Affirming and Amplifying Black presence
Activism / Nominee


With a lean staff, BlackSpace needed a sustainable site and brand that did justice to their work. Stephanie Lanning VP, Business Development and Marketing


Q: Can you briefly describe your project and the concept behind it?

A: BlackSpace demands a present and future where Black people, Black spaces, and Black culture matter and thrive. They are a collective of urbanists, architects, policymakers, artists, and advocates co-creating spaces that affirm and amplify Black presence in public spaces. We partnered with BlackSpace to create an evolved brand, design system, and digital experience that empowers BlackSpace to scale their mission and organization into the future.

Q: Once you settled on your idea, what influenced your decision on the chosen technical approach? How did it differ or go beyond approaches you’ve taken in the past?

A: The folks at BlackSpace are doing amazing work in the community and drive their mission forward with a small, dedicated team. We needed a simplified stack and content editor experience so they can focus where they need to make the most impact and not on content creation and website maintenance. More than any other approach to our client work, this was an exercise in making the complex as simple as possible.

Q: What were some of your biggest learning and takeaways from this project?

A: The theme of empowerment resonated throughout the BlackSpace project, as we were charged with ensuring a team on an important mission were armed with all the necessary resources to extend their reach and amplify their impact nationwide. We learned that robust tools like Wordpress and WP Engine can help empower even small, non-technical teams to create beautiful experiences on the web that meaningfully connect with audiences.

Q: What web technologies, approaches, tools, or resources did you use to develop this experience (WordPress, headless, AI, Sublime Text, HTML5, Adobe XD, etc)?

A: For this project we used a variety of tools such as WP Engine, Donorbox, Instagram Feed Pro, vanilla javascript (including GSAP for animation), and CSS. The final result is a clean, beautiful, and modern brand where technology gets out of the way and brings the mission, and the people behind it, to the forefront.

Q: How did the final product meet or exceed your expectations? What results did you see?

A: By fusing a bespoke brand identity, adaptable art direction system, and captivating website, the final product amplified BlackSpace's presence, enabling them with the tools to effectively showcase their projects, workshops, and experiences. Our role in co-creation helped facilitate their reach to broader audiences, magnified their impact, and fostered a deeper connection with communities centered around Black public life.

Q: Why is this an exciting time to create new digital experiences? How does your team fit into this?

A: Today’s digital landscape offers ample opportunities for innovative experiences that resonate with audiences across channels—it's an exciting time to create unique solutions capturing organizations like BlackSpace's essence, and enabling engagement across them. Our team is a connective thread for these touchpoints, and our collective approach ultimately supported a unification and dispersion of BlackSpace's voice, ethos, and community.

Q: How did you reach a good balance of your own creative ideas and technical capabilities with a fair representation of the client’s brand?

A: To achieve a harmonious balance between our creative ideas, technical capabilities, and client's brand, we adopted a collaborative approach, engaging in deep dialogue, attentive listening, and frequent workshopping. This allowed us to understand their needs, constraints, and values while incorporating our expertise in brand and digital ecosystems.

Q: What did your initial moodboard, wireframe, or prototype look like? How did those ideas change throughout the design process?

A: Our initial moodboard, wireframe, and prototype focused on exploring elements of Black placemaking, architecture, and design. As the design process progressed, ideas evolved to incorporate the language of Black public life and historical references, ultimately culminating in a cohesive brand identity that pays homage to BlackSpace's history, mission, and community impact.
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