The morning after the 2016 election, we came into work just like we always do, but the vibe in our perpetually energetic Flatiron district office was very different from what we were used to. We were shocked, downtrodden and tired after a long night of election coverage and attempting to cope as the results sunk in. Worried, hushed conversations punctuated by bouts of silence replaced our usual social small talk and positive workplace banter.
We could have wallowed a while longer, but ThoughtMatter founder Tom Jaffe brought us all together and reminded us that our collective talents and abilities could be used now more than ever, and that we would immediately begin looking for ways to make a difference. Proactively seeking out positive projects where we could help make a difference has always been important to us, and due to the election’s outcome and likely consequences, it seemed there would be plenty of causes, initiatives and belief systems for us to support.
A week later, Jessie McGuire, ThoughtMatter’s executive director of strategy, suggested we make posters to help support the Women’s March on Washington.
We immediately got to work, and successfully channeled our creative energy into an expedited design process that was later profiled in The New York Times. After fitting into the space of three weeks work that typically takes months, we perfected 10 designs we hoped to distribute to supporters of the Women’s March on Washington. If we raised $1,500 through a Kickstarter campaign, we could print and ship 1,000 posters to people participating in the D.C. march and other satellite marches across the country.
We ultimately raised more than $7,000 and printed and shipped 15,000 posters.
We’d planned to close ThoughtMatter offices from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, but mere weeks before we had also planned to celebrate the first female President of the United States. Things don’t always go as expected, so we worked through the holidays—and nobody seemed to mind.
“We needed something positive to end 2016 with,” said designer Wednesday Krus.
It was work we’re proud of, and the kind of work we’ll continue doing.