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Tips for keeping familiar topics fresh and interesting

For 15 years, the Ford Freedom Award Program has been celebrating African American history and achievements. And for the last 14 years, Hollister Creative has been selected to create the centerpiece education materials for the program.

A partnership between Ford Motor Company Fund and the non-profit Michigan K.I.D.S., the Ford Freedom Award Program honors African American achievers from the past and present, and seeks to provide a fresh perspective on African American heritage.

Freshness is a challenge, because African American history has been examined extensively in schools and communities during Black History Month each February since 1976.

To meet the freshness challenge, Michigan K.I.D.S. and the Ford Fund choose an out-of-the-ordinary theme each year. Hollister Creative writers do the research to identify achievers who fit the theme, then write profiles of the people being featured. Our designers create a unique look to reflect the theme in an innovative way.

If you are faced with the challenge of making a familiar subject fresh:

  1. Avoid the easy and predictable when choosing a theme, and select less-familiar topics and people related to your theme.
  2. Whether writing about famous people, historical figures or unsung heroes, emphasize personal details that reveal their humanity and help readers relate to them.
  3. Package articles and photos in an energetic, contemporary design to give your presentation currency and urgency.


Example of how to keep topics fresh - Ford Foundation brochure
Shown are six of the 14 themed learning guides created in previous years.

Shown are six of the 14 themed learning guides created in previous years.