Which Side Affects You?
Activating the ally in all of us
Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022. Three days later, we came together as a studio to share emotions, stories, worries, and tears. Yet again we were faced with a moment where we couldn’t stand to be business as usual.
We talked about our friends, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and all those who would be impacted. Together we discovered the overturn of Roe v. Wade marks the first time in history that the Supreme Court has taken away a fundamental right, and that abortion was just a piece of the puzzle. In order to properly understand the consequences and bring peace to those affected, we needed to see all the sides.
We launched into action the very next day. While gathering inspiration and simultaneously trying to process the news, we kept one question at the forefront of our minds,
“What does the world need right now?”
Key words started rising to the top: safety, community, strength, solidarity, respect, and empathy. With those words in mind, we took ourselves through a mini Identity Architecture workshop. It was crucial for us to nail down the values, anchors, and identity statement that would guide the design and development of Side Affects*. It didn’t take long for us to define Side Affects* as an entry point for expanding our understanding of the Roe v. Wade overturn and its impact on all fundamental human rights.
With our rights under attack, we could see the world needed a safe place to learn about the history of Roe v. Wade and the other rights that rely so heavily on its legal precedent. We needed a collection of resources, not just focused on abortion, but also educational content, judgment-free support, reproductive care, and ways to share your story. With these goals in mind, we set our guiding pillars as education, perspective, and empowerment.
During this process, we found dozens of amazing organizations providing resources and support to those affected by the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Side Affects* proudly lists these organizations with the hope that we can boost their missions and empower people to get the help they deserve, or find a way to contribute.
“Bodily autonomy is the foundation upon which all other human rights are built.”
Dr. Natalia Kanem
With a clear identity statement and a mission to activate the ally in all of us, we started building a visual identity for Side Affects*. We chose to reference 1970s visual communication as a nod to 1973, the year Roe v. Wade was passed. Utilizing a printed image treatment on modern and vintage photos, along with a collage effect, brought an analog feeling to the site. We balanced out the retro feeling with Basalte, a strong, unapologetic sans-serif typeface. The combination of these visual elements, with the addition of classic serif typeface Garamond, evokes references to newspapers with sensationalized headlines as well as the sea of protest posters visible during a march or rally.
While working on Side Affects*, one of our teammates started a playlist inspired by an OG feminist anthem, You Don’t Own Me by Lesley Gore. Music can help us process and express our emotions, so we made the playlist public and encourage anyone to contribute.
Side Affects* features a live timer, counting up from the day Roe v. Wade was overturned, and it will continue to count until our rights are permanently protected.