During the COVID-19 pandemic, our government systems were more strained than ever in history. USDR assembled on a dime to support our government with pro bono technologists to help rapidly unlock their backed-up systems. Even though USDR had only been in existence for one month, they needed a brand that would immediately evoke trust and legitimacy in a COVID-strained world, so they could break through the noise and literally help save lives.
We jumped on board full-time, brainstormed with their world-class team, and plugged in to their highest-impact brand and story needs. Three intensive weeks later, we’d created a whole visual language, created immediately-needed customizable templates, and designed and built a custom website in record time.
Managing the pandemic is overwhelming for us individuals— imagine being a local government responder, responsible for hundreds of thousands of lives, without the resources to manage the crisis. With all that pressure, USDR was having a hard time connecting with government responders, even though they were providing pro bono, vital aide.
USDR needed not only to cut through the noise, but to express efficiency, mastery, and optimism through their new website— this was a design opportunity.
When we arrived, USDR had a logo and a squarespace. We took the logo, which worked well, and expanded it into an entire language; a concept which we called “Deconstructed change.”
We expanded blocks from the logo into a metaphoric system. When in crisis, the blocks are tumbling; when USDR gives government the support it needs, the blocks straighten.
We use a 20 degree slash when things are in flux. This is when we ask a question, or at the beginning of a case study. By the end of the case study, the angles will flatten.
Highlights and overlays make up a block system for editable social media assets.
While keeping aesthetics human and approachable, we sharpened the look of, and expanded their site, using elegant cutouts in select areas of web design, echoing the blocks in the visual identity.
We reorganized their entire story into a cohesive flow for multiple critical audience types. When working with government, each word you say, and where you say it must be meticulously planned. Our guidelines captured the essence of the verbal work we’d done with the founders, so the entire organization could communicate their mission and values through a uniform voice.
This was a group effort by many Two Hands Brands and USDR volunteers who raised their hands, compelled to help.
Big thanks to all of you:
Michaela Fiasova— Visual ID, Web Design
Andy Birch — Web Design
Mathieu Salé — Web Development
Malik Adan – Copywriting
Calvin Hu — Video Animation
Eva Frye — Strategy, Copywriting, IA, UX, & Team Lead
Kendall Beveridge — Marketing Lead
Amit Sankaran — Product Marketing