OHSU Foundation Doernbecher Freestyle XIX

A bold new look for an annual campaign



Event Design


Branding, Illustration, Art Direction, Visual Identity Design

The Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Oregon Health & Science University. Their annual campaign, Doernbecher Freestyle, is a highly-anticipated project that pairs current and previous patients from OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital with Nike visionaries to create footwear, apparel and equipment collections, all to benefit hospital research, treatments, and better care. In its 19th season, the campaign needed a fresh look and feel, distinct from past designs, that could be sustained across a variety of collateral for an entire calendar year—culminating in the big reveal and auction event in October.


The Client

For the second year in a row, we were selected by OHSU Foundation for our expertise in campaign brand identity design and development of visuals, our ability to offer creative solutions and additions to past campaigns, and our familiarity with the organization. We collaborated with a slate of heavy-hitters to bring this next iteration to life, including the Director of Development of Community Programs at OHSU Foundation, as well as industry experts in photography, copywriting, and printing.


The Challenge

As a year-long project, this campaign introduced several challenges to the team. Overall, it needed a look and feel that was distinct enough from previous years, and it needed to be carried out with a variety of collateral—from social media and print invitations to shoe box covers and a yearbook—over the course of the year. All pieces, no matter which medium they were served on, needed to tap into the emotional side of the project to convey a sense of hope.


The Solution

Since we were tapped to provide art direction, illustration, and volumes of collateral over an extended time period, we began with a brainstorming session in January. This meeting brought together the core team to map out the concepts and theme for the year’s program. We worked closely with the copywriter on the content and design theme, which we then translated into a few different design concepts for consideration. Next, we applied the chosen concept to collateral design for social media graphics, website graphics, email templates, stickers, print invitations, retail hang tags, shoe box covers, event banners, and a 32-page yearbook centered on the theme “I’m Possible,” which explores all that OHSU Doernbecher has made possible in the lives of the Freestyle designers.

For the entire collateral suite, Germinate took a curious, friendly, and playful approach to the design—using a colorful and eclectic mix of illustrations, photography, type, and a series of collages of the patient-designers to effectively capture and communicate the joy of possibility.