Image of union member at work from AFL-CIO website created by Teal Media

A renewed vision for the AFL-CIO

Visit the Site

  • Brand Strategy
  • UX Research
  • Visual Identity
  • Website Design & Development

The AFL-CIO faced many challenges as support for unions declined and participation in unions waned. The AFL-CIO addressed these issues head-on with a year-long strategic change effort that produced a set of guiding principles and a messaging framework. Now it was time to bring this strategy to life with a visual identity and web presence to match. That’s when the AFL-CIO called in Teal.

The AFL-CIO fights for the rights of 12.5 million workers

Brand Strategy

Creating a visual identity that expresses the power of unions

Teal Media kicked off the AFL-CIO engagement with a robust Discovery phase that consisted of in-depth research and a series of workshops with senior stakeholders. The goal of Discovery was to establish the foundation for the visual language of the brand.

A number of exercises and activities enabled us to:

  • Devise the core brand themes, attributes, and tone
  • Outline current and aspirational audience perceptions of the brand
  • Explore ways that color, typography, imagery, and composition could come together to convey the essence of the brand
Image of AFL-CIO staff at a discovery workshop

Brand strategy working session with AFL-CIO stakeholders

The resulting visuals simultaneously convey the strength of the institution and the optimism of a better future for working Americans. Teal crafted a straightforward and reliable wordmark composed of a solid, hefty typeface. The color palette is centered in a down-to-earth, deep blue stone color, accentuated by energetic oranges and yellows. We devised photography guidance focused on real, working people conveying honesty and steadfastness in their expression. We also created a set of custom-illustrated icons that are simple and easily identifiable. Teal then compiled the final strategy and assets in a Visual Brand Guide for the AFL-CIO.

Image of the updated typography, color palette, and iconography for AFL-CIO created by Teal Media

Teal then put the new visual identity to work and designed the primary web presence for the organization. Our goal with the website redesign was to craft a streamlined user experience that told the story of who the AFL-CIO is, what unions do, how unions impact the lives and livelihood of American workers, and what people can do to get involved.

Check out the before-and-after screenshots:


Image of the AFL-CIO prior to the redesign


Image of the newly redesigned AFL-CIO website

The AFL-CIO website features:

  • A homepage that immediately establishes who the AFL-CIO is, what they do, why unions matter, how unions are relevant to the everyday lives of working Americans, and what people can do to educate themselves about and take action for unions
  • “What Unions Do” storytelling page explains what unions are, the benefits of joining a union, how unions work, and the issues and rights that unions fight for.
  • “Organize Your Workplace” section gives union members the tools and information they need to understand their rights and organize on the ground.
  • “What We Care About” landing page showcases all of the issues that the AFL-CIO fights for everyday to improve the lives of working Americans.
  • A robust “Take Action” page clearly shows where working Americans can take matters into their own hands.
  • An aesthetic that fully implements the new brand guidelines
Collage of pages Teal designed for AFL-CIO's website

Custom infographics and illustrations highlight the AFL-CIO’s strength of membership and showcase evidence of the AFL-CIO’s impact.

01 / 00

Sample illustration style for AFL-CIO
Sample illustration style for AFL-CIO
Sample illustration style for AFL-CIO

“The time on site improved by 33%! Teal Media's efforts generated hundreds of leads, simplified the layout, and appeased stakeholder concerns.”

Dennis Loney
Website Editor, AFL-CIO Dennis Loney


Teal Media is a woman-owned full-service creative agency based in Washington, DC. We offer UX research, web design & development, brand strategy, and creative support to mission-driven and nonprofit partners. We believe purposeful design can transform organizations, inspire action, and enable progress.



Let’s work together!