Blog

We have quite a bit to say about design, technology and communications. Specifically, how all these tools relate to causes and the nonprofit world. Explore our blog for a piece of our minds.

Experts Only (photo by Neil Rickards)
Experts Only
Experts Only (photo by Neil Rickards)
Experts Only
I was at a conference in Israel recently that dealt with global and regional strategy and security. The speakers were a high-powered bunch from the worlds of business, diplomacy, military, think tanks and the lik...

Liquid Knowledge

dialogue bubble
dialogue bubble
After attending an NYU event last Friday – “Marketing Now: The New Consumer” – I am left with a positive and resounding affirmation that communication between brands and consumers is evolving in t...

The New Age of Marketing is all about Meaning

gossip
gossip
Today, brands are defined by the conversations people are having about them, inside and outside of your company. The messages associated with your brand are no longer engineered from your marketing and communications depa...

Your Brand is What They’re Saying About You

94198360_418a8abfff_b
94198360_418a8abfff_b
So there’s a theory that I’ve been touting around for the last few months, and I’d like to reexamine it in light of some new thinking. The theory: It is going to take large, mainstream, c...

Forecast for Social Consumerism: Big Brands, Small Brands — there’s room for all in a hybrid model

Kara+SHE+logo+redone
SHE logo
Kara+SHE+logo+redone
SHE logo
I don’t want to belabor this point. But I kind of do. I suppose it’s become part of my agenda to help take the word profit out of the evil, negative space that if often gets thro...

SHE: Futher evidence that Social Progress doesn’t have to come from those *not* making a profit

3846710763_8046e5db15_o
3846710763_8046e5db15_o
After this year’s Feast On Good conference, I am left feeling the perfect balance of satiated and inquisitive. The overarching theme of the event – Reinventing Industries – was...

Digesting: A recap on The Feast on Good

Dusk on the Playa
Dusk on the Playa
The White House recently launched a new initiative called The Social Innovation Fund (SIF). The aim of the Fund is to identify the highest performing, most impactful, nonprofits around the country, and pr...

Leading by (Wrong) Example

Blue Tape Measure
Blue Tape Measure
Empax is all about communication. This isn’t news to anyone who know us. Empax is also deeply concerned about evaluation and social impact measurement. This may be news to some of you (in which case it...

Evaluation + Communications – A Relationship Worth Fostering

ad overload
ad overload
Every company — big, small, good, bad, domestic, international — has a mission statement. And chances are, there is at least a grain of goodness in each of them. It’s hard to imagine that any corporati...

Corporations need to reconnect with their mission statements

we listen
And observation begins with listening.
This fundamental, but critical, idea was brought back to life for me over dinner with my two Rwandan friends — Patrick and Emery — last night. They are here visiting the States f...

One of the greatest abilities we have as humans is observation

Shaking Hands
“5 years from now it’s going to be strategy malpractice not to realize that the two sectors (business and social) are now coming together – there are huge market opportunities that weren’t there before.” — B
...

Social Entrepreneurs + Business Entrepreneurs: We all benefit when this relationship blossoms

Foursquare_Blog Post
Foursquare_Blog Post
Last night’s event, graciously hosted by 501 Tech NYC (of NTEN) at the Planned Parenthood offices, was about the “it” app – Foursquare – and how nonprofits might potentially leverag...

Foursquare + Nonprofits: Interesting insights on perks of the app, but still wondering how (if at all) nonprofits can leverage the technology

Big Oil Says
5pm Monday, June 14th:  Empax gets off the phone with the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). They’re looking for a campaign site to tweet the statements of oil company execs testifying before the Senate. They n...

Buzz Glug Zzzzz….

Cupcak Collage
In a perfect collision of coincidences, the stars have aligned and I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting two new, young, bright minds in the past week. As a journalist turned nonprofiteer – and forever with a healthy dos...

Entrepreneurship + Philanthropy (+ Food) = Good for Everyone

The Safe Place Logo
Introducing: The Safe Place Two Nassau County nonprofits, Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect, have an announcement to make: They’ve moved in together. This relation...

Two Organizations Partner, a New Brand, Campaign, Place is Born

We always say that the people we work with here are angels. This time we just started up a project with a new breed: An Angel Superhero. Her name is Sharon Shapiro, and she is the driving force behind a deeply inspiring and brilliant organizati...

Meet Sharon Shapiro, Our Newest Hero

J Street Logo
This is a shout out to one of our clients who we think is doing an incredible job of using their brand. J Street, a lobbying 501(c)4 organization in Washington DC, provides a political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans. T...

J Street is doing us proud

Reading is Fundamental
At Empax, we’re all about knowledge swapping and best practice sharing. I guess it’s the nonprofit in us, but we just can’t help wanting to open-source all we do, and help provide access to information to as man...

Sharing What We Know

Video game characters reenacting the Last Super scene
Video game characters reenacting the Last Super scene
Last week I came back from my “conference week”. Enough panels for a lifetime. A week at GDC (Game Developers Conference) in S...

Games for Good?

Empax is looking for a new Web and Graphic designer. We’re looking for people with a versatile array of skills, specifically in web interaction. This position is full time, for candidates local to the NYC area. Send us your résumé a...

Web/Graphic Designer Position Available

I Met A Girl_Blog Image
Her name is Gladys. She lives in Hunts Point on Manida Street, in the Bronx. She is a senior in high school, and preparing to go to college. She wants to study culinary arts: She’s not sure why, other than the fact that sh...

I Met A Girl

Martin Kace_Herzliya Conference
Martin Kace_Herzliya Conference
If ever there was a daunting branding challenge, the State of Israel has to be it. I was invited to speak about Brand Israel at the annual Herzliya Conference on National Se...

Brand Israel

Lipstick Smudge Illustration
Lipstick Smudge Illustration
Lipstick Smudge Illustration
Lipstick Smudge Illustration
No Lipstick on Israel: Martin Kace Delivers Surprising Response to Israeli Foreign Ministry’s “Brand Israel” Proposition at 10th Annual Herzliya Conference Downloa...

No Lipstick on Israel

Martin Kace Herzliya Star
Martin Kace Herzliya Star
Martin Kace Herzliya Star
Martin Kace Herzliya Star
Empax said bon voyage to our very own Martin Kace yesterday, as he embarked for Tel Aviv’s red carpet. Kace, a highly anticipated presenter at the star-studded 10th Annual Herzliya Con...

Who Needs the Oscars When You Have Herzliya?

IRC HomepageIRC HomepageAction Against HungerAmerican Red CrossAmerican Red Cross BlogAmeriCaresCharity WaterCliton Bush Haiti FundDirect Relief InternationalDoctors Without BordersGoogleHope for HaitiIRC_1IRC_2Mercy CorpsOxfamPartners in HelpSalvation ArmySave The ChildrenUnicefWorld Hope As a photojournalist I often find myself asking the question: What impact does visual storytelling have on society? As someone who works for a nonprofit, I often ask myself: How much does visual storytelling impact an organization’s ab...

How Nonprofits are Seeing – and Showing – Haiti

Basic Logos Book Cover_1

Basic Logos Book Cover_1Basic Logos Book_Matan Page_1Basic Logos Book_Gotham Page_1 Index Book, a Spain-based company that creates books relevant to the design world, has released its first-ever Basic Logos book. This Book of Inspiration compiles logos from designers around the world, showcasi...

Two Empax Logos in Basic Logos Book – Congrats ALL the Way Around

Sunflower Stands Out

Sunflower Stands OutAt its core, branding is all about differentiation. It’s about identifying what makes you unique and then showing that off to the rest of the world. At a time when funding and grant money is increasingly harder to secu...

Branding = Differentiation, Differentiation = Funding

Love in Felt
Love in FeltA match made in philanthropic heaven. Anyone operating in the nonprofit world – in any capacity – has the Foundation Center on his or her radar. The Center is a magnate for information and resources, and recently ha...

Empax + The Foundation Center = Love at first sight

Visual Storytelling InviteVisual Storytelling InviteFrom branding to online video, every piece of visual communication that a nonprofit puts out should represent its story. With all the recent advances in photo, video and web technology it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. Empax ha...

Show Don’t Tell: Visual Storytelling for Nonprofits

Hunts Point Alliance for Children - Visual Storytelling
Hunts Point Alliance for Children - Visual Storytelling
Hunts Point Alliance for Children - Visual Storytelling
Hunts Point Alliance for Children - Visual Storytelling
Hunts Point Alliance for Children - Visual Storytelling
Hunts Point Alliance for Children - Visual Storytelling

Hunts Point Alliance for Children - Visual Storytelling
Hunts Point Alliance for Children - Visual Storytelling
Hunts Point Alliance for Children - Visual Storytelling
Hunts Poi
...

Zooming in – telling a story through photos

Joshua Venture Group
Joshua Venture Group
Joshua Venture Group
Joshua Venture Group
Today, a bit of shameless self-promotion: At Empax we’re first and foremost visual problem solvers, but in this case our client specifically asked us to work on naming first. Joshua Venture Gro...

Joshua Venture Group is back

Mass of people stand with rain coats and umbrellas in Sydney, Australia As the rains poured down and the frigid winds howled, dedicated do-gooders trekked to the 9th floor of 27 W. 24th St. last Thursday night. While the Wednesday night-ers don’t have quite as dramatic a tale, Empax was equally grateful for bo...

The Nonprofit Website: Workshop Recap

Hunts Point Alliance Logo
Hunts Point Alliance Logo
HPAC Website Homepage
HPAC Website Homepage

After months of a very inspiring and eye-opening partnership, Empax and Hunts Point Alliance for Children (HPAC) are proud to announce the launch of HPAC’s new website. HPAC is a unique, p...

HPAC + Empax = Dynamic new website

The Nonprofit Website
The Nonprofit Website
Brace yourselves: event number two is on its way.  The second edition of our Fall workshop series is all about the nonprofit website. This is a presentation for nonprofit professionals who either don’t have a webs...

The Nonprofit Website: Guide to an Effective Online Presence

Beer & Brands Recap
Beer & Brands RecapLike the first day of fifth grade, nerves and giggles eased as people arrived to Empax’s inaugural in-house event on Wednesday, and two hours later everyone was saying their breezy goodbyes, and leaving (seeming...

Beer and Brands – Event Recap

Classroom Fun
Kick off the school year with the funnest class you’ve ever been to. As summer winds down and Indian summer approaches, Empax would like to invite the eternal student in you to join us for something of a back-to-school event. No calcul...

Beer and Brands

Brands I’ve already written a blog post about how important a brand is to nonprofits. They need to appear (and of course actually be) trustworthy to their donors, board members and the public at large. Yes, yes, I’ve pontificated eno...

Top 100 nonprofit brands

obamacover When Obama stepped on the scene everyone and their grandmother began analyzing his campaign tactics. His team took this country by storm and changed the way politicians, organizations and companies would foverer use social media. At Emp...

Eternal students

NonProfit Data (image credit: stallio)
NonProfit Data (image credit: stallio)
NonProfit Data (image credit: stallio)
NonProfit Data (image credit: stallio)
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to track the establishment of new organizations with 501c3 status? Don’t you think it would be empowering to be ab...

Give us raw data on non-profit organizations.

Guru-Neeb-Karori-Baba (credit:Madjag)
Guru-Neeb-Karori-Baba (credit:Madjag)
Guru-Neeb-Karori-Baba (credit:Madjag)
Guru-Neeb-Karori-Baba (credit:Madjag)
Empax is currently working on an exciting project for incredible people and we need your Object-Oriented Actionscript 3 programming skills to ensure f...

ActionScript 3.0 guru needed urgently for an inspiring project

Photo credit: Matt Rubens
49274679_bf7e49c023_b(mattrubens)
Photo credit: Matt Rubens
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely is a collection of phenomena in the field of behavioral economics, which is a high-brow way of saying it’s about how people make t...

Book Report: Predictably Irrational

healthcare (image credit: http://www.thingsarefine.org)
Why Aren’t We Taking Health Care Seriously? (image credit: http://www.thingsarefine.org/)
Why Aren’t We Taking Health Care Seriously? (image credit: thingsarefine.org)
Why Aren’t We Taking Health Care Seriously? (image credit: thingsarefine.org)
I think of myself as a designer-who-doesn’t-design. M...

Why Aren’t We Taking Health Care Seriously?

Non-profit street credAt a recent BBQ the classic question, “so…where do you work?” was posed. I can’t stand that question but luckily am proud of working at Empax so it was semi-tolerable. At the end of my short description Joe* was loo...

Money well spent? Design and communication strategy for non-profits?

Raw Data Now
Raw Data Now (image credit: blprnt_van on flickr)
Raw Data Now
Raw Data Now (image credit: blprnt_van on flickr)
Let me first say that I would hate to spend all my time talking about policy and the politics, only the Atacama could be a more dry experience f...

Raw Data Now!

data.gov
Data.gov (image credit: blprnt_van on flickr)
data.gov
Data.gov (image credit: blprnt_van on flickr)
In case you hadn’t noticed back in January, on his first full day in office the President issued a Memorandum on Transparency and Open Gov...

How Data.gov can become a good resource

Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.
Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.
Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.
Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.
I’m wearing my psyc...

Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.

2009 Israel 15 Conference2009 Israel 15 ConferenceMy Group at the Israel 15 Conference – June 8, 2009 The Israel 15 project is a product of the Re’ut Institute, arguably Israel’s most incisive and forward-looking think tank.  The project looks for ways in which the country can leapf...

2009 Israel 15 Conference

busy-phones1busy-phones1 Recently, our fearless leader, Martin Kace, was interviewed by the Chronicle of Philanthropy for an article about summer interns. Teaching the Class of 2009 How nonprofit groups can get stellar work from summer interns By Michelle Gieno...

The Chronicle of Philanthropy interviews Empax about summer interns

launch_thumb
launch_thumb
Launch
Launch
Although walking through the nuances of web development is not the most practical nor obvious method for empowering nonprofits, we here at Empax believe very strongly in the motto “Give a man (or woman) a fish; y...

How to launch a WordPress dev site

Empax WebsiteEmpax Website Perhaps the subject line of this blog post should have read “Empax tackles its most difficult client to date!” but that would be the celebratory champagne talking. Non profit organizations seek out Empax to develop their web...

Empax has a new website! Welcome!

Web Hosting
photo credit: flickr - jeffsmallwood
Web Hosting
photo credit: flickr - jeffsmallwood
The title of this blog post pretty much says it all.
Free web hosting for non-profits whose primary focus is environment, grass roots democracy, peace, social/ec...

Free web hosting for non-profits

Free Money
free_money
Free money for non profits (photo: Flickr/Marshall Astor)
Free money for non profits (photo: Flickr/Marshall Astor)
Free money for non profits (photo: Flickr/Marshall Astor)
Imagine if every time you went to look up a movie time online it earned your organization money. Like most (al...

Free money

Go For It
Go For It
Progressive Exchange offers advice for non profits (photo: quinn.anya on Flickr)
Progressive Exchange offers advice for non profits
Progressive Exchange offers advice for non profits (photo: quinn.anya on Flickr)
It takes a lot to run a non profit and many questions come up on a day to day basis. If you have ever w...

Great resource for non profits

martin kace interviewed by globes (read online hebrew version)
martin kace interviewed by globes (read online hebrew version)
Martin’s recent visit to Israel, to speak at Environment 2020 III, provided a good opportunity for an in-depth Interview with Globes (Hebrew only), Israel’s e...

Martin interviewed by Globes

Recently, a few of us at Empax took a trip up to Hunts Point. We were guided by Hunts Point Alliance for Children’s Maryann Hedaa and learned a lot about Hunts Point’s history, culture and current state. This eye opening and insightful to...

Hunts Point Alliance for Children Update

We’ve been fighting for stem cells for a long long time here. Today, President Obama will rid us one more dark cloud hanging over American science by lifting the ban on federal funding and approval of embryonic stem cell research. Having s...

A Quiet Victory

Anne Frank
Anne Frank
Next time you’re in LA, check out the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, home to a huge collection of political graphics–over 50,000 posters–dating from the Russian Revolution to the present. You can also se...

“Left Coast” Political Graphics

Film maker Gary Hustwit, director of Helvetica has just released the trailer for his new film Objectified, a feature-length independent documentary about industrial design. It takes a look at the creativity behind everything from toot...

A look at some of the world’s most influential designers and how the things they create impact our lives

Big Love Audio Ad
Big Love Audio Ad
The other day as I was making my way from the R train to the A underground at Times Square station, I noticed a series of ads along the corridor. Now I usually don’t stop and stare at ads amidst a dense walking crowd during rush h...

Can You Keep a Secret?

depression
depression
I worked in advertising for a few years so every now and again I peruse an industry pub to see what shop got what client some incredible ROI on some incredibly expensive campaign (I am not a geek I just play one on this blog). The other...

Black Tuesday is the new pink

hunts_point
hunts_point

Here at Empax we love our chocolate. Seriously, the snacks in our kitchen are enough to make even Willy Wonka jealous. Of course we appreciate healthy food too. And we thought it was pretty cool that Heather Mills donated one mil...

New work for Hunts Point Alliance for Children

G-Speak
G-Speak

Here are two technologies that seem to be on a collision course (or even as linear predecessor and successor). The first, multi-touch track pads or screens (as featured on the newest generation of apple notebooks and the iPhone) th...

Beyond MultiTouch, and Designer as Futurist

Evolution of Santa
Evolution of Santa
Who do you think about when you think about the upcoming holidays? Chances are you think about Santa Claus before you even think about your family. Although Saint Nicholas has his origins in religions, today he is the bran...

Will Avatars Ever Have a Happy Ending?

These might be the most brilliant things I have ever seen. I grew up with the Nintendo Entertainment System, so when I came across these images (via Ffffound – which is a gift from ADHD heaven), I was instantly impressed. Beyond this se...

NES via LEGO

blog_the_power
blog_the_power

Much has already been written about the Obama campaign and its incredibly successful interaction with young voters via its online components, but the following quote, from this New York Yimes article, really struck me: C...

Blog the Power

Happy Election Day! I hope everyone has or will cast their vote today. Most polls will be closing 9PM this evening and with this phenomena of time zones we could all be waiting up to anywhere between midnight to, well, December? (Remember Ele...

Done Voting? Game While You Wait!

Where, oh where, to begin. Have you ever visited a place – a town, city or a country – and although you may have been somehow aware of its existence, after having visited this place you find yourself hyper aware of even the most sub...

Brain Power

lookin_good
lookin_good

Last Friday a few of us went to see the Banksy Pet Shop installation. I won’t go into it in detail – you can read about it here – but we weren’t wowed. The points being made were valid, and the animatronics impressi...

Lookin’ Good

posters
posters

People are sometimes dismissive of posters, maybe it’s the dorm-room association, or the idea that they’re just advertising or propaganda, or perhaps that they’re just cheesy, which many are. But posters...

A Post About Posters

11108 As the election day draws closer, it is clear that Obama vs. McCain will be one of the most memorable election battles in our country for many. In New York City there are currently several exhibitions that explore numerous aspects of preside...

Democracy on Display: A look at strategic communication and design campaigns for our nations’ most important job

Let’s be constructive for a couple of minutes. It’s almost too easy to bash Good Magazine for their irrelevant and sometimes just plain dumb info graphics (or data visualizations), but is there anyone out there who’s d...

It’s Better Than Good, It’s Wired!

During the period of the Great Depression between 1930 and 1942 the American hobo ranks swelled. By any estimate easily more than one million men, women and children were riding the rails on any given day in search of work. Given the broad spe...

Hobo Symbols

Fleurs Bella Van
Fleurs Bella Van
The designers of Empax lent a hand in the design of the Fleurs Bella logo and van. Fleurs Bella is a team of beautifiers for flowers and installations. The designers crafted Fleurs Bella’s previous arrangements into...

Fleurs Bella Van

San Quentin
San Quentin
I’ve come across this somewhat extensive archive of movie title screens, and it’s a real thrill to skim through and compare the evolving aesthetics. There’s also some really funny B movie titles in there, t...

Movie Title Screens

say_something
say_something

While on the subject of not-very-GOOD information graphics (see the previous blog entry below, from my fellow Empaxer Ehud Tal), here’s another example, this time from the New York Times. The introductory text asks...

Say SOMETHING!!!

Another bad info graphic from Good Magazine
Another bad info graphic from Good Magazine
Another bad info graphic from Good Magazine
I’m sure Good Magazine has good intentions. They stand for good causes. They care deeply about some of the most important issues of this century...

Good intentions are not enough

Print October 2008
Print October 2008
Print: October 2008
Print: October 2008
This October’s issue of Print Magazine has an interview with our own Martin Kace. Amongst other things, he and Steven Heller discuss Israel, Clean Tech, and the role that design will play at the...

Martin Kace in Print Magazine

Branding: Israel as Battlefield

Tanslated from the Israeli business daily paper “The Marker
Eight years ago, Martin Kace set aside his business, moved into a new office, and established a not-for-profit company speciali...

The Marker Interviews Martin on Branding Environmental Issues in Israel

Our very own Martin Kace was the keynote speaker at the “Environment 2020″ conference in Tel Aviv back on April 1st. His talk hilighted his vision for the branding of the Israeli environmental movement, and we’ll be add...

Branding: Israel as Battlefield

Many Eyes Site
Many Eyes Site
Last Friday, some members of the Empax team attended the AIGA IN/VISIBLE Fresh Dialogue on info graphics at the new New York Times building. This discussion looked at info graphics from different angles via four different pe...

Many Eyes

Brand Tags
Brand Tags
This site is an interesting litmus for the effectiveness of well-known brands. It presents a brand, you enter the one word that comes to mind, then you can view how others have responded. Try it out for yourself....

Brand Tags

Seeds of Peace Website
Seeds of Peace Website
Seeds of Peace relaunched their website, with our new design and homepage Flash animation. Check it out....

Seeds of Peace Lanuches New Site

JStreet
JStreet
The JStreet site we designed launched last month. See how the Washington Post reported their burst onto the Middle East scene here. The site is an extension of the JStreet brand, which we designed to be the un-AIPAC, projecting a rat...

JStreet Site Launches