New Website Energizes Global Fight for Worker Rights
The Solidary Center is the largest, US-based global worker rights organization – with about 221 professional staff in over 60 countries. Over the last 18 years they have “joined with hundreds of labor unions, human rights defenders and other organizations to support workers as they exercise their rights, demand living wages and safer workplaces, fight exploitation and abuse”, said Tula Connell, Communications Officer at the Solidarity Center.
Their work is crucial, as these alarming statistics demonstrate:
- Some 168 million children are not in school today because they are forced to work
- Every day, more than 1,000 people die on the job
- Over 300 million workers a year suffer from non-fatal, job-related accidents and illnesses
When the Solidarity Center asked OmniStudio to create a new website and logo in anticipation of their 20th anniversary, we were excited about working with a group that was passionate about workers rights. We wanted to give the Solidarity Center a fresh look that would reflect their outstanding work and amplify their reach.
Solidarity Center’s digital presence needed to represent its focus on “supporting working people who are improving their lives, including migrant workers, informal economy workers like street vendors, and women across the job spectrum,” Tula said.
Working closely with their Washington DC communications team, Omni designed a new logo and website that, in their words, “captured the essence of who we are. Staff have told us they are now proud to give people our website URL—previously, none of us wanted to draw attention to the site.”
A New Mark
For Solidarity’s logo, OmniStudio wanted to reflect a stronger organizational identity. “During the design of Solidarity’s new logo, we took into account international feelings toward colors and symbols. We also wanted to create a concise and memorable mark that would be strong in smaller sizes, especially for social media,” said Kathy Foltin, OmniStudio’s Art Director. The resulting logo influences the design of Solidarity’s website.
Solidarity’s site was designed to prominently feature stories about worker rights issues using rich photography and engaging content.
Their home page focuses on bringing issues to the forefront and raising peoples’ awareness. Solidarity Center’s site now calls more attention to activism, making it clearer to their audience what to do: join, donate, and attend events.They use dramatic photos and clean design to illustrate their mission and encourage people to take action.
Underreported worker rights issues are highlighted in the “Working People in the News” section. These stories, which you do not see on cable news, underscore “some of the great work by Solidarity Center field staff, such as occupational safety and health training and legal support,” Tula said.
Solidarity took their digital focus a step further by integrating social media directly onto the site. This helps spread their message more widely, draw in visitors to join the conversation, and: “become involved in worker rights issues like safe jobs, inequality, living wages and fair treatment,” Tula said.
Solidarity Center receives quality content from their field offices around the world. In 2014, they asked local photographers to join with Solidarity’s staff to capture real moments with real workers (their “allies”). The resulting images are brilliant, and they convey “the dignity of work and the inherent connection between good jobs and healthy, strong communities,” Tula said.
Each page on Solidarity’s site makes the workers’ images its defining feature – telling the workers’ stories through their own lenses. Solidarity complements the photos with stories that bring their cause to life through a combination of condensed narrative and hard truths about worker and human rights, with the “Child Labor” page poignantly exemplifying their approach. The gray-toned, translucent images of workers that are layered behind the text on every page add rich texture and a sense of gravity to the site.
Overall, the simplicity of their layout and the brevity of their copy foster a responsive design, easily viewed on smartphones and tablets. ”It is crucial for an international organization like the Solidarity Center because a majority of the non-U.S. audience accesses Internet through mobile,” Tula said.
“Feedback has been uniformly positive,” Tula said. “The new logo has really energized staff and the new website is a huge leap forward.”