Justice & Democracy Centers of Minnesota

Justice & Democracy Centers of Minnesota

The Justice & Democracy Center is a project initiated by the District Court of Minnesota with the goal of making the judicial system less intimidating and more accessible to upper elementary and early high school-aged students and teachers. When the project began, the physical center was already under construction, but there was no branding or website in place. The Justice & Democracy Center sought an audience-entric approach to introduce the center to the public and create a cohesive brand experience.

how we helped

Branding & Identity
User Experience (UX)
Website Optimization
Web Design & Development
Strategy & Messaging


The main challenge for the Justice & Democracy Center was to develop a brand and website that would resonate with a wide audience, including students and their millennials and Gen X educators. The aim was to bridge the gap between the traditional, stodgy perception of the justice system and a more inclusive, participatory vision. Additionally, the project faced the unexpected task of providing specific design direction to the environmental design company responsible for building the physical center, ensuring brand consistency between the space and the website.


The design team approached the project with the goal of creating a brand that felt relevant, educational, interactive, and inclusive. They aimed to infuse the brand with energy and freshness to appeal to both educators and students. The team leveraged modern photography of current justice movements and children participating in related activities to give the brand a contemporary feel. Additionally, they developed a website structure inspired by architectural design principles, creating a flexible container for evolving content and future changes to the physical space.


The collaboration between the design team, the Justice & Democracy Center, and Split Rock Studios, the environmental design company, proved instrumental in the successful brand rollout. The design team helped convey the client's vision to Split Rock Studios, ensuring that the physical space aligned with the brand strategy. They provided guidance, language, and education to facilitate effective communication and create a cohesive brand experience.

The resulting brand and website achieved the goal of making the justice system less intimidating and more inclusive. The website featured individual pages for each station within the center, allowing users to progress through the stations as if they were physically present. The use of modern photography and a flexible web structure added an engaging and contemporary touch, while still preserving an air of mystery to encourage on-site visits.

The project exemplified the partnership approach between the design team and the client, emphasizing trust, collaboration, and shared goals. Despite the challenges of developing the brand and website simultaneously with the uncertain nature of the physical center's development, the team successfully built a plane while flying it, demonstrating adaptability and creativity in problem-solving.

The Justice & Democracy Center's brand and website now serve as a timeless and flexible foundation for the evolving space, enabling the project to continue evolving over time while maintaining a consistent and engaging user experience

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