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KNO

Building an Online Magazine to Amplify Marginalized Voices

Services Design, Development, PR

The Challenge

Clarice is a strategist and storyteller with a passion for inclusive storytelling, authentic representation, and brand innovation. Her mission is to leverage her platform to amplify marginalized voices while increasing the visibility of people of color in media, marketing and advertising. She came to us to help her build an online media platform — Kno. — to connect with her audience at scale.

Goals

  • Create a digital magazine that featured an assortment of editorial content
  • Create an edgy, content-first design
  • Templatize the entire website for continuity and ease of management

The Solution

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Primary Insight

People come to Kno. because they want to read the content. Our job is to make it easy for them to do that.

Navigation and Information Architecture

Kno’s content falls into 3 categories: Discover, Our Voices, and Culture and Art. So we created 3 category landing pages and featured them in the primary navigation.

To facilitate browsing behavior, we intentionally chose to hide the navigation menu on mobile and on desktop. This directs people to focus on the content on screen instead of aimlessly hopping around.

Content First

Kno. is all about providing a platform for marginalized voices and identities. The platform exists to inspire, empower, and enlighten minority changemakers. Their brand ethos is about rebellion and challenging the status quo.

This is what their content is all about and we wanted to make sure that came through in the design.

Nothing says ‘In Your Face’ more than bold striking imagery and thought provoking stories. That’s why we really emphasized the imagery in the category landing pages and article previews. We created a series of featured content and article modules that maximized the amount of imagery in the viewport while also providing some negative space to balance. We leveraged a 3 column layout on desktop and a 2-column layout on mobile.

The featured article image module takes up the entire screen, leaving no margin, to focus the story front and center. The content modules leverage a portrait style preview image as a reference back to the brand’s focus on identity.

Visual Design

Kno. is edgy by nature. You have to be willing to push the envelope when you’re challenging the status quo. We made this come through in the design on several fronts.

Templates and Automation

To templatize the site, we created a system of blocks that content managers can easily repurpose when creating new articles. This included:

Article layouts with pre-built pagination, social media sharing, and credits

Text hierarchy & Featured quote template

Multiple image layouts for visual variety

Edgy and Minimal

Created a minimal design that used the black/white brand colors to create contrast at the edges of the frame, drawing the eye to the content.

Going above and beyond with free PR placements

At the conclusion of the project, we also volunteered to pitch an editorial about the launch to MTVU. As a result, they got featured and were able to go to market with a splash.
Since its inception and launch in 2018, Kno. has shared countless stories, partnered with a variety of brands and hosted intimate events to entertain, empower, and enlighten young marginalized minority change-makers.
Malik listened and worked to truly understand what I was looking to achieve and ensured it came through strongly in the design and branding. He kept me posted every step of the way and made it a very collaborative process. He brought to life exactly what I had in mind. After walking me through the back end, he had no problem helping me bounce ideas as various questions arose. He also connected me with a colleague who was working with MTVU to spotlight my creative platform, reaching a larger audience than I could not have imagined after being live for such a short amount of time. I’d recommend Malik to anyone with web design and branding needs!!

Clarice

Creative Strategist, Thrive Global

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