Envisioning the future by studying the past

Envisioning the future by studying the past

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rayogram's ground-up redesign of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s interactive strategy includes two distinct, interrelated websites, an educational portal, as well as an online store.

As the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 education, their public facing websites encompass a searchable database of 63,000 archival materials, online exhibitions, videos, lesson plans, and the online journal History Now. All were created with a keen understanding of historical design techniques, allowing Gilder Lehrman to envision their future while remaining focused on the past.

Branding a community committed to the public good

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The open source Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) software, CiviCRM is directed by a community engaged in and committed to the public good - a community that understands how to foster cooperation and productivity to advance an organization’s goals.  

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In branding CiviCRM, rayogram evaluated the sea of proprietary and open source solutions available to nonprofits and private foundations. This resulted in a brand identity and user-experience that distinguishes CiviCRM as a committed, robust, holistic solution  ready and able to meet current and future needs of organizations of all sizes.

rayogram’s creative strategy for CiviCRM was built on the view of the CiviCRM open source software as not merely a collection of modules, but a holistic solution with a feature set that organizations can pick and choose from while enjoying the operational efficiencies of a central database.

     new identity

    new identity

     earlier logo

    earlier logo

    Along with redesigning CiviCRM's brand identity, we redesigned the user experience and user-interface of their website. This extensive redesign in collaboration with the core team, community,  and developers contemplated:

    • end-users who make donations, registers for events, subscribes to newsletters, set up a personal fundraising campaigns and never ponder the software that makes this all possible.
    • forward-thinking clients who rely on Civi to manage data and fulfill missions.
    • integrators who recommend it to clients, find hosting solutions and/or
    • developers who deploy and enhance its functionality and commit their work back to the community - making the product increasingly powerful and elegant.
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    Repositioning a dozen e-newsletters

    The Jewish Federations of North America (formerly United Jewish Communities) called on us to overhaul their entire suite of e-newsletters aimed at a diverse audience.

    Evaluating the content for each newsletter, their frequency, and their intended audience, we collaborated with the Communications team to set new standards, establish a new editorial voice, and to design and implement an entire suite of newsletters that would be clearly branded and yet distinguished from one another.

    When the Federation announced its first Pride in Israel Mission, we worked designed a communications campaign to promote the Jerusalem World Pride Festival.  Our goal was to entice Jewish members of the LGBT community to participate in the mission and to communicate the broad set of services being provided to the Israeli lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered, community by The Federations.

     

     

    Hacking sanitation

    Hacking sanitation

    When we began this collaboration with The World Bank, that more people around the globe own cell phones than toilets!  The World Bank organized a Sanitation Hackathon raise awareness and find solutions to the fact that 2.5 million people live without proper sanitation. 

    The Hackathon was marketed  to developers around the globe - awarding three winners the opportunity to implement their innovations. 

    We designed a creative strategy that encompassed the Sanitation Hackathon branding, a mark for use on publications, the website, and social media. This included Twitter, Facebook and YouTube videos narrated by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. See the evolution of the branding ideas below.

    The series of global hackathons in a dozen countries around the globe help accelerate the development of civic software solutions by local technology communities.

    skills deployedbranding, logo design, icon design, poster design UX/UI design, pre-press, styleguides

    Feeding 1.4 million hungry New Yorkers

    Feeding 1.4 million hungry New Yorkers

    When we first crossed paths with The New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH), we were surprised to learn that over one million New Yorkers live in households without sufficient food. New Yorkers are cantankerous enough on a full stomach!

    Working with corporate sponsor ConAgra Foods, Inc.  and NYCCAH, we designed HungerVolunteer.org to match skilled New Yorkers to agencies in need.

    With an eye towards national expansion - we designed the site to ask “Who is Hungry in America?”, “How Can you help?” and to suggest “Volunteer Today”. Taking the “Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service” Initiative and Toolkit as point of departure, this site communicates the myriad ways in which New Yorkers can help support the 1.4 million low-income residents of the city who rely on the city’s 1200 non profit soup kitchens and food pantries for sustenance.

    Our messaging identifies the different kinds of volunteers drawn to hunger relief and offers encouragement (and volunteer opportunities) specifically for them:

                      Are you a student looking to volunteer?

                      Are you a business eager to make a difference?

    Our messaging also  relies on calls to action such as:

                      Increase use of child nutrition programs

                      Grow & distribute farm-fresh food

                      Raise public awareness

    The site increases NYCCAH’s  national  reach by inviting skilled volunteers to fill the specific needs of  their local agencies. It identifies and maps these volunteer opportunities to a nationwide map generated by NYCCAH’s database of food agencies.

    We also put a social media outreach strategy in place using Facebook, Twitter and an e-mail campaign to continue to engage volunteers over time.

    NYCCAH meets the immediate food needs of more than 1.4 million low- income New Yorkers and the 1200 non profit soup kitchens and food pantries that serve them. To better manage all the relationships that make NYCCAH effective, we worked closely with them to convert their Web site and myriad databases to a single platform - building data visualizations of their food service partners across the city. Agencies create their own profile and volunteer opportunities - tagged by the skills desired.  

    skills deployed: discovery, information architecture, copywriting, UX design, UI design, database architecture, Drupal, CiviCRM, HTML, CSS, SOLR, social media marketing, administrator training

                            

     

    Matching communities with leaders

    Matching communities with leaders

    We found it a delight to collaborate with the priests of the Episcopalian Church to design a database for jobs within their nationwide organization. Their unique mission statement set the tone of our collaboration: “With our gifts, skills, and calls to ministry identified and shared we are poised to enter into ministry transitions with both confidence and vulnerability.”

    For The Episcopal Church—which is comprised of 109 individual dioceses in 17 nations—something as simple as posting job openings and internal hiring was a colossal task given that their platform was decades old. We created a Web application that simplified and streamlined this process. Individual users maintain their professional profile on the platform so that higher-ups can mine their resumes and profiles to match them to the right positions. And individual worshipping communities (churches, schools etc.) post their opportunities for individuals to search.

    We designed this platform from the database architecture to the user interface. Together these carefully engineered elements allow one to create a ‘portfolio’ of information such family demographics, salary requirements, unique skills, links to social media samples of one’s work - even one’s aspirations. These individual profiles can be mined and matched to job opportunities using a robust SOLR search engine.  Users can carefully mine the data within the platform, save, and reuse their carefully crafted searches. They can also generate a PDF of any portfolio that interests them in their search for the perfect job or job applicant.

    skills deployed: discovery, information architecture, copywriting, UX design, UI design, stakeholder forcus groups, database architecture, Drupal,  HTML, CSS, SOLR, user training, ongoing support

    Creating a forum for current thinking about justice policy and practice

    Creating a forum for current thinking about justice policy and practice

    You may have recently heard about the invaluable work of our friends at Vera in the Washington PostThe New Yorker or on John Oliver Tonight as they are at the forefront of making justice systems more fair and effective through research and innovation.

    We designed their blog, Current Thinking to be a forum for their ideas, opinions, and strategies on justice policy and practice. Using VERA's topics of interest as both a table of contents and a means of cross-referencing blog posts, we designed a blog that gives them a quick and self-sufficient way of syndicating their voice far and wide.

    The user-interface was redesigned to give the blog a coherent brand identity working within VERA's existing guidelines. Blog post comments were designed to encourage dialog around posts while Mollum was deployed to facilitate comments administration. Learn More about VERA's Current Thinking.

    skills deployed: discovery, information architecture, copywriting, UX design, UI design, database architecture, Drupal, HTML, CSS, SOLR, administrator training, ongoing support

    Illustrating the importance of climate & environmental policies

    Illustrating the importance of climate & environmental policies

    This publication was a labor of love. As the only independent, nonprofit think tank clearing the air on climate and environmental issues while driving policy at the local, U.S. national and international levels, The Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) has wide reach and great influence.

    We especially enjoyed creating original iPad illustrations to create a distinctive publication that broadened the audience for this important piece of research. We also lavished attention on the charts and graphs, paring them down to their essentials and bringing them all together into a consistent style to let the information emerge as forcefully as possible.

    The style, with its hand-drawn illustrations, disciplined typography and restrained color palette, evokes the modernist design traditions popular in the mid-1900s. We felt that paying homage to this period of American culture — with its activist tradition and optimistic outlook — add a nice subtext to this very contemporary work.  

    skills deployed: discovery, original illustration, publication design

    Celebrating five years of successful policy changes

    Celebrating five years of successful policy changes

    We are huge fans of International Planned Parenthood and, after many years of courtship, finally landed a collaboration with them. 

    Voices celebrates a five year initiative to rally advocates from eleven countries and push for 110 policy changes to directly impact the health and well-being of 62 million people in Latin America and Eastern Europe/Central Asia.

    Our design (with content produced by our strategic communications advisors EqualShot)  draws on the theme of “five” as well as “helping hands.” The riotous color palette is drawn from the cultures of the three regions of advocates. And the ‘Codystar’ font at once communicates the newsworthiness of their accomplishments  (think Time’s Square news ticker) and Voices’ celebratory tone (think Time’s Square broadway marquees).

    Together we created a beautiful publication to promote advocacy as an important tool in protecting sexual and reproductive rights. We hope it inspires other advocates around the globe.

    skills deployed: discovery, original illustration, publication design 

    fundraising for life-saving research

    fundraising for life-saving research

    Play for P.I.N.K raises over  $4 million dollars each year - 100% of which is donated to breast cancer research. Working closely with the founder, executive director and the board, we bring all our skills to bear on their digital engagement strategy.  

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    The website illustrates the diversity of P.I.N.K. fundraising events from high school football tournaments to Mah Jongg games. And it offers multiple touch-points for prospective volunteers to reach the organization and kick off their own local events. Built using Drupal and CiviCRM, the site acts as a fundraising platform supporting multiple fundraising campaigns while accepting events registrations and online donations.

    We established P.I.N.K.’s social media marketing strategy - building community among volunteers and prospective fundraisers through Facebook and Twitter and manage their Google AdWords Grant. 

    skills deployed: discovery, information architecture, copywriting, UX design, UI design, database architecture, Drupal, CiviCRM, HTML, CSS, SOLR, social media marketing, administrator training, ongoing support

    Recruiting problem solvers

    AppNexus is one of the world’s leading independent ad tech platforms. With their expertise oriented toward the internet’s advertising mechanics (as their tagline states, “We power the advertising that powers the internet”), they came to rayogram to support their consumer-facing website.

    rayogram works with AppNexus strategizing, designing, and building new products and content, as well as providing site maintenance and support.

    Serving 19 million New Yorkers

    Serving 19 million New Yorkers

    We New Yorkers count on 62 district senators to meet our needs state-wide. And today we expect to communicate with them via phone, e-mail, even social media networks to discuss everything from important statewide policy changes from mandatory preK to potholes. 

    The New York State Senate’s “Open Senate” initiative is a series of award-winning technology solutions that seek to maximize the transparency and accessibility of legislative information for all New Yorkers, and provide new ways for citizens to participate in the legislative process.

    The problem
    The New York State Senate’s 62 senate offices were relying on a 20 year-old Mainframe-computer based Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system to manage 15 million constituents.

    The solution
    rayogram
    created a modern, web-based constituent relationship management (CRM) system on the open-source Drupal and CiviCRM software platforms to replace the New York State Senate's 20 year-old mainframe- computer based Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system.

    This CRM empowers senate staff to track registered voter’s complaints and comments delivered via phone, e-mail, Web forms and more. At the same time this information is consolidated into distinct constituent’s records, it is disseminated among the entire senate office’s staff for easier case management and quicker resolution of voter issues.

    The reuse
    The source code for this solution, branded Bluebird, has been made public and was reused and adapted by The Office of The Public Advocate of New York City. 

    skills deployeddiscovery, stakeholder interviews, information architecture, copywriting, branding & logo design, UX design, UI design, database architecture, Drupal, HTML, CSS, SOLR, administrator training, ongoing support.