If you know Living Beyond Breast Cancer, then you know the work of Lisa Weinberger and her team at Masters Group Design. For almost ten years, Lisa and her colleagues have played an invaluable role in defining LBBC’s “look” and visual identity. This is the first part of a three part series Lisa has penned for our 25th Anniversary Blog Series.
Twenty-five years ago, and at the same time that Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) was born, I learned that I had a blood disease. I was 24 years old and shocked by the revelation. I’d never heard of this disease. I couldn’t pronounce it or spell it. And worse, I didn’t know a soul who had ever had it.
My life came to a screeching halt. For months, I rotated through hematologists’ offices—cumulating mountains of lab results, adjusting drug regimens and receiving invasive treatment to suppress the unwelcome stranger in my body. The experience was surreal.
I was faced with a new reality—a world where facts were scarce. There were no support groups or helplines. The lack of easy-to-access information contributed daily to my anxiety. I didn’t have the benefit of today’s robust Internet nor the connection of social media. I would have benefitted greatly if I could have learned from and networked with others who had experienced my illness. But I seemed to be one among a community of none. Never in my life did I feel so alone.
As unexpectedly as the disease had arrived, it miraculously departed about a year later. It did, however, leave an indelible mark on me. I understand the fear that illness brings, the need for information and the desire to live beyond a diagnosis.
In 1993, I launched Masters Group Design (MGD), a communications firm in Philadelphia. We help non-profit organizations crystalize their message and, through design, spread it with maximum impact. All of our clients seek to change the world in meaningful ways. And all of them make my daily work fulfilling. But there are some clients whose work resonates with me in personal and profound ways. Living Beyond Breast Cancer is one of them.
Nine years ago, my company was selected by LBBC to strengthen their marketing and educational materials. I was immediately drawn to and inspired by their mission. I knew that connecting and empowering people affected by breast cancer through information, support and community would offer them three lifelines. And, given their vision of creating a world where no one affected by breast cancer ever felt alone, I knew they understood that for those facing illness, knowing someone is with you, for you, is invaluable.
I was eager to round up the MGD team to amplify LBBC’s voice and help them gain the exposure that their important work deserved.
Janine Guglielmino, then LBBC’s Communications Director, was responsible for guiding the projects assigned to us. I learned from her that the role of design was extremely serious and sensitive business for LBBC. The material we created needed to:
- Speak to all women, regardless of their age, level of education or background.
- Welcome and comfort—not intimidate.
- Acknowledge that breast cancer was not the same experience for everyone.
Janine’s deep compassion and desire to communicate with dignity and delicacy were hallmarks of LBBC. Her sensitivity to how information gets crafted and delivered inspired our work from day one.
Breast cancer IS NOT the same for everyone as Lisa and her team would demonstrate, using design to visually tell LBBC’s incredible story. Be sure to check back for part 2 of Get [on brand] with us, next week.