compelling and appropriate medium for adults.
To design the individual scenes, we used the awesome Paper App for iPad to quickly sketch and polish concepts. Shortly after that we realized the only way to capture our desired look was to build and photograph each scene—ourselves. Handling traditional studio photography on this scale in-house was a new challenge, but we were excited to take it on.
The ceiling in our office in St. Louis' Midtown Alley was too tall to hang objects from, so we built a cage that allowed us to swap out backdrops and suspend props from beams. Once the cage was ready, we searched local craft stores and resell shops for the supplies we needed for each scene. We spent hours upon hours crafting piles of paper butterflies, stars, hearts, kites, and books that appeared to take flight. Even the data portions of the report weren’t exempt from our handiwork. We made pie charts and graphs from construction paper, helping the booklet fulfill its primary reporting role while reinforcing the whimsical message and design theme.
Over weekends and late nights, we invited the families into our office for their photo shoots. Photographing the children and families within our hand-crafted scenes gave the project a warm authenticity in the spirit of the hospital’s mission. We had so much fun hanging out with the families that we decided to shoot family portraits as keepsakes.
To take advantage of expanded publishing options and changing reading preferences, we created an interactive edition of the report for iBooks. The electronic platform allowed us to provide a convenient alternative to the print piece and enabled the hospital to share the report with a broader audience.
The hospital team had this to say about the project:
"Atomicdust was fantastic to work with for our 2011 Annual Report. They brought fresh and innovative ideas to the table that surprised and impressed our team and hospital executives. The creative team was very forward-thinking and completely delivered on their unique vision. Our account manager was always responsive and clearly dedicated to making sure we were the utmost satisfied with the end product. St. Louis Children’s Hospital appreciates the efforts of Atomicdust to help our organization really stand out in the market."
It was a reward to push ourselves creatively while helping St. Louis Children's Hospital and their patients share their stories. We’re incredibly proud of the project, and grateful to have met so many outstanding families in the process.
Check out our video case study, Shared Stories: St. Louis Children's Hospital Annual Report.
Download a copy of the St. Louis Children's Hospital Annual Report from the Apple iBooks Store.
Jazzy Loyal, copywriter for Atomicdust, helps create captivating content for websites, videos, and print materials.