Historic Cancer research fund photo of two men riding in a convertable speaking to a crowd with a bullhorn

Helping fund tomorrow's cancer game-changers today

The Cancer Research Foundation is funding the best minds in cancer research, on a mission to reduce cancer deaths to zero. With a new visual identity, a refined messaging strategy, and an improved digital experience, the new site is helping these “Cancer Research Venture Philanthropists” move closer to achieving that goal.

“The team was truly collaborative. They also pushed boundaries on design, thinking and overall branding. They weren't just a "yes" studio. They delivered on what we asked but they pushed us to think different and outside of our own conventional thought process."

Carlos Navarro, Director of Digital Strategy

Microscope looking at sample

The Challenge

Driving urgency to take action.

CRF has an amazing story to tell, but their previous website wasn’t doing that story justice. It was outdated, difficult to update on the back-end and confusing to navigate on the front-end. They needed their website to drive the urgency of their mission to increase donations and, in turn, help further their impact.

The Cancer Research Foundation was founded in 1954

Dr. Charles Higgins won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1966 for his work in cancer research

CRF invests in early-career cancer scientists in the pursuit of discovering a cure for cancer

President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dr. Janet Rowley in 2009

The Process

Start with story.

Over the past 60+ years, the organization has funded 180 of the brightest minds in cancer research. From their founding to the present day, their commitment to their mission is relentless. We drew inspiration from old black and white photographs and hand-written letters showing some of their pioneers hard at work. We wanted to balance their long history of impact with their cutting edge approach to research today. The result is strong, emotional messaging—of "fighting" and "hope" and "bold ideas"—that better tells their story and moves users to action.

Wireframe copy with "we're here to make that number zero" in bold

Establishing a new identity.

To modernize their brand and strike the right tone with users, we crafted an entirely new visual identity—logo, typography, color palette, and style guide. We used elements of the hand-written letters and old photographs in the design itself, further driving home the organization's long history of impact.

Cancer research foundation new logo

Making an impact.

The main goal of the new site was to connect with potential donors and increase donations. We prioritized this conversion in designing the user flow. In addition, we integrated with a donation platform on the back-end to make it a frictionless process. To remove any decision fatigue, users can either donate a custom amount or choose from three benchmark sums. And it worked—there’s been an 81% increase in donations with the new website.

Design sample of new website page

The Identity

Logo experimentation.

Previous ideas for the Cancer Research Foundation logo Previous ideas for the Cancer Research Foundation logo Previous ideas for the Cancer Research Foundation logo Previous ideas for the Cancer Research Foundation logo Previous ideas for the Cancer Research Foundation logo
Cancer research foundation final logo Cancer research foundation final logo with dimensions specfied
Cancer research foundation logo color variations

Red

#fd553a

Beige

#f2f1ec

Navy

#44535f

Gray

#6f6f6f

Blue

#008cff

Light Gray

#d8d8d8

Handwritten design elements.

Sketches of various molecules, graphs, and scientific data Sketches of various molecules, graphs, and scientific data Sketches of various molecules, graphs, and scientific data Sketches of various molecules, graphs, and scientific data Sketches of various molecules, graphs, and scientific data

The Solution

CRF is funding the best hope against cancer: research. We are honored to join them in their fight for a cure, designing a new website that better connects with potential donors and drives urgency to take action.

Identity design including logo, new color palette, typography

Multiple color palette and logo iterations to build the right identity to strengthen the CRF brand

Introduction visual assets and new brand elements throughout to bring the brand to life

Used real hand-written letters from cancer pioneers as design accents

Modern, interactive design to balance showcasing the history of the organization with its future-thinking vision

Wordpress donation integration to generate more donations

The Results

180+

researchers funded

116

user-created galleries curated in the first 3 months

36,391

members in the first 3 months

The Awards

CSS award logo

CSS Awards: Best UI, UX, Innovation

CSS award logo

CSS Awards: Special Kudos

Awwwards: Honorable Mention

Behind the Scenes

Hands Free and Designing with Color

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