Creative with a Conscience

Teal Media is a full-service creative agency with a conscience. We work primarily with nonprofits and advocacy organizations. We pour every ounce of our passion and skill toward our clients' success, because we, too want the world to be a better place. We believe purposeful design can transform organizations, inspire action, and enable progress.

When you partner with Teal Media, you’ll be working with a partner with over 18 years of experience who is invested in your mission, and who will ensure that you understand where we are with every step of the process. Together we will craft solutions that are rooted in research, speak to your brand, engage your audience, and are easy for you to maintain and evolve as you grow.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Show all +
Washington, DC
headquarters
other locations

Portfolio

Key clients: 

AFL-CIO

Council on Foreign Relations

DS Political

Environmental Working Group

Everytown for Gun Safety

Facing Addiction

Greenpeace USA

ICRW

Joyful Heart Foundation

Mission Investors Exchange

Reproaction

Rewire

Swanee Hunt Alternatives

TaxMarch.org

United to Protect Democracy

Wellstone Action

 

 

Reviews

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UI/UX & Web Design for Nonprofit

"I would do the whole project with them again in a heartbeat."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2018 - May 2019
Project summary: 

Teal Media executed a complex website redesign for an environmental nonprofit. After an extensive discovery phase, they built an information architecture and worked from wireframes to deliver fresh designs.

The Reviewer
 
201- 500 Employees
 
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Chris Bliss
Manager of Web Strategy & Technology, Union of Concerned Scientists
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Teal Media delivered an exceptional redesign and revamped the organization website. They demonstrated a keen sensitivity to organization dynamics and navigated the opinions of multiple stakeholders towards an optimal solution. Their stellar project management made them a pleasure to work with.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the manager of web strategy and technology at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit that addresses a range of issues in the US.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

We were looking to redesign our website.  

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

First, we had kick-off meetings where their team converged with our stakeholders. What followed was an extensive and in-depth discovery phase, which involved an in-person workshop and user surveys. After they collected information on our target audience, Teal Media delivered a deck that summarized all of our gatherings.

We then launched into building out an information architecture. They mapped out the new website, and working off these wireframes, they designed the necessary additions to the site. It wasn’t a complete redesign since there were several recycled assets.

We have an in-house technical team that’s currently building the site that they designed. They’re continuing to provide quality assurance to ensure that our implementations are consistent with their design offerings.  

What is the team composition?

I worked with four people from Teal Media. The team consisted of a project manager, a lead designer, a site architect, and principal strategist.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

I sent an RFP to a couple dozen firms. Teal Media’s excellent proposal suggested that they were the right match for us.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began our work in October 2018 and wrapped up in May 2019. However, they continue to provide ongoing support.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement? 

Thanks to their exceptional work, the website looks a lot better. I’ve worked with various designers and creative designers, and Teal Media is easily among my favorite. In addition to their extensive design know-how, they understood the internal dynamics of working for an organization like ours. It’s hard to reach a consensus when you have several stakeholders, but they were able to navigate that very skillfully.  

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

It was great having a design firm with both technical expertise and great project management skills. They used Basecamp for project management, and InVision as a file-sharing tool. We’d also have conferences over Zoom.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their communication and management skills blew the other agencies I’ve worked with out of the water.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything. I would do the whole project with them again in a heartbeat.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They’re great listeners, and they do an excellent job of being inclusive. They’ll do a great job.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

UI/UX Design for Medical Nonprofit

“They took time to listen and understand our organization, audience, and goals.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2018 - Apr. 2019
Project summary: 

Teal Media redesigned the UX/UI of a portion of the website, conducting research to determine the best layout and user flow. They collaborated with the internal team and integrated everything into the CMS.

The Reviewer
 
1,000 - 5,000 Employees
 
Bethesda, Maryland
Margaux O'Malley
Senior Manager Digital Communications, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Teal Media was flexible and accommodating, adjusting the project to meet needs and provide the best service possible. They communicated well and built a tailored approach to accomplishing project objectives. Their work has received positive feedback and made navigating the site much easier.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the senior manager of digital communications for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I’m in charge of our digital experience.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

We wanted to make the experience of getting involved in our organization more streamlined and less overwhelming. Specifically, we wanted to hire a partner to redesign the UX/UI of that section of our website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We isolated the places on our website where users have a two-way interaction with us, such as making donations, calling their senator, or volunteering. In total, we have about fifty different ways that people can get involved, but navigating through all those options was overwhelming our visitors. So, we did some internal interviews and focus groups with people who work in those different programs to determine their perspective on how to get people involved.

We also did surveys, interviews, and focus groups with people outside of our organization to figure out what they want to do, how they’d like to help, and what they’d expect on our website. Teal Media then pulled all that information together and came up with a few recommendations, such as eliminating jargon in certain places and rearranging the page navigation.

Beyond redesigning the UX/UI, they also ran tests and even did a card sort to determine the best organization. They designed a few prototypes of different page layouts and had test users explain what they were thinking while navigating them. It was an iterative process of testing and refining until we reached something we liked. Finally, they created the visual design, wrote the code, and connected everything to our CMS so that it was all uniform.

What is the team composition?

We worked with about seven people, including some UX professionals and designers. We had one main point of contact across all phases of the project.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

We issued a formal RFP and got proposals from about six different companies. We then narrowed it down to three, and they came in to present some of their past work. We liked what Teal Media had done, so we hired them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The partnership lasted from May 2018–April 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve received good feedback from test users, who are impressed by how much more streamlined and intuitive the site is. It used to overwhelm people, but now it’s much easier to navigate, and people seem to be engaging with us more.

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

We had weekly calls and sent emails throughout the week. They were proactive, timely, and flexible. For example, we initially started with personas, but Teal Media realized that card sorting would be a better fit, so they switched approaches to meet our needs.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They took time to listen and understand our organization, audience, and goals. The kind of approach that works for other companies doesn’t necessarily work for us, and they realized that. But they still found a way to be innovative and accomplish what we wanted. They’re also great at onboarding new employees so that it’s a smooth transition.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of any ways they could improve. I’d gladly work with them again.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Give them space to be creative and innovative. They’re experts in their field, so don’t micromanage. If you can, provide broad strokes for what you want to accomplish, and they’ll come up with some awesome ideas.

5.0
Overall Score I had high expectations, and I was still blown away.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The only time we missed deadlines was because of us.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were thorough and paid attention to details, anticipating my needs.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I'm very likely to refer them.

WordPress Web Design, Logo & Graphic for Nonprofit

"We're able to have an outsized impact in our field because of the new website."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
June 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Teal Media helped redesign a website to boost overall functionality and design, with the primary new feature being online quizzes about addiction. They also help integrate APIs.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Laszlo Jaress
Director of Operations, Facing Addiction
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The number of visitors taking quizzes improved dramatically since the engagement began. Teal Media's consistent communication and responsiveness justify the investment and make them a valuable partner. The team’s quality deliverables are the reason for the long-standing relationship.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there. 

I’m the director of digital operations for Facing Addiction. We’re a nonprofit that focuses on political advocacy for addiction-related issues.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media? 

We use Teal Media for several tasks including our website infrastructure and design.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Teal Media has done a lot of API work for us in addition to more general website development. They developed our first website some years ago, as well as this more recent redesign. They built our website in WordPress on the backend. They work closely with us on the development of APIs for mapping technology. 

For the redevelopment of our website, they started with a couple of calls about what we were looking for. Teal Media actually came out to meet with us in person. They led creative mapping exercises to really understand all the different ways that we use the website. They looked at how the site was initially conceived and compared it to what it had become in the interim. 

What is the team composition? 

In total, I work with 2–4 people. Aruna (creative director, Teal Media) is our project manager and my main contact. I also work with their CTO on the more technical aspects. 

How did you come to work with Teal Media? 

I wasn’t involved in that process. I think it was word of mouth from someone that had worked with them previously. 

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve probably spent more than $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement? 

We started working together in June 2015, and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement? 

They've done a great job. We're able to have an outsized impact in our field because of the new website. For example, Teal Media helped us develop a system for getting people to take online quizzes to see whether or not they have an addiction. Over 16,000 people have taken the quizzes. That's a direct result of the infrastructure they put in place to modernize the flow and layout of the website. The site is more accessible now. More people are searching for us on Google, so our overall traffic has gone up as well. 

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint? 

Their team performs admirably. They’re very thoughtful and organized throughout the entire process. They stay on top of everything and set consistent deadlines. If they fall behind, they're responsive when we ask them about it. We primarily communicate via phone and email, and they use Basecamp to manage tasks. 

What did you find most impressive about them? 

Their responsiveness and overall communication set them apart. 

Are there any areas they could improve? 

In general, no. The only thing I’d mention is that I’d prefer if they switched to a new project management system. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers? 

Have a solid idea of what you want. They're going to ask you a lot of questions. The more information you have, the more it helps them to understand your project.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're very prompt.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They're willing to work with us, and have a variety of options to fit our budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their work was good but there was some back and forth on deliverables.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding, Visual Identity, UI Web Design & Dev for Nonprofit

"They understood complex ideas and disseminated our messaging accurately."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Sept. 2017 - Oct. 2018
Project summary: 

Teal Media redesigned and redeveloped a website as part of a larger rebranding project. The team conducted stakeholder research to update messaging, brand guidelines, and logo design.  

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Washington, District of Columbia
Sarah Lackritz
Director of MarCom, Equal Justice Works
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new messaging accurately communicated the brand vision and mission. The site refresh adhered complied with internal guidelines and the new visual identity. Teal Media was a highly organized partner that set clear expectations. The team was equally pragmatic and knowledgeable in their approach.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of marketing communications for Equal Justice Works, a nonprofit.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

Our brand was outdated because we hadn’t addressed it in several years. We wanted to modernize our brand, solidify messaging, and refresh our visual identity. The branding needed to translate on our new website and comply with our current definition of the organization.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Teal Media talked with internal and external stakeholders to research assessments of our organization. The team then leveraged that data to build out test messaging for our identity and mission. From there, they facilitated staff meetings, which complemented key focus group testing with external stakeholders. The latter group included law students, law school stakeholders, and representatives from the legal community. We used these groups to ensure our message was accurately disseminated and received. Next, Teal Media consolidated the focus group data and provided recommendations that also incorporated internal feedback. Our leadership provided that feedback and the team refined the drafts until we had a finalized brand and visual identity.

In addition, we worked pro bono with a design firm in New York that was doing a university honors class. The students created different logo options for us to consider. Teal Media helped us select designs and then refined the color palette, typography, and style sheet. With a new logo, we then created a brand style and distributed it to our staff. The guide outlined our key and core messaging, as well as our values. What’s more, we created guidelines for templates and visuals, which we incorporated into the web development and design processes. The website launched in October 2018.

What is the team composition?

Jessica (Principal, Teal Media) and Liz (Project Manager, Teal Media) focused on audience research and messaging development. Katy (Senior Designer, Teal Media) headed the design team and Jason (CTO, Teal Media) worked on development.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

We issued an RFP and Teal Media submitted a proposal. After a competitive interview process, we hired them due to their expertise and estimated timeline and budget.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in September 2017 and the partnership ended in October 2018. We now have Teal Media on a retainer basis.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The rebrand received positive feedback from a significant number of external stakeholders. The brand now feels fresher. Unlike its previous iterations, the current messaging speaks to the fullest value that our organization offers—and better reflects our vision. The language is easier to remember.

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

The team was organized and transparent with product management. We knew what to expect and by which date. Likewise, Teal Media managed expectations well, which helped us be a good partner and maintain a working schedule. We used Basecamp to keep everything organized and on track.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The team’s overall competence stood out. Often, vendors have expertise but lack the common sense to apply that knowledge to real-world parameters. Conversely, agencies with practical skills but minimal expertise do not provide value. Teal Media had a great combination of both qualities. Their insightful recommendations were realistic and the subsequent implementations were executed pragmatically.  

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, because we intentionally cut back our budget on services such as copywriting and editing. Our project would have benefitted from such services and Teal Media would have executed those items had we requested them. As a nonprofit, we didn’t want to spend extra money on things we didn’t absolutely need.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Clients should be proactive and realistic partners. They can lean on Teal Media to help clarify the vision, but should also collaborate on any challenges. Both teams should be completed aligned from day one.

5.0
Overall Score They’re strong partners that have good vison. They understood complex ideas and disseminated our messaging accurately.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The team was diligent. They beat deadlines and kept the project on schedule.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They provided great cost for value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They delivered quality results that match our needs. The end of the project met our expectations.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already have referred and am likely to do so again.

Digital Designs and Marketing Strategy for Think Tank

“They’ve helped us reach new audiences by more thoughtfully honing our messaging.” 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Fall 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Teal Media provides digital marketing services, working on digital marketing strategy, social media, and online advertisements. 

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Washington, District of Columbia
Deputy Director, Global Communications, Council on Foreign Relations
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Aesthetically pleasing, professional, and significantly improved, the social media assets they work on are excellent. Their designs are effective, they listen carefully, and respond quickly and efficiently to any requests.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the deputy director of global communications, which is a digital marketing function, for the Council on Foreign Relations.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

We were in need of digital design and digital marketing strategy expertise.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They do a variety of work for us and focus on a lot of ongoing design tasks. It includes social media assets, online advertisements, and they recently created a Snapchat filter and a printed coaster for us. It is a pretty wide range. We do our own ads, but they help us with the design and some of the targeting strategies.

We outline our needs and specifications for the different assets and deadlines we need. We sometimes ask them to think creatively, but our needs are often more formulaic. We go back and forth iterating on the deliverables until we all agree.

What is the team composition?

We mostly deal with their lead designer, Jonah Goodman. When he is away, he subs in another designer. Jessica Teal (Principal, Teal Media), attends the high-level meetings and is always available for strategy consults.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

There was some internal restructuring that created an opening to hire a new digital design firm to replace them. We sent out an RFP and did a competitive bid process with three finalists. Teal was the winner as they really understood our organization and our unique needs. They understood our space very well and the fact that they’re also in Washington D.C. is very helpful.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in the fall of 2016 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our social media assets are now much more professional and aesthetically pleasing. They’ve also set up a templating system that makes producing the social media assets we design in-house much more efficient. They’ve helped us reach new audiences by more thoughtfully honing our messaging, as well as improving the designs that we present to those audiences.

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

They're great. They have been really efficient and on the ball. We communicate often through Basecamp.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their ability to listen has been impressive.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of any.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They're great and any future client would be lucky to have them.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They always deliver things on time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It’s a good value for money.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They provide quality work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’m very likely to recommend them.

Web Design for Reproductive Justice Nonprofit

"From top to bottom they are professionals."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. - July 2017
Project summary: 

Teal Media redesigned a previously stripped down site that lacked functionality and design. They implemented new features, redesigned the UX of the site, and migrated old content to the new site.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Arlington, Virginia
Erin Matson
Co-Founder & Co-Director, Reproaction
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Supports and activists are thrilled with the site, while prospective funders enjoyed the layout and look of the site. Teal Media was easy to work with; they delegated tasks, delivered the project in a timely manner, and were fun professionals to work with. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Reproaction is a direct access organization for increased access to abortion and reproductive justice. I am a co-founder and co-director of the organization.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

We’re a two-year-old organization, and, as goes with a startup, it took us a while to have a professional website. We were trying to give ourselves a full organizational-level professional presence.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a pretty stripped down site without much functionality and reduced design. We wanted to show who we are and how we stand on reproductive justice issues, highlighting both our impact and our scope. We needed a number of functional pieces that we didn't have before.

They broke the project into six phases. The first phase was discovery and requirements gathering; we worked together with the Teal Media team to talk through a variety of requirements including strategy, content, structure, visual and functional maintenance. Then, they also conducted some additional research, and we had follow-up conversations on the basis of that came up with that was the first phase.

The second phase was an architecture and user experience phase. They came up with a map of wireframes and we had a couple of rounds of feedback on that. From there we moved into the visual design phase. They started with style tiles and they presented multiple options for the look and feel of the site. Once we chose a style tile, we went into designing a home page, and various landing pages for the different sections. After the design phase, we went into the development phase where they did all of the technical things that I'm not qualified to speak on.

Next, they set up the CMS. In combination with our team, they migrated our content over to the new platform. They provided support along the way, answered our questions, and identified bugs. The last phase prior to launch was final testing and quality assurance. Their team went through and reviewed display and functionality. Subsequently, our team reviewed display and functionality, and we worked out all the kinks. We went to launch; we had three days of free support for any questions we had or things that came up along the way. We only had to reach out a couple of months after that.

As a direct-action organization, we want to amplify our actions and inspire other actions. We want to make it easy for people to follow along. They integrated Facebook live into the site. For example, if we have a live breaking video, people can stream it from our site. They also created a resources section, since we host webinars that are free and open to the public. It houses our YouTube videos that we put together and we can upload PDF or JPEGs or factsheets. It was really nice to have that type of repository. We wanted to highlight our press work in a better way, they put together is a featured quotes repository for our newest press hit. The quotes are available on the home page and link back to the press piece.

What is the team dynamic?

We personally worked with at least five people, but we had one primary contact. We were in regular contact with them and they were extremely responsive to our messages. They put together a clear schedule with milestones and who was responsible for them, either from our team or from their team. It was very helpful.  It was so clear what was needed when and from whom. Some days we may speak three or four times a day on a specific issue. Other times, we would go without speaking because it was clear when the next thing was coming.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

We put together an RFP for our new website design. However, we've worked with Teal Media previously on a microsite project. My introduction to Teal Media came through their work on the Rewire website redesign and in that project they actually gathered some focus groups that I was a participant in. I was able to meet Jessica [Founder, Teal Media],  as well as one of their designers,  and I was very impressed with what I saw. I liked their collaborative process and I thought they were smart.

How much have you invested with them?

This project was  $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We officially initiated it in February of 2017, and the website launched in July.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our supporters and activists are excited about the new site. Prospective funders who found the site, they noticed the changes and were happy about the new look.

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

A+. They are incredibly easy to work with. They create clear lines of authority. Everything was delivered on time and within our budget. When we wanted to shift the deadline for our own convenience, they did that without complaints.

What did you find most impressive about them?

From top to bottom they are professionals. They built great designs. They're highly responsive, and they're easy to follow. Not only are they highly professional, but they're fun to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don't think so. The fact that we've signed up for a third round says it all.

5.0
Overall Score They are a great firm, and I look forward to working with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They own the process and make it quite transparent.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    When we've had budget constraints they've been able to meet them.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They provide comprehensive and beautiful product management.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We are already actively referring them to friends and colleagues and have put them in our monthly email for suggesting that others check them out.

Branding & Web Redesign for Labor Nonprofit

"Teal Media completely understood what we were going after, and delivered on that."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Teal Media designed a website for a labor nonprofit, whose website initially lacked brand consistency and had a surplus of web pages. 

The Reviewer
 
1,000 - 5,000 Employees
 
Washington, District of Columbia
Web Editor, Nonprofit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The time on site improved by 33%, and people anecdotally enjoyed the new look of the site. Teal Media's efforts generated hundreds of leads, simplified the layout, and appeased the concerns of stakeholders, although the project management tool was a slight hindrance. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the website editor of a lab nonprofit. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

We have worked with them on several projects, including a branding project for our organization. We had a number of different looks and wordmarks; yet there was no consistency, so we brought in Teal Media to help us with that. One goal was to make the information architecture on the site more streamlined and more focused. We hadn’t worked with a branding and design agency before Teal Media.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Teal Media’s work led to a branding and style guide, which was done in advance of a website redesign. We used their team for a lot of the mockups, wireframing and compositions. They were valuable partners in that project, and have also built a couple of microsites for us.

We had multiple menu categories, and had to define what users were coming to the site for, so that we could address their needs. This was done by looking at analytics and working through some user profiles. It had been 4-5 years since we did a redesign;  the site was old and moldy at that point.

We went through a lot of discovery in-house. Going in, we knew that we’d need the most help on doing the wireframing for the site. We provided the comps for the desktop and mobile versions.

I had worked with Teal Media on a couple of projects before this one. I knew that their work was solid, and that they were easy to work with. We brought them in for the branding project, which carried over to the wireframing and comps for the website.

We had discussions about some of the new categories of pages. There was more of a narrative flow to them, and a parallax design. Teal Media helped with the imagery, and with thinking through the narrative piece.

What is the team dynamic?

There were 2-4 primary resources, as well as a couple of others, as we ramped up the project. We generally had a single point of contact. We used a project management tool, and most of the communication was done via email. Jessica Teal would come in from time to time, to get a sense of how the project was going, and to make sure our needs were met.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

Much of it was based on my previous experience of working with them, and their familiarity with Drupal, which is what we were going to use as the platform. Teal Media had knowledge and experience with other progressive organizations, which was a big factor. They’ve consistently done good work, and we liked their style.

How much have you invested with them?

Confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

The initial project started in May or April 2013. We don’t have ongoing work on the website, but we have built another microsite with Teal Media, which will be launched shortly.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Just having a new website was a success. Anecdotally, people have liked it. We have a new feature which connects users to organizers, and have generated hundreds of leads through that piece. There is not much correlation between the metrics of the old site and the new one, just because we’ve streamlined content. Side-to-side pageviews don’t really matter, and they’re vanity metrics anyway. We’re not a for-profit institution; we’re not selling ads, so time-on-site matters more to us. It has improved by about 33%.

Much of the development was done in-house, and there were 2 different streams for taking the design and implementing it. The backend has been simplified, as was the frontend, in terms of site focus and depth. There were many layers on the old site; getting to a piece of content required clicking through 5 menu items. We can now get to it with a couple of clicks.

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

They delivered what they said they would, in the timeframe promised. Our organization is fairly big, and there are multiple layers, so many of the delays were due to us waiting for approval and reviewing the work done by Teal Media. In general, they were great.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their ability to take a project brief, listen to the stakeholders, and synthesize work into something beautiful and useful. Teal Media completely understood what we were going after, and delivered on that.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The project management tool we used wasn’t the best, although we’ve used it forever. Teal Media may have used different software with other clients. It could have been better, but it’s not really on them.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

I highly recommend them, but I don’t have any specific advice.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I don’t recall Teal Media missing a deadline.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Good value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The deliverables were well-executed and on time.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already have.

Rebranding for an Online Publication Company

"The fact that they are incredibly talented, but are also the most down-to-earth people you can imagine. Teal Media is a pleasure to work with."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. 2015 - Mar. 2016
Project summary: 

Teal Media rebranded a daily online publication that had an antiquated website and brand. They provided in-depth research, fresh designs and created a new identity package for the publishing company.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Washington, District of Columbia
Jodi Jacobson
Editor in Chief, Rewire.news
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The rebrand and website drastically changed the perception of the publication company; they received many compliments on the upgraded functionality and look of the site. The new brand brought a monumental amount of legitimacy to the site, which garnered attention from various media sources.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the president and editor-in-chief of Rewire, which is a daily online publication.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

We were rebranding our entire identity, in terms of name and website. Since we are an online news publication, the web piece was critical. We were moving to a name which better fit to what we were doing, so it was a whole identity package as well as a website redesign. The goals were to have a name and product which more effectively relayed who we are and what we do, as a news organization—something which would be easier to remember and refer to.

I hadn’t worked with an online agency before, yet our aim was to have a much more functional website for our readership. There were multiple additions around both multimedia and print media.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The branding part was started from scratch, with Teal Media doing a deep dive into who we were, who our readers were, what their demographics were, etc., and understanding our current audience and the ones we wanted to reach. Over the course of a month, they made a deep investigation into key informants, having detailed interviews with our board, as well as with readers and people in the fields we focused on. Teal Media put together a bunch of focus groups, and worked with our staff. Through that process, they began to develop an identity package for us, which they felt would more effectively represent who we were. Those phases then moved into everything: from choosing designs and a name, to the very granular parts of completely redesigning the website.

All of this was done over a period of a year, and it radically improved the functionality of our website: from the vantage point of user-friendliness, as well as our ability to keep up with news productions (multimedia slideshows, podcasts and print journalism). Teal Media handled everything. They made the site function as we needed it to, gave us functionalities we didn’t previously have, designed everything on it, and went through the months of discussions around choosing our name.

What is the team dynamic?

There was a total of 5 people assigned to our project, and the team pretty much stayed the same throughout. I am not a person who thinks that throwing more people at something will make it better. We had the people we needed, when we needed them. One of the things I noticed in other proposals, was that we would be charged more money, but would actually get less people time. With Jessica, I felt that this was a personal interaction. I am comfortable working with a small team, especially if I know that they’re going to be responsive, because we are a small team ourselves; we’re a team of 30 people, but we’re a nationally-known publication. We do work which can rival others’, who have much larger budgets and exposure.

We worked through a system by which we could connect to different people for different things. There were multiple aspects of the work, so the tech person interacted with ours on the coding side, and others were responsible for the design side. Jessica was the lead.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

I am connected to a large number of people in the broader progressive community. I was literally sending notes out to various groups and lists, asking for recommendations of different branding firms. We received 15-20 recommendations, and looked at the work of all of those online, in terms of their websites and developed products. We narrowed the choice down to 6-7 which we’d actually want to get on the phone with, and we talked through our project with them. We selected 3 for proposals. In the meantime, I had met Jessica at a venue, and, by talking to her, I got a strong gut sense that she would be the person we should work with. It ended up being the case. I felt that Jessica understood us in an organic way, unlike the other firms we interviewed.

I knew that the project would be a big deal and a lot of work. It would put extra pressure on our staff. We were all prepared for this, and reminded ourselves of it through the process. It had nothing to do with Teal Media; it was akin to running a hotel while renovating it.

How much have you invested with them?

The entire rebranding effort cost us $160,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Teal Media in April 2015, and launched the rebrand in the last week of March 2016. We’ve continued to work with them on other things.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We have a much easier way of loading content onto the site, multimedia slideshows, video capacities, podcasts and better search functions. The layout and readability of our site are profoundly better, not even comparable to the old one. Although the content we’re producing is of the same high quality as before, the site previous site did not look high-quality.

We only get one chance to make a first impression, and looking at something which doesn’t seem high-quality will make people assume that the content on it is also not of high quality. Immediately after the rebrand, this changed.

We received huge feedback after relaunching the site. Quite literally, everywhere we went, with every interaction we had, people were complimenting the site, the new name, the look and functionality. This continues—I will talk to people I haven’t interacted with in a while, and they will tell me the rebrand was amazing. Even though our work was the same, the look became so much more professional. It automatically got us attention from larger publications citing the work. There were several articles written up about the rebrand, and there’s also an incalculable amount of legitimacy it brought us.

If the best product ever made has a shoddy package, people won’t buy it. Once the box is changed to something more appropriate for the level of quality, people will look at it differently.

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

Teal Media gave us a fair budget, and stuck to it. They always told us beforehand about approaches which might affect that budget. We never found out anything after the fact, and there was no huge amount of overhead built in. They were incredibly responsive.

We had weekly calls, but we interacted all the time. When spoke whenver there were questions, task check-ins, work reviews, etc. We used a project management tool which enabled us to communicate securely. We also used email and had weekly calls and in-person meetings with the board and with our staff, at certain critical junctures. I can’t imagine the process being any better. I would work with them in a heartbeat.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The fact that they are incredibly talented, but are also the most down-to-earth people you can imagine. Teal Media is a pleasure to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I didn’t have any issues with how things went. The process was smooth, and any problems which arose, did so on our end.

Advice for prospective customers?

People tend to think that large firms are better, just because they’re big. This isn’t necessarily the case; I think that there are different kinds of firms for different purposes, and the ability to communicate clearly and honestly with people is very important. I would be reluctant to hire someone I felt wasn’t able to communicate issues, problems or concerns upfront. I had a sixth sense about Jessica, and knew we’d be able to enter into this as partners. She wanted us to succeed as much as we wanted to succeed. She really listened to what we needed.

There are many firms which can work with non-profits like our own, and do a nice web redesign, but dealing with a publication is a profoundly different thing. She understood this, and I didn’t get the sense that the other people we were talking to did.

5.0
Overall Score They’re terrific at what they do.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The proposals we got from other firms were for substantially more money, but didn’t add as much value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything they did for us was high-quality and on time.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve referred them to anyone who asked me.