Will Crum
designing for a safer, saner, and more delightful world
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move

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For when you haven't got anything nice to say...

MOVE sells flat-pack signage and gear that empowers organizers, revolutionaries and dreamers to make their message heard. Clients choose from a menu of compellingly unique form factors — foldable megaphones, floating lanterns, customizable signs — and can either design the graphics themselves, consult with MOVE’s in-house designers, or leave the customization up to the protesters—with the help of MOVE’s on-site mobile customization station.

Problem

Today’s political climate is pushing more and more people to take to the streets in defense of their beliefs and rights. And while any influx of participation is a boon for activist organizers, it comes at a cost—these newcomers are typically unversed in the organization’s language or practices and can inadvertently dilute the movement. If organizers don’t proactively engage with these new members to get them on-message, the event can quickly transform from their control.

But organizers who turn to event signage as a way to unify messaging soon find themselves stuck between two frustrating extremes. Bulk orders of conventional event swag certainly cultivate a unified image, but often feel stale, corporate and insincere. Conversely, if they leave the sign-making up to the crowd, organizers will get some individual moments of wit, truth, and creativity, but the overall message may end up confusingly diffuse.

 Alexia and I get set up at  Remove Fascism 's rally in Times Square on Nov 4th, 2017.

Alexia and I get set up at Remove Fascism's rally in Times Square on Nov 4th, 2017.

Solution

MOVE is here to bridge the spectrum by making swag that doesn’t suck. MOVE’s product line of innovative signage is constantly evolving and always eye-catching. Whether it’s folding megaphones and floating lanterns this fall, or something even more bombastic next spring, MOVE signs are guaranteed to turn heads. Organizers are free to design the graphics for their signs directly from the MOVE website but are also invited to get input from MOVE’s in-house creative team. (Strong advocates of leaving room for individual expression, MOVE always recommends that some blank space be left for protesters to customize the message themselves.) The most comprehensive version of MOVE’s service is their mobile customization station, which brings blank or co-branded signs to your rally—along with pens, stamps and stickers—to give protesters a space to craft (and consider) their message.

These products were prototyped to represent a hypothetical client relationship with the NYC branch of the Democratic Socialists of America — using eye-catching signage to help their message pop.

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The Black Lives Matter sky lantern portrays an instance where a client employed MOVE's design consultancy service. BLM, embroiled in a false characterization as a violent and unruly movement, can use the evocative imagery of a lantern vigil to emphasize the origins of its purpose.

MOVE’s products are designed to be inexpensive, lightweight, portable, and recyclable. Because an activist’s message should lift them up—not weigh them down!

Process

Developed with teammates Alexia Cohen and Lassor Feasley, MOVE grew out of a mutual desire to design for protesters. We were inspired by the contemporary frenzy of political expression that erupted since Trump's election in 2016, and we suspected that there might be a host of unmet design opportunities if we just peeked beneath the surface.

To verify our suspicion, we interviewed politically active individuals who were frequent protesters, organizers, or both. These conversations uncovered a host of insights into the needs of the community, which ranged from day-of-protest issues to pre- and post-event logistical headaches for organizers. But we ultimately latched onto an issue that stemmed directly from the influx of new protesters: When critical mass grows so quickly, a movement’s message may easily become diluted, distorted or confused.

By taking this problem as a guiding light, we focused our ideation around vehicles of at-event expression. And by adding in the more constant constraints of event organizers—budgets are small, what you bring is what you can carry—the concept of the flat-pack megaphone was born. The rest of the product line, and the MOVE brand itself, grew out from this initial seed.

prototyping

branding

I handled all branding and graphic design work for MOVE. Here's some of my output, as well as initial brand exploration.

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sketching

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For a bit more about the project, check out this story on the Products of Design blog.