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National Center for Diligent Recruitment

Introducing a new organization with a visual identity and foundational digital strategy.
A father and son share a quiet, happy moment.

The National Center for Diligent Recruitment is a national project working to improve outcomes for children and youth in foster care by providing free services to help states, tribes, and territories transform how they develop and implement strategic, data-driven diligent recruitment plans. They are funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and the Children’s Bureau.

Launched in 2023, the National Center for Diligent Recruitment came to Teal looking to create a visual identity for their new organization, build a robust website, and establish a foundational digital strategy that would both introduce them as a new organization, and continue to sustain them for years to come.

 

Initial, 1-page website that was quickly designed and made live while the brand & larger website was being developed.

Quickly Launching a Digital Presence

NCDR was under a tight deadline to stand up a digital presence within a matter of weeks. We began our work with a “start small and build over time” philosophy. Our immediate first step was to launch a landing page introducing The National Center for Diligent Recruitment to child welfare professionals and provide a base set of tools to help them in their work. The landing page also incorporated a base visual identity that included a logo, color palette and brand fonts. This gave NCDR enough to establish a presence, while still being able to move quickly.

Creating a Wholistic Digital Strategy

With the initial landing page live, we turned our focus to developing a wholistic digital strategy that would act as the framework for website, email, and social media initiatives going forward. Through a series of deep-dive discovery sessions, audience research and user testing, Teal developed a robust digital strategy that identified four key areas for NCDR to focus:

  1. Create a guided experience that quickly gets users to resources and help
  2. Double-down on a robust resource library
  3. Create easy-to-digest content
  4. Foster an environment of peer sharing and learning
A collage of strategy documents for the National Center for Diligent Recruitment digital strategy.

Evolving into a Full Visual Identity

NCDR focused on a simplistic word mark that is strong, minimal and modern. This is supported with a unique mark combining overlapping “D” and “R” letterforms. The multiple paths within the letterforms represent the diligent recruitment process as a whole, with so many paths to find the best fit and outcome for those involved. Sometimes they align, and sometimes you need to keep trying, but you are always moving forward. The overlap of the mark  is where we succeed, connecting the right child with the right parent.

The DR symbol is used to influence the patterns and graphic elements throughout the brand, using concentric circles to highlight, lines to draw the eye, and patterns to support. The bold, tone-on-tone styling of purple and teal help bring more visual interest to content that can be more wordy and harder to digest. All elements combine for a smart, clean, authoritative style with a friendly, human touch.

Initial branding lite logo, evolved into the full, final brand logo.
Various layouts showcasing brand elements, styles, and colors.
Angled brand guide pages showcasing various sections of rules and guidelines.

Putting to Together with a Custom Website

With all the building blocks in place, we built a comprehensive website grounded in our digital strategy. The friendly user interface provides an easy experience for child welfare professionals to search for resources and tools in ways that are most intuitive to them. Users can easily find popular topics, get direct help, easily skim and digest resources and find ways to connect with their peers.

Collage of web site designs for desktop & mobile.
Image highlighting various website features

This site is full of functionality that suits NCDR’s specific needs, including:

  • Intuitive ways to search resources including keyword search, curated landing pages, and robust filtering and sorting.
  • A sticky “Submit a Question” bar on every page that invites users to reach out directly to NCDR with their most pressing questions.
  • Easy access to multiple types of technical assistance.
  • Featured events promoting peer connection within the diligent recruitment space.
  • “Build-your-own” style pages with a comprehensive collection of components to give NCDR the ability to create new content on the fly.
  • A fully accessible design adhering to government information and security policy, as well as 18F accessibility guidelines.

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