The Mental Health Chaplaincy
Web Development and Design • Identity
Web design, development, branding, layout, poster design, typography, copy
A custom WordPress site, updated logo, business cards, poster series printed and mounted, table toppers for events, banner, large poster wall for events, acrylic laser cut sign.
The Mental Health Chaplaincy is a generous organization that works with the disadvantaged on the streets of Seattle. They help through their revolutionary Companionship Model, that has five very important tenants. Listening, neighboring, accompaniment, side-by-side, and hospitality are the pillars of their organization.
Formally it was established primarily a church setting. Craig Rennebohm is a Seattle pastor who begun the program. Since his early ministry in the streets, the program has grown in leaps and bounds, training many more to accompany the homeless and mentally unstable. To meet the growing needs of this organization, The Mental Health Chaplaincy has just become a non-profit. They needed a refresh for their look and feel, a facelift, to properly promote their services in the community and entice donors to support their awesome cause.
It was hard to say no to this project—we all have experienced mental illness either through ourselves or with loved ones. This is a powerful organization that needed an even more powerful campaign to get their word out there.
I took the extra and unnecessary pages from their old website, and condensed them into four relevant pages. The home page features an overview of the organization with a video, and the posters series is highlighted. The posters are clickable, and flip over to reveal more stats and information.
The organization had plenty of text for me to work with, but not too many photos. My solution was to parse down the information into collapsible sections, so the reader can easily go and find the information they need the most.
Creating the site with collapsible sections works especially well on tablets and phones, creating a straightforward approach to accessing content.
We gathered research through online studies, an online survey, and in-person meetings with professsionals in the fields of health care. From our research we found the top 6 mental illnesses people most wanted to learn about. We created a poster for each top illness, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, and autism. Each poster featured a negative stereotype about each illness. A jumble of words attacks the silhouette, negative words about the illness literally pounding on their psyche. The posters display a fact about the illness at the top, encouraging the viewer to dispel the stigma.
The Chaplaincy loved the stigma posters, but wanted “response posters”— posters that illuminated the 5 tenants of the Chaplaincy, a breath of positivity and hope as people struggle with these illnesses.
We chose a typeface for these posters that would feel handwritten and urgent. ‘Enjoy the Ride’ is the typeface we decided upon for the stigmas, and ‘Gotham Rounded’ is the typeface we chose for all other copy. Gotham Rounded is a friendly typeface, with soft, round edges that give a welcoming and open feel.
Next the Chaplaincy needed business cards. We kept these on brand and played with the bright colors our campaign embodies. We wanted to give the Chaplaincy enough variety in the cards so each member of the Chaplaincy could have their own identity within the organization.
Assets were built for various events the Chaplaincy is represented at. We constructed a poster wall which is built from insulation board. The various stigma posters are tiled to make the background, and protruding from the center is one response poster. It is illuminated by backlights, and really drives the message home. We also designed a banner, table toppers, and a laser cut acrylic blue sign for upcoming events.
To help tell the story of the Mental Health Chaplaincy, we made a video featuring heartfelt interviews of board members and active companions, with beautiful B roll footage of Seattle. We gathered board members, chaplains, therapists, and those who volunteer as companions. To dress up the video it was decided to create a sign with The Mental Health Chaplaincy’s logo. Fortunately there was access to a laser cutter. The plan was to laser cut the logo out of a rich cobalt plastic, so that light could shine through and give an awesome texture to the overall video.
See The Process
First we needed to set the tone for our campaign. Our moodboard showcases our bright color palette and expressive typography. Type that is friendly and relatable to the audience.
Next we needed to update their logo. Their previous logo had three rings, representing the Chaplaincy, the Companionship program, and the homeless.
We decided to infuse it with bright colors to make the logo more friendly. They were committed to the three rings, so we altered the thicks and thins to showcase the complexity of the organization.
Once our brand and posters were nailed down, it was time to tackle the website. We conducted an audit of their original site and identified problem areas. The aspects that were most important to them was their “donate” button, and to have easy access to finding out more information about the work of the Chaplaincy.
The primary audience are in two discinct groups. One is for people who are interested in joining their companionship program. These guests are looking to find out more about who the Chaplaincy is and what they are all about. The second group is for people who are the ones looking for help. They need resources.
The insights from the audit were:
Donate button should more prominent and inviting. Less formal.
Social media utilized in a better way
Home page should set the tone for the whole site—mission, tesimonials—something to draw people in, inviting.
Add video with stories.
Clean up navigation, organize content in a more usable way
Headline secondary text is hard to read
Taking from our research, card sorts, and website audit, I started doing some informal sketches to get ideas of the layout and flow of the new site.