Clara Lionel Foundation

How Critical Mass rebranded the Clara Lionel Foundation (Rihanna's humanitarian organization) through a website redesign and a 360 Video Experience.

The Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) is a non-profit organization founded by Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty in 2012. The goals of CLF are to promote health and education initiatives in underserved communities around the world.

We needed to reposition CLF as an ambitious organization with a proven track record of success and the ultimate desire to do more good in the world. Both of these traits were true at the outset of the project, but were not being effectively. Also, Rihanna’s dedicated fans—her “Navy”—are young, active on social media, and ready to support “RiRi,” but a large percentage were unaware of the existence of CLF.

It was vital for us to capture CLF’s youthful spirit while positioning it as an established, yet growing organization. We created a new logo, design language, and tone of voice that are playful and relatable, while at the same time identifiable and inspiring.

See the Clara Lionel Foundation website here.

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The New Face of CLF

The new identity centers on the monogram “face” of CLF—a dynamic and variable logo incorporating the letterforms C and L as homage to Rihanna’s grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. Drawing facial features around the monogram allows us to illustrate various themes or tonality within an announcement, event, program, or initiative.

We reintroduced the brand in a set of new mission statements, capturing the importance of the issues CLF addresses. The organization is more than another charity whose focus ends at collecting money; instead, they are a team of activists and helpers, ready to welcome anyone interested in making a difference.

The main activation of our branding is the redesigned CLF site. Snippets of a newly articulated CLF mandate take visitors through a multimedia introduction to CLF’s principles and projects. With compelling statistics and stories of change, the site serves as a home for the new brand and an invitation to donate and “join the revolution.”

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Our 360 Video Experience

As a special project, we travelled to rural Malawi and created a 360 video experience to drive awareness around the CLF’s commitment to furthering educational opportunities globally. We see school children go about their daily lives in an immersive 360-degrees—lining up, preparing their classroom, dancing at recess, showing us their world. But our 360-degree view lets us see its complexities. As our focus shifts, poverty becomes more apparent. We see how the educational opportunities these children have can be stolen in an instant.

In a voice-over, a boy recounts his morning routine, and tells us about his parents’ belief that education is “key to all success.” We must “come together, because together is powerful.” He could be any of the children we’re seeing, and his call to action concludes the film.

While underserved communities exist everywhere on earth, such as Malawi, the audience we’re trying to reach lives in a digitally connected, socio-economically privileged space. We chose 360-video because it married immersion and digital interactivity in a way that suits both our subject and our audience. In one minute, 56 seconds, we had the opportunity to transport a global fan base—Rihanna’s “Navy”—into the lives of children whose minds and spirits are far more resilient than the tenuous educational opportunities that the world affords them.

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