Art direction and design system for the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Guide for Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Department, a tool developed for volunteer fire departments to learn, plan, implement, and preserve this environment within their community and workforce.
In the summer of 2020, I was asked to develop the design system for the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Guide for Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Department — a challenge I humbly accepted. It’s imperative that first responders to public safety foster departments that employ diverse and inclusive practices and accurately represent the communities they serve.
This guidebook focuses on 8 specific areas where agencies can focus to increase the levels of diversity, inclusivity, and equity in their departments. The sections all share a similar cadence — each including a brief intro, benefits, “before” and “after” scenarios to help understand those benefits, and implementation tips. Those are followed by an extensive resources section to help users navigate the process of creating and refining some of the documents and practices addressed throughout. The guidebook then concludes with an appendix containing tools and checklists for each section.
With 100 pages of narrative, I needed to develop a design system that made it easy to navigate the diversity of topics, while simultaneously calling attention to unique content types. To accomplish this I utilized a broad, vibrant color palette to delineate the 8 areas of focus and integrated an icon system to highlight key tips and takeaways. This allows the reader to thread specific themes throughout the publication in a way that is intuitive. I also used a combination of sans-serif and slab-serif typefaces which granted me the flexibility to be both bold and subtle, while providing the hierarchical range I needed to organize and present the wealth of information contained on the pages.