The Romero Institute

Justice Through Civic Action 


The Challenge

The Romero Institute, a social justice and advocacy nonprofit, came to us seeking a communications platform to showcase 40 years of success, re-activate their supporters, and incite new people to take action.

The Outcome

The Romero Institute site establishes the organization as a social justice powerhouse with a storied history. By highlighting their track record, they are able to easily communicate with longtime supporters, engage new advocates and activists, and elevate their campaigns.

  • Strategy
  • Branding
  • Messaging
  • Digital
  • Content
  • Climate Action & Environment
  • Public Service & Government
  • Social Equity & Justice

“Working on our project with Cosmic was a big endeavor for our organization. We were experiencing many challenges, from our site not being secure and reliable to feeling like the visual aesthetics didn’t align with our identity. When the project was over I was confident our site was well built, secure, and effectively captured our brand narrative, helping to motivate our community to take action and be moved emotionally.”


— Sara Nelson

Executive Director and Co-Founder, The Romero Institute

Then and Now

One thing that differentiates the Romero Institute from similar organizations, is their long history of success in high-profile, complex cases. Our strategy of highlighting this legacy and its throughline to current projects became the default approach for attracting new audiences while encouraging deeper engagement with their established donors.


Establishing Authority

In the social purpose space, the ability to convince your audience of your ability to achieve results is vital to funding efforts. In their early years, the principles of the organization broke, fought, and won some of the biggest cases in American history. Among them were the Karen Silkwood case, the Iran Contra Affair, and the Three-Mile Island nuclear power plant incident. We worked with them to succinctly showcase past successes at a high level. Site visitors can learn the details if they want to dive deeper.


Messages of Hope

We discussed our established position of using positive messaging to drive their communications. They continue to employ the strategy of inferring the problem/issue by talking about solutions.


Blue & Gold

The blue in the color palette for the brand was inspired by their existing brand but made more vibrant to express their optimistic attitude and passion for the causes they champion. The gold highlights are intended to convey their stature in the social justice space.

Because the organization is about action over aspiration, the blue is used for all of the action items including buttons and CTA sections. It's also used for titles, to designate pages sections without the need for color breaks.

We softened the gold to create the background color for the site. By using this color throughout, we were able to make pages and the entire site feel unified and create a visual invitation to follow the narrative flow presented of each page.


Show, Don't Tell

The About page presented some interesting challenges. The first was how to convey the importance of over 40 years of activity without writing a book. Our strategy was one of ‘show don’t tell’.

They have plenty of visual assets to use. But this led to a second challenge—how to use low quality and low resolution images on a modern website. We took a collage approach which let us use the small images and made the ideas scannable with minimal reading. Still, there was plenty for people to sink their teeth into if they wanted more details.


Ready for Change

The world of activism is dynamic and quick changing. The Romero Institute was already familiar with Craft CMS, the content management system we used to build the Lakota People’s Law Project and Greenpower websites. Using the same CMS makes it easy for them to do updates whenever the need arises.


Scope of Work

  • Research
  • Landscape Review
  • Visual Identity
  • Design Systems
  • Brand Extension
  • Brand Style Guide
  • Icons & Illustrations
  • Brand Narrative
  • Voice & Tone
  • Mission/Vision/Values
  • Target Audience
  • Topline Messaging
  • Copywriting
  • Integrated Digital Experience
  • Full Service Web Development
  • Experience Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Content Strategy
  • Branded Copywriting

Let's Connect 

Are you ready to take your social impact organization to the next level? Let’s explore our fit for working together.


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