The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have a long history of gathering leading thinkers to share the latest research and information on health equity. In the summer of 2020, they launched a communications campaign centering the impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color, and featuring conversations with experts on a variety of topics related to minority health and COVID-19, as well as information and resources from the National Academies on topics related to health equity. LeAnn Locher & Associates provided campaign branding for the videos, web and social media graphics, designing a unified and bold look to carry across platforms and to communicate at-a-glance COVID and its impact on communities of color. This eight-week campaign provided trusted voices and messages across multiple platforms during a time when the nation needed it the most.
What does it mean to be alone? Isolation for older adults can be deceiving. Despite being surrounded by people, it’s easy to live incredibly isolated.
This report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines how social isolation and loneliness impact health outcomes in older adults aged 50 and older, particularly among low income, underserved, and vulnerable populations. Released just a month before COVID-19 hit the United States, the cover design brings home the isolation many of us felt during 2020, but a reality that can be ongoing for older adults. We explored the viewpoints of the person who is socially isolated and themes of social connectivity. Final deliverables for this project included the cover of the report, and a simple social media gif bringing slight animation to help gain attention in feed scrolling. Deceivingly simple design to a complex situation.
We recently produced a series of short social media video promotions for the Board on Children, Youth, and Families at the National Academies of Sciences, Health and Medicine. These videos are in support of the release of the study Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice.
The delivery of high quality and equitable care for both mothers and newborns is complex and requires efforts across many sectors. The United States spends more on childbirth than any other country in the world, yet outcomes are worse than other high-resource countries, and even worse for Black and Native American women. There are a variety of factors that influence childbirth, including social determinants such as income, educational levels, access to care, financing, transportation, structural racism and geographic variability in birth settings. It is important to reevaluate the United States’ approach to maternal and newborn care through the lens of these factors across multiple disciplines.National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine
Developing and launching a brand can be intense: a lot of hours, deep research, often testing. But let’s say we cut the timeframe down to 3 weeks and throw in a global pandemic? Now that’s intense. But I couldn’t say no to this project: such great fun, and, I know the topic: I trained as a classical pianist from age 4-18. Combine that with a creative and engaged client, and we were about to create some magic.
Virtuosity.online was launched during “the great pause” of 2020. As we all stayed at home, music students were foregoing classes with their teachers, recitals, and performances. Professional violinist Kevin A. Lefohn had already been using online conferencing software to connect to his students prior to the pandemic, but now any barriers that may have existed in the industry fell away and he was perfectly poised to step into a great need.
Designed not to replace lessons with instructors, Virtuosity.online classes are for students of all levels who want to up their game, explore their creativity, learn new ways of learning, and connect with other students and teachers from around the world. Designing this brand meant instilling a fresh modernity within a classic arena, centering the joy of students and their instruments, with a very strong, professional foundation reflected in the tenor of the instructors.
The Virtuosity.online logo is the fermata, the musical symbol for pause. It brings wonderful meaning for the launch story (e.g. the great pause during the COVID pandemic) and over a longer time, connects to a theme of pause in classical training practice to grow curiosity and to think differently.
During this short time (3 weeks!) we developed the brand platform and all lead messaging, creative thematic, logo, website, and social media campaign. Let’s just say that during a global pandemic, I was not just baking bread and watching Netflix.
LeAnn Locher & Associates came highly recommended from respected executive leader and non-profit consultant colleagues. As a start up responding to the great pause of world in 2020, I initially approached LeAnn Locher needing a logo and web designer. What transpired as we began our strategic partnership together was an incredibly deep and thoughtful process from which a comprehensive brand platform, communication and social media strategy, artwork, a logo, and a gorgeous website were brought to life. Working with someone who really ‘gets me and gets it’ has been exactly what my vision needed. Without doubt, the creative and highly efficient work of LeAnn Locher & Associates has been THE best investment for the future of my business.
— Kevin A. Lefohn, Founder of Virtuosity.online
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a report on the application of the science of prenatal and early childhood development to policy, program and systems changes.
Vibrant and Healthy Kids: Aligning Science, Practice, and Policy to Advance Health Equity
Implementing programs aimed at people in crisis alone will not advance health equity—those programs are important for addressing immediate needs, but until the systemic roots of inequity are addressed, there will likely be another set of crises around the corner. Reducing health disparities by addressing their systemic root causes, including poverty and racism, is foundational to advance health equity. The science-driven recommendations provided in this report lay out practice, policy, and systems changes needed to close the health equity gap and nurture vibrant and healthy children.
The social video for the project was designed and produced by LeAnn Locher & Associates, and used across multiple social media platforms to communicate the top level findings and messages. We emphasized the positive outcomes and strategies, specifically the science-driven recommendations, with a call to action of downloading and reading the report on the National Academies website.
Social videos are highly effective in communicating across platforms for attracting and engaging readers. Social video generates 12 times more shares than text and images combined (via social media analytics: Simply Measured) and according to Buzzfeed, video creates 59% more engagement than any other type of post.
Understanding why people struggle with poverty means understanding the many issues of poverty in our communities. It means seeking out the data, identifying trends and connecting the dots: poverty is a broad and pervasive issue. Data is powerful. It often tells us things we hadn’t even thought to ask and it serves as a red flag for areas of focus. Data is needed to write grants and to give validity for our neighbor’s hardships. Data storytelling helps us understand complexities from a fact-based perspective.
Every year, Community Action compiles data from a wide variety of sources to examine the complex and interrelated causes and conditions of poverty, including demographics of the quickly changing communities of Washington County. Issues include health, housing, education and employment and a range of circumstances throughout a lifetime. The report compiling this data, Issues of Poverty, includes a breakdown for each of the cities and communities within the county, with deep information and statistics.
LeAnn Locher & Associates worked with Community Action to design the report with an approach and format to give justice to this vitally important data, knowing that the charts and data included in this report are widely shared by other organizations and leaders, as well as by Community Action. This year’s report came in at over 48 pages, with 20 figures in just the main body of the report alone, and additional breakdown of data for each of the towns within the county. The report is designed to be clean, clear and to deliver data in branded and shareable elements, alongside narrative to dig deeper and give context.
The research and analysis in Issues of Poverty is phenomenal. This work deserves design justice to reach the people who need to read it.
In addition to the design of the report, we produced a series of short promotional videos as a way to distribute key findings, and to encourage downloading of the report from the Community Action website. These 40-60 second videos highlight different areas of the research, and invite participation in upcoming community conversation events—opportunities to discuss in-person with the researchers and fellow community members. The videos can be shared on all social media sites for cross promotional use.
About Community Action: Community Action comes out of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty and from the advocacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 created the Community Action Network of national and locally-focused organizations that connect millions of children and families to greater opportunity. Since this founding, Community Action of Washington County has continuously provided crucial services to help economically disadvantaged people achieve better lives, and increase opportunities for their children to thrive at home and in school.
For the recent landmark report “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine” issued by The National Academies of Science, LeAnn Locher & Associates was charged with how best to visually tell the report’s complex definitions of sexual coercion, sexual harassment, and gender harassment. This aspect of the study is crucial to understand, with gender harassment being much more pervasive and deeper reaching, yet mostly running under the radar of what we normally think of when we think of sexual coercion.
An iceberg is a useful analogy in thinking through this story, with only a bit of it visible above water, and its massiveness and danger lurking for miles, deep underneath the water’s surface. In addition, unwanted sexual attention runs across both above and beneath the waterline. Underlining all of this, is gender harassment: the root base for sexual harassment.
Examples of these specifics were not suitable for personification or illustration, but concise content makes clear the actions and words that make up sexual coercion: obscene gestures, nude images posted at work, sabotage of women’s equipment, etc.
In addition, the design analogy lends support to storytelling and educating about sexual harassment, with phrases such as “the tip of the iceberg”, “freezing women out,” and “above and below the waterline” lending support to the narrative.
LeAnn Locher & Associates provided graphic design for the recent landmark report “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.” Issued by The National Academies of Science, the 300 page report is the product of two years of research into the widespread prevalence of sexual harassment in university and college settings.
A blue-ribbon study committee found that despite decades of reform and increasing representation of women, sexual harassment is prevalent and damaging to people, institutions and science.
The report, which examines sexual harassment of women in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine, concludes that the cumulative result of sexual harassment is significant damage to research integrity and a costly loss of talent in these academic fields. The report urges institutions to consider sexual harassment equally important as research misconduct in terms of its effect on the integrity of research.
Our design work for this project, including the report cover and internal infographic, was published in The Washington Post and many leading scientific publications including the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The study was recently featured in The New York Times Magazine’s cover story, “I Want What My Male Colleague Has, and That Will Cost a Few Million Dollars.”
The National Academies is the most prominent and prestigious scientific organization in the United States, created by an act of Congress to provide expert scientific advice to the federal government. The report was published by the National Academies Press.
This week, over 600 young leaders, advocates, social service professionals, community-based organizations, and policymakers are gathering in Atlanta for the national convening of In Solidarity, a conference by National Crittenton.
In Solidarity, We Rise: Healing, Opportunity and Justice for Girls is a different type of conference: it includes guidance and leadership by girls themselves, with deep dive intensives including understanding the root causes of trauma, exploring civic engagement for girls, and strengthening the justice reform for girls’ movement.
LeAnn Locher & Associates has designed the branding and overall visual representation for the conference, including promotions, programs and on-site signage.
If you’re in Atlanta and feel the earth shift this week, it’s all those world-changers at In Solidarity.
In 28 states, you can be fired from work based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But last week, the Supreme Court announced they will consider if the 1964 Civil Rights Act “on the basis of sex” includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The court is scheduled to hear three cases for the term beginning in October, with a decision expected early next year.
Recently, LeAnn Locher & Associates designed messages and visuals for a public awareness campaign led by Conway Strategic, on behalf of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the world’s leading organization dedicated to achieving LGBTQ workplace equality. The theme, language and visuals we designed were to both celebrate Out & Equal in their 20th year, and to lay the support for a 6 month campaign of raising awareness of their work. Our designs focused on the split lives employees live when they cannot bring their whole selves to work. This duality of home & work, then & now, today & tomorrow, you & I, were built in mirroring the ampersand in Out & Equal while emphasizing the need to do this work together. With twenty years of incredible, hard fought wins, there is still so much to do.
As Selisse Berry, CEO and Founder of Out & Equal says, “Currently, there is no federal law barring employment discrimination on the basis of the sexual orientation or gender identity, and it’s clear that state laws are inadequate. In 28 states, you can get married on Saturday and fired on Monday just for being lesbian or gay – in 30 states you can be fired just for being transgender.”
If you’re about sparking transformation in people and on issues, you’re in the right place. LeAnn Locher & Associates is all about changing the world–for the good.