Immigrant Heritage Month: Your Story is Part of the American Story

 

As designers, we enjoy leaving our comfort zones on a regular basis, working with subject matter that requires a fair amount of research and familiarizing. The more we depart from the familiar, the more we realize that true innovation comes from leaving one's comfort zone. That's why, when we work on something that feels personal to us, our first challenge is to push ourselves into a space that is less familiar, in order to gain perspective and heighten our creativity.

Recently, we had the incredible opportunity to work with Welcome.us to design the branding for Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM).  As Americans, the subject matter felt comfortable to us. All of us have an American immigration story or are immigrants ourselves. We're familiar with the concept of celebrating our diversity and highlighting what is unique about our own cultures and traditions. Although we wanted these experiences to inform our creation of the visual identity and brand voice for IHM, the concept of celebrating our differences was only a starting point. 

Welcome.us had initially stressed the concept of a uniquely American identity that derives its character from the interaction between all of the different cultures we bring to this country. Our goal was to work in this space, creating a brand identity that doesn't just celebrate our differences, but also highlights what we have in common— the unique culture that comes from sharing our experience and traditions with one another. 

To put this concept into action, audience participation and storytelling needed to become central components in the IHM campaign. Hearing each other's stories and learning from one another is what creates our shared American heritage. In order to reflect this in the design of Welcome.us for IHM, we made storytelling and the concept of a shared American experience the focus of the homepage. When readers enter Welcome.us, they will find a statement that explains this central idea,  a prompt to share their own story, and the stories and photos  of others who have shared. In order to really create the feeling of a shared identity, participation is essential. That's why we made the prompt for readers to share their own stories a fixture on the navigation bar, using bold typeface and color to draw attention to it

To capture the celebratory nature of Welcome.us and draw attention to the strength and character created by America's immigrants, we created both a vibrant color palate and an animated logo in which the typography animates into confetti.  Our goal here was to create a logo that would reflect the energy and vibrancy of the American immigrant community as well as appeal to all age groups participating in IHM.  We also emphasize celebration and inclusiveness through the website's copy, which is meant to be uplifting and encourage readers to share their experiences through social media.  

To kick off our own celebration and participation in IHM, we also went through the process of putting together our own American stories. Look out for them on our Facebook page this week and next, and be sure to participate in IHM on social media by sharing your story with #IHM2015.

Click here to share you story, and here to see the stories on Welcome.us!