New Life, Old Buildings: Your Green Guide to Heritage Conservation

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Vancouver Heritage Foundation
City & State:
British Columbia
Organization's Mission Statement
The Vancouver Heritage Foundation is a registered charity supporting the conservation of Vancouver's built heritage in recognition of its contribution to the city’s economy, sustainability and culture.

Submission Information

Impact Essay
Adobe software purchased from Techsoup has enabled the Vancouver Heritage Foundation to develop and improve our communication avenues and with our public, volunteers, and donors. The Vancouver Heritage Foundation is a not-for profit organization, that functions with four part-time staff and lots of volunteers, so efficient use of time and financial resources are crucial. Our activities and outreach are constantly growing and despite our small staff size we have a hefty website and a large number of publications, maps and guides that provide extensive information and resources about heritage conservation in our city. Our goal in working with Adobe programs was to maintain a professional look but to break away from the traditional ‘boring’ heritage connotations and evolve into something more bold and current that would convey our message with impact. Thanks to the discounted software purchase prices, we have been able to invest in some basic Adobe courses to train our own staff to use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Professional and Contribute in house. We also invested in some professionally laid-out templates for our basic publications and a flexible website. The ability to produce our own publications and manage our own website helps keep our costs down, our time use efficient, and our message clear. Many people are surprised to discover that we manage our own website and do a lot of our own design, but we find that the Adobe programs are straightforward to use and combine, and provide very professional results. Without Adobe’s contribution to TechSoup, we could not have afforded to purchase the Adobe programs and invest in staff training to use them. Our investment in Adobe software has helped us to decrease the costs associated with technology and graphic design consulting. We have found that good graphic design has been the most powerful tool for conveying the strong connection between sustainability and working with old buildings, the message we have been focusing on and prioritizing in the last 2 years. This year we launched a major new publication “New Life Old Buildings; Your Green Guide to Heritage Conservation”. This booklet, designed using Adobe InDesign and printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper, has brought professional, political and public attention to the reuse, repair and recycling of old buildings as a significant form of sustainable development. It has also opened doors for the Vancouver Heritage Foundation to participate as an authority and resource on sustainable development. The research conducted to develop “New Life Old Buildings” has brought a new dimension to all our programs, new depth to our website and a ‘green’ aspect to every decision we make. Since purchasing Adobe software though TechSoup and learning the basics, we have been able to produce brochures and maps in house for all our events, making for an attractive, current look and greatly improving attendance and media attention to our activities. By refreshing our website’s content regularly we are able to increase attention, provide people with the most current information about our events and services, and vastly improve our outreach and impact. We are also using Adobe Acrobat to generate letters, receipts and evaluation forms. Having the option to email professionally designed correspondences saves us on postage, toner, letterhead, and envelopes. Despite the economic downturn, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation programs and activities are blossoming and our efforts to promote a culture of reusing old buildings are proving to be timely, relevant and even urgent. Our message “New Life, Old Buildings” is gaining attention and our demographic is evolving and becoming more diverse. This is evident through our feedback forms and the activity on our website. This evolution can be greatly attributed to our web visibility and improved branding, both deriving from our consistent use of Adobe software.
Submission Category
Environmental Impact Print/Photo
Supporting Work Files