How to put a human face to a complex story about reproductive justice

Overview

Lean Mean was approached to build a brand identity and microsite for the Liberated Bodies campaign. The campaign work centers around the criminalization of pregnancy with the goal of drawing attention to reproductive injustice and racist health care practices.

The Challenge: To create a meaningful impact with this campaign, we’d need to find a way to bring a human face to the forefront of the story.b

Supplied with compelling research and narrative by the team at Color of Change, we were definitely up for the challenge.

Solution


 

Branding Goals

We wanted to build a visual brand system that effectively conveyed the emotional undertones of the content and its stories. Our goals were two-fold.

  1. Establish authority: Like most advocacy-based initiatives, the brand would need to be both cohesive and professional. We needed to establish authority with our audience and give them a reason to trust that we are a legitimate source of information and one that should be taken seriously.
  2. Celebrate: Simultaneously, we also wanted the brand to lift up and celebrate the women on the page; to shine a light on the beauty of pregnancy, motherhood, and the female form.

Logo

Starting with the custom wordmark, we wanted to build a logo that felt elegant and feminine without sacrificing strength and confidence. We landed on this serif typeface with custom flourishes and extensions to articulate that elegance. Notice, the ‘B’ in bodies was modified to resemble the profile silhouette of a pregnant woman.

Colors

The palette would need to accommodate a level of boldness while still lending a softer side. We ultimately landed on a subtle gradient fade which gave us the flexibility to exercise both the loud components of the deeper orange and the light, airiness of the peach.

Hero Section

We decided to forego the traditional website hero structure in favor of something that had a stronger visual-first impact. We felt it was important for the user to immediately understand who this story was about. This was not just a political statement or set of guidelines for a new policy, but rather, an initiative about the people who are affected by them.

With this as a first impression, we have set the stage for the user to consume the website’s content within the context of humanity first.

This was not just a political statement or set of guidelines for a new policy, this was —first and foremost— about the women affected by racist healthcare practices.

The Timeline

To effectively tell the story of our history and what lead to our current political climate, Color of Change assembled a breakdown of the relevant historical milestones.

In an effort to visualize this timeline we opted to build a series of custom graphical collages. These visual metaphors were designed to speak to the concepts communicated in the text, without being too heavy-handed.

Rather than tell this chronological story in the traditional vertical (blog post-style) format, we opted to convert this content into a horizontal timeline experience — you’ll see, as the user scrolls down, the screen starts to move from left to right, signaling to the user that they are entering a new experience.

Tip: Whenever possible, we believe it’s best to seek non-traditional means of communication using modern web design tactics. Users have gotten used to skipping and skimming, we want to build a structure that prompts them to pause and digest the content in front of them.

Additionally, this format allowed us to break the content down into more bite-sized, digestible chunks while encouraging a sense of narrative and storytelling along the way.

 

The Take-Away

  1. Make sure your brand speaks to the right audience and conveys the right emotional tone. You don’t want a design that simply looks great, it needs to effectively accomplish your goals, too.
  2. Look for non-traditional content delivery: It’s easy to default to standard layout practices with web design. Instead, try to think outside the box and identify unique and creative means of conveying information. This will earn you the attention and engagement of the user in a world of skipping and skimming.