UX & Web Design
Families United Website Updated
Sat 12 Sep 2009
Families United is a group dedicated to the families who have suffered loss as a result of senseless youth violence. The four founder families are the parents of Jimmy Mizen, David Idowu, Robert Knox and Damilola Taylor. The group is dedicated to reaching out to families everywhere who have felt the pain that they have felt, bringing together their newly founded family community to seek to make a difference through strength out of unity. Acting together the members of Families United have a stronger voice with which to lobby the government and a central point of contact for the press.
This project essentially started as collection of ideas forged by the group’s founders. Digital Marmalade’s task was to shape these ideas into a brand and then provide the tools with which to communicate that brand to the world. At the heart of the brand is the logo and this is where Digital Marmalade began work. The name “Families United” plays on the sense togetherness or being “united” as well as the connotations of a football team or club. So the basis of the logo is a shield over which was placed a ribbon bearing the Latin phrase ‘Ex obscurum advens lux lucis’ (Out of the darkness comes light). The clients expressed a desire to use the colours of Jimmy Mizen’s football kit and the presence of doves as a symbol of piece. All of these elements were neatly tied together by our design team and the client was ecstatic with the result.
With the logo completed it was possible to roll out the brand across the entire site. The look and feel was dictated by a need for the site to look more professional and authoritative than many of it’s homemade counterparts, but still be welcoming and inclusive to all. The colour scheme was chosen to compliment the logo while the language of the site was kept informal and conversational. So, for example, the buttons read “Support Our Cause” not “Contact Us” or “Have A Chat” rather than “Forum”. The raison d’etre of Families United is to open dialogues and spread awareness, so this conversational tone is a very important feature of the design and branding. Following on from the football team aesthetic, promotional pods were labeled in the style of fixture lists; for example “Family United vs Early Intervention”.
To implement the site in the best possible way for the client, we decided to apply a custom skin to a Wordpress engine. This provides the client with some updateable sections of the site, such as the blog, without the need for bespoke code to be written. The real skill in Digital Marmalade‘s work here was to apply graphics to a Wordpress framework, without the result looking like a typical Wordpress site.
Facebook and Bebo pages were set up to support the site and help spread the conversation wider. In the near future expect a hard launch of the site backed by national media attention.