FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that researches and advances voting reforms, had been building new branding and websites to more effectively communicate their mission to modernize elections in the United States. The organization needed several custom illustrations that would depict reforms and measures that would make democracy more functional and representative for every American. The final graphics would be used within their branding, campaigns, and on their two websites, fairvote.org and fairvoteaction.org.
Working with FairVote’s communication team, Brevity & Wit discussed and researched FairVote’s three primary voting reforms: ranked choice voting (RCV), the Fair Representation Act, and the Voter Choice Act. Each of these reforms needed to be depicted across images of state maps and districts, voters, and diverse elected officials. Icons were also developed alongside the illustrations.
Once we met with FairVote’s external web development group to review page layout and illustration use, Brevity & Wit sketched out more than 20 illustrations to present to FairVote. At this stage, we wanted to ensure that the drawings accurately depicted our research and the information that needed to be conveyed before diving into the digital versions (e.g., a diverse congress; an urban Republican and a rural Democrat; a state map before and after the Fair Representation Act).
After incorporating any feedback, the sketches were imported into Illustrator. From there, we built a visual system of bodies, such as heads and hands, hair styles, and outfits that could be replicated and adjusted, so that image production would be streamlined. We also added tints and shades to FairVote’s color palette, so that colors would be visually accessible and 508 compliant across various backgrounds. A wide array of people with various skin colors, ages, abilities, genders, body sizes, and political affiliations were included in each image.
Between this new set of illustrations and icons and previous design work completed for FairVote, Brevity & Wit successfully depicted the concept of voting reforms in the US, such as RCV, the Fair Representation Act, and the Voter Choice Act. The graphics on the website and in campaigns have factored into FairVote Action being the largest contributor to a number of city campaigns for RCV as it has passed in 13 straight cities from 2019 to 2021. It even helped state political parties in Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas and Wyoming establish and administer RCV ballots in their party-run presidential primaries, with all contests experiencing improved turnout and more votes counted.