Transforming a blog into a robust news platform

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Issues
Services
  • Brand Strategy
  • HTML Email
  • Print Design
  • Social Media
  • UX Research
  • Visual Identity
  • Website Design & Development

RH Reality Check was originally founded as a project of the United Nations Foundation and became an independent publication in 2012. At the time, the RH Reality Check website had a staff of 3 writers and 5,000 unique readers per month. By 2016, readership grew to nearly 800,000 unique readers per month and the staff had increased to 30. The focus of the publication had also evolved from reproductive health to include a wider set of issues at the intersection of human rights and justice. RH Reality Check had completely transformed as a organization, but it’s brand and website hadn’t kept up.

That’s when they turned to Teal.

Research & Discovery

Learn before doing

We began the transformation of RH Reality Check with a robust Discovery process that included:

  • In-depth conversations and workshops with stakeholders
  • Interviews with target audiences
  • Online reader surveys
  • Market analysis
  • Website analytics reviews

Our thorough process allowed the Teal team to gain extensive knowledge about RH Reality Check and its readers and also helped us garner early anticipation and support for the rebrand from allies and supporters. The Teal Discovery process left us with a comprehensive understanding of who RH Reality Check was and what the organization and readers needed the publication to be.

Our first task following Discovery was to devise a new name. We studied mythology and feminism, explored symbols and metaphors, and created new words, with Rewire emerging as the clear winner. As Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson noted, the time has come to, “rewire the very way we think about the news—especially when it comes to reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice.”

The Teal team then created a visual identity for Rewire to communicate the publication’s bold, unapologetic tone. The logo is a no-nonsense word mark which conveys Rewire’s commitment to facts and evidence-based reporting. We selected a high contrast color palette of black, gray, and bright orange to establish the tone of a serious news publication, with a pop of vibrancy. We also established a flexible typography system with a variety of weights to make headlines as bold and scannable as possible and supporting text with the utmost legibility in mind.

Concurrent with the visual identity process, we began putting together the ‘blueprints’ for the Rewire.News website. Teal’s approach to the user experience of the site was thoroughly informed by our research, which resulted in a number of impressive features:

  • A clear visual distinction between news and commentary
  • Two primary ways to navigate news stories: by Topic and by Section
  • A “trending” bar that showcases popular or important stories at the top of the homepage
  • Progressive content loading to ensure the site loads and displays content quickly
  • An integrated real-time distributed search and analytics engine (ElasticSearch) that allows readers to more easily find relevant content and enables editors to understand real-time public reaction to articles
  • A data-driven Legislative Tracker that monitors laws, people, organizations, and litigation involved in sexual and reproductive health and justice in the United States
  • In-context advocacy and donation calls-to-action
  • Social media sharing integration
  • A multimedia module, complete with videos, photo galleries, and podcasts
  • A custom-designed workflow and permission structure that allows dozens of writers and editors to easily create, edit, and publish content

Teal also prepared for the launch of the rebrand and new website by creating a number of pieces of collateral and visual assets to promote a consistent brand experience across all media channels. Highlights include:

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Organizational collateral (letterhead, envelopes, business cards)
Slide deck template
Social media graphic templates
HTML email templates
Rewire Radio and ChoiceLess Podcast subbrand logos
The Result

An award-winning, robust news platform

The Rewire.News comprehensive rebrand reflects the publication’s maturity, increased influence, and expanded offerings while remaining true to their original mission to provide evidence-based news, analysis, commentary, and investigative reporting on reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice.

The site’s launch was praised by readers, writers, and movement partners.

“Teal Media worked with us for a year, from concept to coding, to help us find a name and build a site of which we could be proud. The Teal team, led by Jessica Teal, is among the best, guiding us through this process with humor, grace, and a superlative degree of professionalism.”

Jodi Jacobson
President, Editor-in-Chief
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