Expanding the Sunlight Foundation brand through a variety of mediums. Making sure these brand extensions are both true to our style and cost effective. 

Sunlight Foundation logo shirts

The Sunlight Foundation had been lacking cohesive staff shirts for a while. When out at hackathons, speaking a PyCon, or just a causal day in the office in DC, our staff needs to look like our staff, and represent the organization. A simple t-shirt is the best way to do this. When wearing this shirt, people come up to us and ask us questions about the Sunlight Foundation. And there's now a bit of brand recognition in the Dupont area neighborhood. 

Finding a shirt that even our developers would WANT to wear, and would look good wearing was another challenge. Ultra cotton is out. While it is the cheapest option, it FEELS like the cheapest option. It's heavy and not soft or stretchy. White is out. Humans, including myself, spill too often to have a lasting light colored shirt. The shirts are printed on Gildian Softstyle Jersey in Navy Heather. The heather shirts are a poly/cotton blend which give is a soft stretch feeling, without being as shapeless pajama feeling as American Apparel 50/50. They are also semi-fitted, so they better fit the females on staff and don't hang like squares on the men. They look nice.

Converting a 9 color logo, to something that is easily and affordably screen printed was an awesome challenge. Each section of the circles was converted to halftone and there was a lot of back and forth with the vendor about what dot ratio was possible, and what wasn't. Positioning the logo on the shirts so it looked appropriate on both men and women also required a lot of testing. 

Sunlight Foundation Shirts gif
Detail view of Sunlight Foundation Halftone shirt printing
PaulTag rocking the Sunlight Foundation shirt at PyCon

Lapel Pins & Giveaway Buttons

When Sunlight Foundation Staff goes to the hill or speaks at formal event, it's important for them to still be branded as part of our organization, where a Sunlight Foundation t-shirt is not acceptable attire. The lapel pins are a simple and elegant way to identify as part of the organization. I also designed buttons as a promotional swag item for when we host events. It highlights our brand with our logo and colors, and borrows the unlock the capitol symbol from the TransparencyCamp logo. This icon is well known and liked in the open government community.

sunlight foundation lapel pin on blazer
Sunlight foundation buttons

Sunlight Foundation laptop stickers

Part of being in the tech sphere is having cool stickers. Coolness is a big factor. Most tech stickers don't even include any words. They're that cool. 

I knew that we couldn't get away with just using the Sunlight Foundation circles. We are not that cool and well known. Yet. And, we have a broader audience than only tech people. The logo need to be incorporated in a fun way, so it's not the center of the design. 

Part of the mission of Sunlight Foundation is shining light on the government. When I found that Sticker Robot screen-printed on clear stickers, but you could print specific areas without the opaque white layer, I knew I had to use this to my advantage. When applied over the apple symbol on a mac laptop, light shines through the transparent part of the capitol, and highlights our mission.

Sunlight Foundation Stickers
sticker illuminated
Sam's Laptop with the Sunlight Foundation Sticker designed by Amy Cesal

Responsive Email Templates

Creating branded, but simple, and most importantly, readable emails needed to be a priority at the Sunlight Foundation. 

In response to a new CRM system, as well as a more mobile audience, I had the opportunity to create a holistic email template system. Each of the emails needed to work as a set, but serve slightly different tasks. They work as a family in terms of structure and color. 

By creating flexible templates, most email needs are met by simply tweaking one of these. The structure is a single column system which renders nicely on mobile, and works well in troublesome clients like outlook 2007.