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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Setting the Standard for Cleft Surgery

Entered in Graphic Art


As part of an organization-wide initiative, we wanted to begin to highlight Smile Train’s strategic plan, namely by helping to explain what our goals were over the next 5 years. Not only did we wish to educate our followers on what we do, but we also wanted to explain who we were and why we do the things we do.

As the graphic design team of the world’s largest cleft charity, we were inspired to rethink our entire approach to graphic storytelling to find a new way to educate general audiences about how we plan to create change over the next 5 years.

Strategy and Execution

Though traditionally images of children before and after cleft surgery have been Smile Train’s most important–and most attention-grabbing–assets, we decided to pivot for this project: We thought an animated graphic had the potential to be more engaging to new audiences while still capturing readers’ highly precious attention on social media. 

Working in close collaboration with our programs and social media teams, we landed on this simple message highlighting an important pillar of our strategic plan–“Setting the Standard for Cleft Surgery”--giving a clear, accurate, and quickly digestible understanding of what can sometimes be a complex subject to grasp.


Overall, this was well received and created a robust conversation in our community. We got people excited about what we are planning over the next few years. And asking questions about what was next and how we would accomplish this. While not the most viral of our posts or graphics it accomplished what we set out to do and engaged our community. This post alone had a potential reach of 11,000 views


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Smile Train


Entry Credits