Responses by Ben Bloom, associate creative director, Landscape.
Background: As American citizens, we have an awareness of our civil rights but lack an understanding of how to exercise them. DeWitt Lacy, a civil rights attorney, reached out to our team to create a free resource to educate Americans on their civil rights. This collaboration led to the launch of Good & Common, an online platform dedicated to helping people learn more about what their rights are and what to do if they are violated. The platform translates Lacy’s extensive legal experience into accessible and actionable information for every American.
Larger picture: We worked with Lacy to bring his vision to life in the form of a new brand and online resource, starting with research and strategy, leading to a visual identity and web design, and following with writing and content creation for the digital experience. Over the next several months, Lacy plans to connect with civil rights organizations to build a national campaign structure that ensures Good & Common reaches an audience far and wide.
Design core: The brand has a sense of urgency that comes through in the high-contrast color palette and bold typography. We intended to create an identity and platform that felt distinct and memorable without being superfluous, overly stylized or polarizing. The brand also speaks to the serious subject matter here, so the design system needed to convey a certain level of gravity and credibility.
The identity references a familiar vernacular from the civil rights movement: bold, condensed typography and a reductive color palette of black, white and red. Working with Lacy, we drew inspiration from an “I AM A MAN” poster hanging in his office—as well as other historical artifacts—and aligned around a visual system that pays homage to these powerful graphics with a modern, broadly appealing feeling. The result is a brand that we hope will maintain its relevance, speak to many generations of people and be extensible for Lacy’s team as the brand gains momentum.
We selected the name Good & Common because it is universal, democratic and optimistic, reflecting the long-term vision for the platform and a belief that this information is fundamental to life as an American. It signals a sense of unity and accessibility—a brand that can act as a resource for all people. Good & Common’s values are also conveyed through the logo, which illustrates both a bookshelf to represent the knowledge offered through the platform, but also a peace sign, demonstrating the impact the platform can have on Americans’ lives.
Navigation structure: The site’s homepage acts as a menu for navigating various civil rights topics. It features large-scale typography that displays the topics clearly. Whether visiting the website at home on a desktop computer or on your phone while you’re out in the world, the site makes relevant information simple and quick to access at any given moment. Once a visitor selects a specific topic, we wanted to provide multiple ways of learning, whether that’s done through reading or watching videos available in English, Spanish and Chinese.