DESIGN TEAM, ACLU, NEW YORK NY
For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been the nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. Whether it’s achieving full equality for LGBT people, protecting immigrants’ rights, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, ending mass incarceration, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than 2 million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization with affiliates in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington DC working to safeguard everyone’s rights. We are a three-person design team located in the National office, working in close collaboration with digital and communication teams.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU COME TO USE DESIGN TO ADVANCE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE AND/OR SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS, CLIENTS AND CAUSES?
Although the three of us followed varying paths to our current roles, ultimately aligning our personal values with the work we do has led each of us to the ACLU. We share a commitment to doing work that provides a sense of purpose that is bigger than ourselves. In the non-profit and policy space, few organizations have dedicated resources for design to happen inhouse. Everyday we advocate for the power of visual communications. In these polarized times, it is up to us, as creatives, to strategize ways to bridge the gaps, and tell stories in ways that change people’s hearts and minds. Strong design can be a powerful driver of social change. We stand by that, using design to mobilize and empower people in order to protect our rights.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL CHALLENGES, OPPORTUNITIES, URGENCIES IN 2018?
Our civil rights and liberties are under attack as never before. From the first Muslim ban to the ongoing family separation crisis, we’ve been fighting back. Now more than ever, many are counting on the ACLU to use its voice and visibility to make the most impact. In the visual culture of 2018, the need to stand out with compelling design (especially as a non-profit) has become an integral part of our communications strategy. Our rebrand in September of 2017, provided an opportunity to reset ACLU’s visual identity, allowing for a more cohesive and stronger brand voice. The organization is going through a period of rapid growth and it’s exciting to see our capacity to push back being enhanced. The ACLU will soon mark the one hundredth anniversary of its founding. And beyond the current political period, as before it, the words of co-founder Roger Baldwin are worth bearing in mind: “no fight for civil liberties ever stays won.” While we continue the fight, there isn’t a more fulfilling use of design than to speak to our shared humanity and try to create a more equitable and just world.
PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT: ANNE HACKETT, NEIL SHOVELIN, ASTRID DASILVA