Can Communications Design Improve Healthcare in America?
Among the first private foundations started by a woman, Anna M. Harkness, The Commonwealth Fund is a leading healthcare research nonprofit whose mission is to ensure a high-performing health care system that achieves greater access, quality, and efficiency of care for all Americans. They asked Constructive to conduct a branding and design audit; then lead development of new branding and a comprehensive design system to increase the cohesion and quality of the nonprofit’s communications.
What's the current state of branding & communications affairs?
We kicked off the rebranding process by asking questions and conducting research—establishing strategic goals, collecting and evaluating years of Commonwealth’s print and digital communications, and discussing the nonprofit’s production design workflows. Our resulting brand communications audit identified issues and solutions to improve design quality, consistency, and effectiveness—insights we used to then prioritize needs and develop an execution plan to redesign the healthcare nonprofit’s branding and communications.
We need a design system to evolve & expand on our existing identity.
While Commonwealth wanted to improve their branding, they were reluctant to change their recently redesigned logo. In order to be more strategically and functionally sound, however, we recommended a slight refresh. After making subtle improvements to the mark and choosing a more effective core brand typeface, we developed a design system of colors, typefaces, imagery, and iconography to support Commonwealth’s content-heavy communications. We documented their new design system in brand guidelines that provide detailed specifications for designing across digital and print media.
Commonwealth’s brand guidelines detail the components of the nonprofit’s design system, making it easy for staff and partners to create cohesive, on-brand communications across digital and print media.
How can we make our research more influential with key audiences?
Strengthening the healthcare system by producing research and analysis for policymakers, business leaders, and experts in the NGO sector is integral to The Commonwealth Fund’s strategy to advance its mission. We improved the effectiveness of the nonprofit’s knowledge communications and their ability to produce them with a suite of templates that provides structure, increases readability, and elevates top-level takeaways with Commonwealth’s long-form content and data visualizations.
We need both polish & performance from our presentations.
It can be challenging for research-driven, policy-focused nonprofits like The Commonwealth Fund to distill the findings of their work into presentations for live audiences. While they know more than anyone else about the issue area they’re presenting on, the experts responsible for creating such presentations often know little about how to design effectively. We solved this problem for Commonwealth by designing a suite of presentation templates and data visualizations to help their team turn detailed, often wonky research into communications that effectively educate and influence audiences.
How can we broaden our reach to engage the general public?
Improving the healthcare system and policy through research for experts and policymakers has historically been Commonwealth’s strategy for effecting change. However, changes in the healthcare sector and the advent of social media presented new opportunities to engage a wider audience. To help increase Commonwealth’s reach and influence, we designed a public-facing system of high-impact infographics and social media post templates to make the nonprofit’s research more compelling to a wider audience.