Case Study: Macleod Accommodation Support Service
Macleod Accommodation Support Service is a women’s and children’s refuge on the Gold Coast, QLD. They had recently before talking with us had a beautiful logo designed by a student of a nearby university, and wanted further materials to go with that: letterhead, business cards, and a website which could collect donations for their work.
We worked together to create an informative website about their work, featuring a one-page responsive design. Macleod did not have a need for a large website but wanted to show their services, who they help, and to provide resources and words from the women they help, as well as the important donation feature. We advised on different methods to accept donations, including research for the best solutions for non-profit organisations.
The elegant logo combined with the purple and white colour scheme helped make the suite of design cohesive and recognisable.
As an established organisation looking for new branding materials, we were able to help Macleod Accommodation Support Service to update their branding and connect with funders and donors as well as the organisations they partner with and women they serve, more effectively.
Using creativity to make the world a safer place for women
This post originally appeared at EliseStephenson.com
How design can help domestic violence service providers. You might know a lot about Lara Stephenson & my work with the Social Good Outpost and how most of our clients recently have been in the domestic violence service provision space.
It’s no coincidence – my experience for the last four years has been working with domestic violence service providers across Australia, facilitating domestic violence prevention workshops for minority communities, and advising peak bodies and government on domestic violence service provision.
But how does our work with graphic and web design help aid the cause of stopping domestic and gender-based violence? Since November 2016, we’ve been working with Domestic Violence Work Aware, an organisation founded by multiple Working Women’s Centres across Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia. We were set with the aim of designing an inclusive, responsive website and branding that was not just sensitive of audiences who were potentially in very difficult and dangerous situations, but also accessible to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups, LGBTIQ communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and rural and regional populations.
Our work has just been entered in the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards for 2017, and as such, I thought I’d share a little bit more about what can make design accessible for service providers working with critical social issues and vulnerable populations.
1. Features centre around the needs of designing for vulnerable populations. Specifically, for individuals effected by DFV, but also, for minority groups who may be multiply-marginalised or at an intersection of violence and abuse. This might include LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer) audiences, who may suffer not only from DFV but wider societal homophobia and may be still ‘in the closet’, hence a need to be able to quickly exit the website and also have the website use terminology which reflects their identity. This is one of our first features – using non-gendered language and inclusive design.
2. Secondly has been designing for CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) audiences, who may be affected by racism and inaccessibility due to language, on top of experiencing DFV. The design was structured specifically around providing images and references which people can relate to, regardless of and inclusive of their cultural or ethnic background. One of the things we found to be incredibly important in a website which caters for DFV is that CALD people must be able to see themselves and feel welcomed, accepted, and understood when using the resource.
3. Aiding the accessibility for CALD individuals was the addition of a language conversion tool embedded in the website. This aided DVWA in communicating their message regardless of whether the audience spoke English or not. It also enabled communities who may not be able to read or understand English to have access to vital resources which could change how the story ends for them – on a very personal and very important note. Being able to access and read all the resources is very important for DVWA to reach these otherwise hard-to-reach populations.
4. A further design feature has been the addition of a ‘quick exit’ button, accessible on all pages of the website. Once this button is clicked, the website closes and is redirected to the Google search page. This is important on two fronts. Firstly, it is important that individuals who are experiencing violence in the home can quickly close the website in case their abuser arrives home, or checks on what they are doing. Secondly, it helps to maintain confidentiality and privacy from colleagues in the workplace, where individuals may be searching for material as DVWA is primarily promoted in workplaces.
5. The final functionality and benefit of this website is that it is an all-in-one resource, where employers, employees and anyone experiencing DFV in the workplace can access support and information. The website is both a first point of call and a pathway for ‘what’s next’ for both employers and employees. This project is driven almost entirely by the website, supported by in-person training, and therefore its design has been crucial to delivering solutions for dealing with DFV when it is experienced by those in the workforce – a service that has truly been pioneered by DVWA.
Case Study: DV Work Aware
DV Work Aware is a new national project started by the Working Women Queensland, NT Working Women’s Centre and Working Women’s Centre South Australia. We were able to work with them to create the design from the beginning of this very important program providing workplace education and resources for employees affected by domestic and family violence. As a national program that specifically delivers to a diverse range of employees and employers, we worked to make a sensitive and accessible website. This involved making sure there was a language-conversion tool built in, gender-neutral language, and imagery that reflected the real people of Australia who DV Work Aware is talking to: not just conventional stock imagery.
We worked closely with all three centres throughout the process and experienced some of the nicest group dynamics and design processes. Creating everything from the logo to the website and the print materials, stickers, printed t-shirt design and others meant keeping on top of the long to-do list together and communicating well so we all knew where we were.
All our choices in the branding and design process were mindful of the sensitive circumstances the people reading these materials may be in: we chose calm open white spaces and a warm, strong colour scheme to comfort and reassure, while also providing the emphasis and attention domestic violence requires, as a serious issue. Our imagery, secondary to reflecting the diverse communities DV Work Aware works with, reflects Australia: many people who may not have good access to workplace support already are outside cities and we wanted to reflect the Australian landscape.
DV Work Aware’s website is informative and conversational, while staying clearly to the facts of employees’ rights and resources. Some of the pages are long in content and we worked with space, breaking up content and different coloured and sized text to help the whole page be easily read and clear. An example of this kind of page is the Information for Employee page.
The website for DV Work Aware was launched around May 2017, and since then we have continued to work together to create further resources and support the expansion of the education and training programs, resources and tools for DVWA.
As one of our first clients after opening the Social Good Outpost last year, we are so proud of the work we have done together and the new networks we have both formed as a result of this work and work with other women-lead organisations in Australia since.
- The project was for Branding, Website and Graphic Design for promotional materials including; business cards, stickers, flyers, booklets, posters, banners, and badge graphics for member organisations among other things
- Approximate time frame: 6 months
- Website: www.dvworkaware.org
Go visit, it’s a valuable resource and you or someone you know might benefit from the knowledge!
End of the Year Round-Up
Merry Christmas to all friends, family, collaborators, conspirators and clients of The Grazing Elk and the Social Good Outpost this year! We are ecstatic with the launch of the Social Good Outpost this year and its successes so far, and wanted to take the opportunity to wish you well, let you know about current openings, and fill you in on what we’ve been doing.
We’ve loved working with the most genuine, kind, socially-driven and wonderful people that our projects have led us to, and we are looking forward to meeting more in the coming year.
Hooray for all your successes, good luck for all the things you want to do from here, and yippee for celebrating all we’ve learned this year!
Call for New Projects
In January 2017, we will have a small number of openings for new projects. If you are looking to kick off your project or enterprise, need help with design or consultation for new rounds of grants/funding/pitching, or want to re-brand and re-design your look, website or marketing material, now’s the time to contact us so that you can hit the ground running in 2017.
Contact Elise or Lara and we’ll sit down with you over a drink (maybe a cup of chai, like one social enterprise we’re working with is making!) and we’ll plan where you’d like to go next.
What have we been working on?
Since launching the Social Good Outpost in June, we’ve had the pleasure of doing design and consultation for projects from the Philippines, Cambodia, and right across Australia. Some projects we’re currently working on include: design & consultation for a newly established non-profit providing support and resources for dealing with domestic violence in the workplace; design & consultation for a project educating medical and health spheres on gender and sexuality sensitivity; design & consultation for a new social enterprise in the social housing development sphere; and design & consultation for a new social enterprise in the mental health.
Lara has also been working with clients such as Bang & Olufsen and Emerald Group Investments, keeping us up with corporate and commercial trends in design.
We really love all of our clients and find it so genuinely enjoyable to work with them, and for causes which are truly ‘good’ for our communities. We can’t wait to share the design work on completion!
In other news we’ve also had much to celebrate with co-director Elise being awarded the United Nations Australia Association (QLD) Community Award this December 2016, a “prestigious award to individuals and groups as recognition for their community initiatives based on United Nations principles, reflecting peace, human rights, as well as social justice”. Her work has centred around national domestic violence prevention work, social enterprise, youth empowerment in Australia and overseas, and women’s empowerment over the last six years. Hear, hear to reflecting the ‘social good’ we aim to do!
Pass on the Christmas Cheer
We want to share the good news and the good cheer! Merry Christmas all and enjoy the new year to come!
Do you have a new project you’d like to kick off in 2017? Take advantage of our project openings in January and we’ll throw in a 10% new year bonus off new logo design. Chat with us now!