Building an engagement framework to support fundamental rights for nonhuman animals

Web design / Web development / CMS / Brand System


User Experience

Amplifying multi-channel community engagement across campaigns


Driving increased member acquisition and retention


Building an extensible and integrated platform for future fundraising


[DT] dove into learning about our needs and goals and delivered consistently inspiring, beautiful work.
— Matt Gonzales, Nonhuman Rights

The Nonhuman Rights Project is the only civil rights organization in the United States working through litigation, public policy advocacy, and education to secure legally recognized fundamental rights for nonhuman animals. Led by civil rights attorney Steven Wise, the group aims to change the common law status of animals from mere "things" to "persons" deserving certain rights, such as bodily integrity and bodily liberty.

Recognizing the importance of a clear message and compelling experience to attracting supporters - and wanting to reset their approach to involving advocates - the team approached us for help with the creation of a re-branded member experience emphasizing engagement and conversion, and the implementation of a new suite of digital marketing tools.



We kicked off the project with a robust discovery process designed to build a deep and intuitive understanding of the group's strategic goals as well as the challenges and opportunities facing a nonprofit that must educate potential advocates about complex - and often controversial - themes. Over the course of several weeks, we conducted interviews with the team's leadership and volunteers, primary and secondary research, content and SEO audits, and in-person workshops in order to build a foundation for the work ahead.

With a strong foundation in place, we worked closely with the NHRP team to craft an aesthetic and voice for the organization that avoided the easy associations of pity, instead exalting the highly intelligent sentient beings they hope to protect while emphasizing the nonprofit's rational, science-based approach to legal progress.

We simplified their branding by replacing their legacy badge (refined and preserved in the website footer) with a two-tone wordmark that spurs inquiry and leveraged the organization's partnership with leading wildlife photographers to establish a lush, immersive feel anchored in the individuality and sentience of NHRP's nonhuman clients. The design process yielded a beautiful typeface combination, bringing together the elegant and academic Adobe Caslon with the approachable precision of GT Walsheim.


The new design was developed on WordPress for extensibility and flexibility, hosted on WP Engine for speed and security, and integrated with NationBuilder, a holistic platform with an arsenal of advocacy and community engagement tools. Because the Nonhuman Rights Project team was moving fast to modernize their approach on their own, we took an agile approach to development which enabled us to rapidly leverage new opportunities and weave them into the user experience, such as Phone2Action, a text message-based engagement platform adopted less than a week before launch.


You are family. We are so grateful for all the creative, artistic, and technical talents you have given to our new brand and website — as well as the long hours and patience.
— Lisa Rainwater, Campaigns Director





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