Fulfilling the Progressive Promise of the U.S. Constitution
Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the U.S. Constitution. Their brand and website, however, failed to reflect the center’s decade of leadership. Looking to differentiate themselves from Washington DC’s sea of “acronym soup” think tanks and make their website a vital resource for accessing cases, issue briefs, testimony, and analysis, CAC asked Constructive to help reposition their brand and rethink how they engaged audiences.
We need to be more accessible beyond beltway insiders.
To establish priorities and inform strategy, we started with interviews, surveys, research, and workshops that defined goals, issue areas, organizational activities, and audiences. A key takeaway was that while CAC was respected among experts, achieving their impact required being more accessible outside of this elite core. So, we made it a top priority to strengthen the advocacy and action side of CAC’s brand to increase their relevance to everyday Americans, while maintaining the academic depth and rigor for which they’re respected.
What's the right balance to embody "progressive tradition"?
With their work protecting Constitutional rights needed more than ever, CAC’s team wanted a visual identity to make their organization more contemporary and to differentiate them as a leading progressive voice. After exploring numerous logo concepts, CAC chose a direction that takes a modern view of a traditional American icon, the United States Supreme Court building. The supporting identity design system blends contemporary and classic typography to balance a bold and academic voice for CAC’s brand. And the color palette goes against the grain to differentiate CAC from traditional Beltway think tanks and legal nonprofits.
We've got three equal branches of our own.
One of CAC’s key strengths is its mutually reinforcing efforts across three arenas—as a think tank, a public interest law firm, and a legal action center. We created personas for audiences representing multiple audiences for each, then architected CAC’s website to provide the context and clues needed for each to explore their interests. Experience design leads with CAC’s mission, placing issues, litigation, and scholarly work within historic and cultural contexts. And at the page-level, content strategy and information design follow through with layouts and editorial techniques that deliver exceptional long-form reading experiences on any device.
How can we elevate a sense of urgency and action?
How can we make it easier to access & understand cases?
It’s difficult to follow the many ins and outs of litigation as it develops over years, especially for the general public. But in landmark cases like CAC’s Blumenthal, et al. v. Trump where the very integrity of the presidency is in question, follow them we should. To help CAC keep people engaged with their work in the courts, we built an accessible, filterable case database; then designed a system of pages and timelines that provide digestible takeaways and a living history tracking each CAC case’s journey through the court system.
Traveling Through Time with the U.S. Constitution
To further educate and inspire audiences, CAC’s website includes several American history features, including “The Arc of Constitutional Progress,” an interactive timeline that allows users to travel through the decades with the Constitution as it has evolved from guiding the birth of our nation in the 18th century to its role as a progressive document advancing civil rights reform in the 20th century. CAC’s website also features America’s “Second Founding,” representing the addition of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments as well includes the full text of the Constitution’s original Articles and 27 Amendments,
Constitutional Accountability Center’s website both supports the organization’s work advancing progressive Constitutional values while informing and inspiring audiences about the essential role of the U.S. Constitution in American life.
Where else will brand engagement happen?
While CAC’s website is the primary platform for reaching audiences, the organization is an extensive publisher of research reports and issue briefs. And of course, there is always official correspondence and fundraising to tend to. We extended CAC’s design system to these key critical communications channels by designing a suite of print collateral that supports CAC’s daily operations and fundraising activities.
Our Client's Experience
“Most consultants I’ve worked with in my almost 10 years, provided very little value for the dollar, but Constructive provided a tangible set of products that helped us project the best of what we’re about. They are extremely thoughtful in their process, and brought visual expertise as well as a librarian’s sense of information, which shone through for us because of the volume of complex legal content on our site.”