Good & Common: Online social justice platform uses designs inspired by the civil rights movement

The intricacies of a person's civil rights can be challenging to work out if you are not well-versed in the law. To demystify your individual rights, civil rights lawyer DeWitt Lacy has collaborated with design studio Landscape to create an online educational platform, Good & Common.

Good & Common brings together DeWitt's 12 years of experience as a civil rights attorney with Landscape's initiative to support Bay-Area Black-owned businesses. Created to distil DeWitt's knowledge of the law, Good & Common is a free platform that educates and empowers Americans to use their civil rights when interacting with law enforcement.

The project appealed to Landscape in particular because it provided an opportunity to create a meaningful and much-needed social impact at scale. Having already helped clients as wide-ranging as Google and Intel to The Kelsey, the San Francisco-based brand strategy and design studio sought to create inspiring and innovative work that also takes a bit of a backseat to let the content get its point across.

"In these crucial times, where there are daily attacks on our individual rights, there is a need to use new forms of media and technology to educate regular people on their civil rights," says DeWitt Lacy, founder of Good & Common. "With Landscape's help, we've created a platform that harnesses new media and tech for the good of Americans across the country."

Adam Weiss, founder and executive creative director of Landscape, adds: "Fundamentally, Good & Common was created to help protect life and strengthen community. We're proud to have played a role in realising DeWitt's vision and are hopeful the platform will support our social fabric nationwide."

With a name specifically designed to be "universal, democratic, and optimistic", as well as reflecting the long term vision of the platform, Good & Common proudly wears its intentions with clarity and power. Ben Bloom, associate creative director at Landscape, says: "It signals a sense of unity and accessibility - a brand that can act as a resource for all people."

One of the biggest challenges facing Landscape was translating DeWitt's extensive knowledge into clear, actionable content that every American reader could put into action. "It was clear from the beginning that DeWitt's vision for Good & Common could greatly benefit an extremely diverse community - ourselves included," says Landscape's Weiss.

"We are aware of our civil rights, but we lack understanding, especially when it comes to action. The opportunity to capture this knowledge digitally, make it accessible widely, and package it simply can offer real value to the public."

Bloom adds: "DeWitt had this project in his head for almost five years and needed direction to turn his wealth of knowledge into something digestible, accessible, and interesting."

As well as overseeing the creation of text and video resources, Landscape also created the visual and verbal identity to illustrate the platform's values. Good & Common's "friendly but powerful" logo is specially designed to represent a bookshelf and a peace sign, the symbols working together to indicate knowledge and harmony.

Meanwhile, the simple but bold text across the platform was largely inspired by posters, pamphlets and buttons from the civil rights movement. Landscape's Bloom says: "We appreciated how bold and powerful the graphics and type were. The confidence and urgency felt relevant for Good & Common from both a historical perspective and serve to support the broad appeal and substantive nature of the content delivered by the platform."

Having launched back in February, Good & Common has already translated its resources into Spanish and Chinese, with other languages scheduled to be rolled out over time. The platform also intends to expand its library of information by connecting with civil rights organisations, policymakers, local schools and small businesses.


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