Keep this story going! Share below!
While many organizations exist today that do incredible and important work, many do not have the adequate capital, capability, or knowledge to communicate their mission in an impactful way. Resonate was created to bridge this gap between organizations and communities through innovative and powerful design.
From its creation, Resonate has been rooted in its foundation to deliver innovative design that increases the impact of organization’s missions. For many non-profits, government agencies, and companies that seek to create social change, great design is not at the forefront of their agendas. Resonate has identified this underlying need and sees it as an opportunity to connect organizations to those that they provide resources to, and to the communities they are involved with. Raising awareness begins with powerful communication, and Resonate partners with their clients to high-level, intentionally designed messaging, reports, and creative content that amplifies the good that is being done.
Despite the short amount of time Resonate has been operating, their list of clients is impressive and spans many social sectors. Resonate has created deeply personalized relationships with their client organizations and partners, ranging from Feeding America, Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs, Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders, Family Housing Fund, Minnesota Department of Health, and many others.
“We are elevating the stature of non-profits and organizations rooted in social change, as well as good design.”
Before establishing Resonate, both co-founders Tod Foley and Tonja Larson have experienced what it is to work at well-known and highly respected national design firms. As graphic designers in this sphere, they saw huge corporations come for a wide range of needs to promote their brands. As a creative, Tod Foley explained that while it was wonderful to see his work improving and being recognized at such a high level, there was a disconnect from knowing that he was not contributing to any greater good besides the profit of these consumer brands. Even though Tod and Tonja took separate journeys, both Resonate founders arrived at the same realization that they could be doing something different. While a portion of the idea for Resonate was birthed through the call for greater professional fulfillment, the motivation was to utilize their design experience to connect clients and communities to promote the greater good of society on local, regional, and national levels.
“There are opportunities for good design everywhere.”
The work done by Resonate has had powerful impacts on their client’s reach into communities. Partnering with organizations that have large-scale operations has allowed the company to expand its service offering to creative needs apart from graphic design, including but not limited to photography, copywriting, and art direction. With their ultimate goal of bridging the gap between organizations and communities, Resonate has learned to connect the right work with the right audience. Elevating their clients' materials, data, and stories through design have provided the exposure that is so valuable to these important causes. Working with client organizations to design scalable content and reach across platforms, from print to digital to social media, has allowed clients to connect and engage with broader, more inclusive communities. Resonate’s work with Feeding America, one of the largest non-profit charities in the United States with a nationwide network of over 200 foodbanks, has shown the powerful impact that Resonate’s design is capable of. Through multiple campaigns that have been accessible by millions of people, Resonate has helped develop strategic communications that work to fight against hunger in America.
“In retrospect, I would like to think that we are democratizing design for the people. It is for everyone – not just for high level or powerful people.”
Since its recent establishment, Resonate has occupied a space that directly addresses the needs of organizations while also having a positive impact on society. Working with non-profits allows Resonate to create high-level design work for audiences that have not previously expected it. Tonja and Tod’s collective experience enables Resonate to redefine what effective communication and design look like for non-profits and social change organizations.
“I don’t think there are many other firms, agencies, or designers focusing on the same things as us. It’s a great niche to be in, and there is a seemingly endless amount of work to be done.”
As Resonate has grown its client base and strengthened its relationships with its partnering organizations, they continue to understand where design can inspire change more deeply. Given their wide range of their client’s undertakings, Resonate works to promote the issues highlighted in many of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Their work with feeding America directly addressed goal #1 (zero hunger). They also directly play a role in increasing awareness of goal #3 (good health and well-being), and goal #11 (sustainable cities and communities). Because the work Resonate produces touches so many communities, they have seen how one call for action can trigger positive change for other issues. This larger-scale idea is addressed through goal #17 (partnerships for the goals).
Tod Foley, Designer & Founder
Founded in Minnesota during the global pandemic, Resonate was created with the intention to build connections between organizations and communities through design. Resonate’s founding partners, Tonja Larson and Tod Foley, are seasoned professionals in the graphic design industry. Resonate works with clients ranging from non-profits, social change, and philanthropic organizations to provide services including graphic design, art direction, copywriting, and photography. Their expertise helps organizations, small or large, create impactful messages through innovative design. Resonate works with their clients to build customized communications that speak to their specific audience, while also providing opportunities for the organization’s work to be spotlighted and shared on larger scales. The mission at Resonate is to use powerful design to inspire change that supports the greater good for communities.