IKAR is hard to get your head around. It’s a community. A cultural institution. An intellectual challenge. A spiritual experience. An idea. A religious movement for social activism. Political. Musical. Hilarious. Jewish. And chock full o’activities. Encompassing so many different things, and in need of a new digital home, we realized early on that the only way to explain IKAR, is to experience IKAR. Our job was to make that happen online.
Dissatisfied with the status quo
IKAR was founded 13 years ago to create a meaningful experience for people alienated by conventional religious institutions. From the start, we needed to conceive of a website experience that was unconventional and pleasantly surprising to represent their true zeitgeist, yet completely intuitive for users in need of important information.
Capitalizing on the extraordinary portrait series of talented photographer and IKAR member Kim Silverstein, we created a mosaic of community images that shows the diverse, welcoming, relatable, come-as-you-are attitude that unites the IKAR community. Graffiti font spells out the unique character of each subject in highly relatable terms.
Designing for a unique voice
IKAR has a unique voice. It is smart, hilarious, humble, aspirational but with its feet firmly the ground. A mix of high and low, and everything in between. We designed a visual counterpart to their voice, mingling opportunities throughout the site where their writing can shine with its snap, punch, and thoughtfulness. A highly typographic design mixes modern and traditional fonts, uses contrast of sizes and a bold color palette.
A digital mouthpiece for a national movement
Many organizations can talk your ear off about themselves. But what really set IKAR apart in our content strategy sessions, was discovering that they have content that speaks volumes for them. With a library of articles, hundreds of recorded sermons, videos, essays, and a TEDTalk, the site serves as the digital mouthpiece for IKAR’s movement. Our challenge was creating an efficient and engaging interface for IKAR’s content to make it onto the screens of their audience.
Capturing real community
We worked with the wonderful photographer and community member Cheryl Himmelstein to capture real IKAR events, and show a candid image of the community. Never stylized or staged, the imagery communicates the humility and authenticity of IKAR, a movement of real people in the real world.
“I can’t thank you enough for everything you did to help imagine, create, beautify, and bring to life a site that is SO IKAR. Thank you both so much for being patient with us. You are wonderful to work with and just so good at what you do. Thank you again for your supersavvy expertise, warmth, kindness, and presence with us. It is a joy to work w you”.
Media & Communications Manager, IKAR