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Ed. note: This case study is a selection from the
competition, in which an esteemed jury
identified submissions that demonstrate the value of design in a clear,
compelling and accessible way. It serves as an example of how to explain design
thinking to clients, students, peers and the public in general, based on
In December 2011, Maloney & Fox was asked to design a booklet for No
Labels, a non-profit, bipartisan group of Republicans, Democrats and independents, dedicated to a simple proposition: We want our government
to work again. No Labels believes the biggest problem with Congress is
the outdated rules; the booklet, titled Make Congress Work!, maps out No Labels’ 12 steps on how to fix communication in Congress.
The audience includes both members of Congress as well as the American people.
The booklet design is unexpected and non-traditional—beyond anything seen before in a Senate hearing. When presented to all members of
Congress, the brochure’s arresting color blocks and bold typography
The booklet was presented at a March 2012 Senate hearing in Washington,
DC. The booklet was also highlighted—spread by spread—in a
six-minute segment on MSNBC’s popular morning program, “Morning Joe."
We researched quotes of famous icons in order to add an approachable,
human element to the booklet. We chose quotes that pertained to the
broad idea of communication, not just those relating to politics.
The biggest challenge was receiving approval on the overall design
aesthetic, since this was a big departure from the typical political
branding seen on Capitol Hill. Approval was needed from Republicans,
Democrats and members of Congress who serve on the No Labels
board. These audiences are familiar (and comfortable) with the
stereotypical red and blue political branding, so it was a bit of a
shock when we presented a bright orange cover with bold typography.
We not only had to appeal to the U.S. Congress, but also to the broader
We had to appeal to both the U.S. Congress and American citizens. To
appeal to citizens, we needed an alternative element to the text-heavy
document—one that stood out and was easy to digest. That said, we
recommended short, concise quotes from well-known figures, from Einstein
to Arthur Ashe, emphasizing the importance of communication.
To appeal to Congress, we wanted to grab their attention with the booklet
format and palette. The large typography and blocks of red, orange,
green and blue pantones provided a striking element to the booklet. The
booklet size (10 x 10 inches) was intentional—we sought something unusual
that would stick out of congressmens’ folders and on their desks. We wanted
the booklet to be noticeable from afar.
No Labels is thrilled with the outcome! Members of Congress spoke of the
book’s refreshing and bold design, and citizen demand for the book far
exceeded initial expectations, requiring an increase in the initial
production run from 2,000 to 25,000.
The booklet received great media attention, including a feature on
MSNBC's “Morning Joe.” Joe
Scarborough, Mark McKinnon and Mika Brzezinski featured the booklet
on-air, going page-by-page and highlighting No Labels’ 12 steps to “Make Congress Work!”
During a Senate hearing on March 14, 2012, Senator Joe Lieberman displayed the
book and said it was very well-designed. His words were recorded in the
Senate hearing's minutes.
Most importantly, we deem it successful because the design continues to
foster dialogue among the most contentious elements of the Republican, Democratic and independent parties. The booklet promotes conversation
and communication between the parties, which we believe is the best
outcome for everyone, regardless of political affiliation.
For more information on the 12 steps outlined in Make Congress Work!, please view our client’s website at www.nolabels.org.
Learn more about the jury’s perspective on the competition and their
rationale behind the selections.
Section: Events and Competitions -
AIGA’s national design competitions celebrate exemplary design and
demonstrate the power of design.
Section: Events and Competitions -
Larry Keeley is a strategist who has worked for thirty years to develop more effective innovation methods. He is president and co-founder of Doblin Inc., an innovation strategy firm known for pioneering comprehensive innovation systems that materially improve innovation success rates.
Section: Why Design -
Conference , strategy, business
Students seem to be always stressed out. Tight deadlines, poor time management, balancing school and life, taking too much on. As an educator, I may be on the other side of the fence, but I can totally relate.
Section: Tools and Resources
Facing a crisis, the LIVESTRONG Foundation responded with a subtle rather than radical rebrand, boldly banking on the organization’s secure sense of self and its message that LIVESTRONG has never been about one person.
Section: Why Design -
advertising, branding, communication design, identity design, marketing, nonprofit, print design, Competition, brochure, business strategy, logos, mass communication, online advertising, print advertising, video, website, health, strategy, social media
How do you transform a successful, but outdated, online service into a robust app targeted to younger business owners—without losing any of your core users along the way? Intuit’s design strategist, Dorelle Rabinowitz, takes us behind the scenes with the app’s case study.
experience design, in-house design, interface design, user experience, INitiative
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