Creative Design's Best of 2021
A collection of visual and brand design favorites from 2021
2021 was a big year for Viget designers. In the midst of a pandemic and juggling work from home while collaborating via Figma, Slack, and Google Meet—we managed to crank out some thoughtful, complex, and highly detailed work that surfaces the range of talent visual and brand designers bring to Viget. Here are some of our favorites:
Product, Brand, & Visual Design
Designer: Owen Shifflett
A little bit of anything and everything. A team of UX, product, and visual designers concepted, branded, designed, and built Insider Connected — an extensive platform that connects players’ devices with pinball machines to track achievements, chat with other players, complete localized Challenge Quests, and more.
“This was a true joy to work on; a mix of design, hardware, art, interaction design, brand, and product (and a whole lot of collaboration) all rolled into one. A truly digital and physical project.” - Owen Shifflett
Prison Books Collective
Brand & Content Strategy
Designer: Katie Frohbose and former Brand Strategist: Natalie Reich
Who said design can't be critical? The Prison Book Collective is a volunteer-run nonprofit that sends free books and resources to people imprisoned in North Carolina and Alabama. As a part of our Pro-Bono initiative, we paired with the the collective to help define their identity, develop a new brand and communication strategy, and equip them with the tools to boost their profile both locally and online, in service of their mission.
“I particularly loved being able to apply a brand strategy through a lens of critical design. Through bold, political slogans, we transformed the collective's digital media and physical artifacts (aka social posts and swag) into education and conversational catalysts that prompt self-reflection about mass incarceration.” - Katie Frohbose
Human Rights Campaign
Designer: Mindy Wagner
With more than 3 million members, The Human Rights Campaign is the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to advance LGBTQ+ equality. In 2021, they asked Viget to extend the work we did on HRC.org in 2020 by addressing two new sites - Equality Magazine and Digital Reports.
“It was rewarding to build on the solid foundation we built for the .org site, and it was fun to address new challenges each site had. For Digital Reports, the challenge was fitting a huge amount of PDF content into an easy-to-navigate and fully customizable microsite template. For Equality Magazine, the challenge was to keep the fun and flexibility they had with their print magazine but make it easy to maintain as a digital product.” - Mindy Wagner
Together with a full stack team of UX, product, and content designers, Viget designed, developed, and launched the first version of the new MW Industries digital ecosystem, encompassing a subset of MW brands. Visual designer Andrew Greeson illustrated around 100 parts and 60 services for the MW product library, creating a collection of simplified contour drawings and bespoke iconography that visually hold their own as tiny, semi-abstracted works of art.
“I found the technical side of designing for MW Industries very satisfying. The angular shapes, precise measurements and industrial feel all made for a uniquely structured website. The amount of illustration work may have seemed cumbersome but the direct detailed nature involved with mimicking the parts that MW produces made for a very aesthetically pleasing outcome that both helped the site stand out as well as helping to get at the nature of their business.” - Andrew Greeson
Bravo Wellness, a wellness agency that was founded in 2008, helps their clients save money on health care premiums through an employee incentive management program. Viget developed a brand strategy, Staying Strong, to help with this program. Staying Strong rebrands wellness for a blue-collar audience, shifting the conversation away from typical benefits of a wellness program — health and well being — to benefits that resonate with Bravo’s audience: strength and resilience.
“We did a ton of great work in an incredibly short amount of time. We produced an animated explainer video, a homepage, a ton of display ads, creative marketing emails, and it was all grounded in a smart brand strategy that we developed. And as a bonus, Bravo was a fantastic client that we loved working with. I spent a good ⅕ of my day laughing on that project” -Ally Fouts”
University of Chicago, Graham School
Content Strategy, Marketing, & Design
Designer: Reneé Cagnina Haynes
At the height of the pandemic, schools around the world were racing to convert in-person classes to remote-first instruction. The University of Chicago’s Graham School, one of the first extension schools in the country that focused on in-person instruction, was amongst them. Viget supported the Graham School’s strategic goal of making its online course offerings readily discoverable and distinguished from the thousands of others moving online. Later, in January 2021, the Graham School invited us back to bring the visual language of their website into Graham's overall marketing. Reneé, a brand designer at Viget who led concepting for both phases of work, recounts:
“Working with the Graham School was a delight! They may not have had the expertise on their trim, yet scrappy team, but Graham School certainly understood the added value design would bring to their digital reputation. We worked closely with their team of administrators, who were also members of UChicago’s brilliant faculty, to craft a strategy that would meet their current needs and help them generate new ideas in the future. Not all clients understand strategy, but it’s refreshing when we get the opportunity to work with those that do. Nothing’s better than designing with purpose and meaning, and to see our strategies thrive in the hands of clients.”
Veterans Crisis Prevention
Content Strategy and Design
Designer: Owen Shifflett
Veterans are at higher risk for suicide compared to the general population. Stressful life events like divorce, job loss, or housing troubles can be risk factors for suicide, and among Veterans, these challenges can be compounded by stigma around seeking help. The Ad Council asked Viget to develop the content strategy and visual design for their Veteran Crisis Prevention campaign, together with the VA. We designed a user friendly and interactive campaign site for Veterans to proactively seek support and resources.
"We want people to see that others are experiencing a wide range of post-service issues and they aren't alone. By gently encouraging scanning and browsing, we open up more opportunity for people to find resources that might impact them that they weren't directly searching for. The circle motif ties to the ad campaign which features a boiling pot—a nod to bubbles rising to the surface." - Owen Shifflett
Mass General Giving Site
Design Systems & Content Strategy
Designer: Blair Culbreth
Massachusetts General Hospital is a 999-bed private medical center that offers state-of the-art diagnostic and therapeutic care in every specialty and subspecialty of medicine and surgery. Viget redesigned the Giving site, the home of their philanthropy program and the financial support for the overall hospital. Blair Culbreth, Viget's resident design system and Figma expert, led the design phase and produced over forty high fidelity pages with detailed annotations for development handoff.
In January of 2021, Viget participated in a public awareness campaign to help get the facts around the COVID-19 vaccines to the public. Viget helped the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative launch two resources: an FAQ-style website to help Americans get informed about the COVID-19 vaccines, and a series of toolkits for leaders to share with their communities.
The Great Courses Plus, now rebranded as Wondrium, was founded in the 1990’s and needed to bolster their position as a premier content provider amidst a sea of online streaming competitors. Viget rebranded their flagship platform by developing a new name, logo, tagline, voice, design, and brand strategy.
“We had way too much fun creating the Wondrium personality. It’s not every day that you get to be the spokesperson for someone’s brain — channeling the powerful, wonderful feeling you get when you learn something new into words and design. Creating the relationship between the quirky, stream-of-consciousness writing style and the energetic, unexpected illustrations was one of the most challenging and rewarding things we’ve done. Mummified cats forever.” - Elyse Kamibayashi