New Drupal Nonprofit Project -- Redesigning the D.C. Open Government Coalition's Web Presence

D.C. Open Government Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing government transparency, hired us to redesign their Drupal site. They had been using a theme very similar to the stock Drupal theme and needed a visual identity that also helped tell the story of what they do.

Using the colors most commonly linked with the United States government seemed like the right idea — with the most space devoted to white to take advantage of the obvious associations between clean and open. We also used rocket-glare red to draw attention to the Report a Violation item, creating a call to action that stands out without stealing the show.

To streamline the experience for both visitor and editor, we also modified several content types and consolidated some navigation items. For example, combining several of the site’s dynamic content avenues (News, Announcements, etc.) into a single Blog cuts down on clicks — plus readers are much more likely to use RSS when looking at something that acts like a blog instead of a news section.

As a side note we’re very proud to be a part of this project, as we wholeheartedly support efforts to increase government openness. Nipped, Tucked, & Ready for Its Mobile Closeup

Atlanta cosmetic surgery consultant Carol Martin had three problems:

  1. Her site’s tricky-to-use Flash navigation was as hard for search engines to read as it was for humans… and it was even worse for those on mobile devices like iPhones and iPads, obviously.
  2. She was unable to update her own site’s content without paying a webmaster to do it for her.
  3. Her Flash-intensive e-commerce section was arranged so that each product was piled into the same page, which was all of course damn near invisible to Google and mobile devices. Since she’d switched from static pages to a Flash setup, her sales had fallen.

Our solutions:

  1. Rebuild the menu navigation using jQuery to achieve better aesthetics, better functionality (it now feels like you’re tactilely moving the slider instead of just aiming and praying), better usability, and better search engine visibility. Plus it works on iPads, BlackBerrys, and other mobiles now, making the entire site accessible to users on the go.
  2. Customize WordPress for her, empowering her to update any of her own content from any computer at any time without any middle man whatsoever. We even rebuilt her old design as a custom WordPress theme.
  3. Convert Flash-based store into static pages, making each individual page capable of pulling in traffic from search engines and improving usability.

Simple as that:

California Nonprofit Using Drupal: ENGINE Contributes to New

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees is a Sonoma County, California nonprofit that helps immigrants settle into new communities. After they saw themselves on our list of nonprofits using Drupal, they asked us to add some new functionality to their site, including a home page slideshow and new design elements.

More on GCIR in their own words:

GCIR seeks to influence the philanthropic field to advance the contributions and address the needs of the world’s growing and increasingly diverse immigrant and refugee populations. Our goals are to:

  • Enhance philanthropy’s awareness of issues affecting immigrants and refugees and their new communities.
  • Deepen the field’s understanding of how these issues are integral to community building in today’s dynamic social, economic, and political environment.
  • Increase philanthropic support for both broad and immigrant/refugee-focused strategies that benefit newcomer populations and strengthen the larger society.

See the Before & After -- New Drupal Site for Westlake Laboratories

Drupal proved to be a good fit for Ohio’s Westlake Laboratories — mainly so they could take advantage of its extensibility and tremendous Ubercart E-commerce module.

This also meant de-GeoCitying their cluttered and broken look in favor of a minimal custom Drupal theme. The new design flexes to fit the user’s setup, unlike the old design in which page elements rearrange themselves at will and just get crunk all over:

A List of Branding Style Guides: Corporate, Academic and Government Brand Manual/Logo Guideline Examples

We’re about to pitch the creation of a branding style guide to one of our clients. I was putting together an example list of style guides used by well-known companies, planning to include the list in our proposal. But it seemed smarter to expand it into a gigantic list and post it here, so we can reuse it — and you can benefit from it too.

First: What’s a branding style guide? It’s a document meant to ensure an organization’s members are all on the same page as far as official logos, logo usage, colors, fonts, stationery, images, and so on go. It’s good for any organization of any size to think about what messages its print and web materials convey, and then to make sure the whole team stays on message.

Second: Why look at a brand guide made for somebody else’s company? Besides our own reasons for making this list (SEE PARAGRAPH 1), you can learn a ton about branding, design, and identity by studying the materials that guide successful brands.


A Short List

Just want to see five or so decent style guides, mostly made by organizations you’ve heard of?

The Long List

ABANDON ALL HOPE OF NOT SEEING BRANDING GUIDES, YE WHO KEEP READING. I went for variety and tried to limit the rest of this list just to organizations that most people have heard of. But it’s still the longest curated list of branding style guides on the entire internet… that I know of at least.

Corporate Branding Style Guides (US-based)

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Corporate Branding Style Guides (Non-US-based)

Academic Branding Style Guides

Note: To keep the list from getting absurd, I left out all sorts of perfectly good style guides. But for this category alone, I had to exclude many dozens and dozens. Institutions of higher learning: you people really brand your faces off.

Government Branding Style Guides

Group/Nonprofit/Open-source/ASSORTED Branding Style Guides

Sports Branding Style Guides

Content Management System Branding Style Guides


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