Bureau Blank

Work

Something to GAIN.

We provide design, communication and technology for a special community of clients:

  • government
  • academia
  • infrastructure
  • non-profit

Our clients are builders, thinkers, investors and policymakers.

Their collective work shapes our everyday experience. And that's why we focus our creativity where innovation can have the biggest impact.

G – Government
Government is a key partner in nearly every social system, especially in cities. From establishing and enforcing policy to providing services, each of our focus sectors is in constant collaboration with all levels of government.

A – Academia
In addition to being the vehicle for education, universities represent the foremost thinkers, researchers, and experts in their fields.

I – Infrastructure
Infrastructure – whether public, private, or a hybrid of both – delivers many of the services that we rely on every day. Energy and transportation are two of the critical systems in which we have experience.

N – Non-Profit 
Non-profit organizations and their philanthropic backers are a catalyzing force for change. They are also forums for innovation and experimentation with new ways to improve quality of life for our country and communities.

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Amtrak

Keeping America Moving

Tools to make the case for investing in high-speed rail

Our Client

Amtrak, America’s national passenger railroad service, operates routes along the Northeast Corridor, an area that covers 2% of the nation’s land but produces 20% of its GDP. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Investment Development (NEC IID) division is devoted to building support for new projects in the region.

Challenge

How can the NEC IID team streamline how it provides information to multiple audiences with unique concerns?

Results

Bureau Blank built a website, "The Northeast Corridor," that organizes all the resources that the NEC IID team uses to connect with their stakeholders. For the first time, publications, maps, and infographics are online in a single place that is searchable and easy for anyone interested in the future of American rail to access.

Project Team

  • John
  • Josh
  • Sven
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New York City

equity through technology

A Digital Playbook for New York City

Bureau Blank worked with the NYC Office of Digital Strategy and our partners at Bennett Midland and the Public Policy Lab to create a Digital Playbook for New York City. The Playbook consists of principles, strategies and tactics for NYC Agencies and City Hall to employ in improving service delivery. It was launched with a talk between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Arianna Huffington at Civic Hall. The Playbook lives online here and is also available as a physical set of method cards (inspired by 18F). Read about the Mayor's vision for the Playbook and a more equitable digital experience on Medium

Project Team

  • Alex
  • Dan
  • Jeff
  • John
  • Kristen
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Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC

an open conversation about mental health

New York City's Mental Health Roadmap

On November 23, 2015, Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray announced New York City’s first mental health roadmap which presents the City’s groundbreaking $850 million package of initiatives and programs. Bureau Blank worked with teams from the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC and the NYC Office of Digital Strategy over an 8-week timeline to transform the 100+ page report into an accompanying website with an engaging visual and written narrative. #ThriveNYC serves as a destination for all New Yorkers interested in the City’s approach to mental health. It also offers a services finder. The site is a portable, shareable resource that has attracted over 30,000 visits since launch and was nominated for a Webby Award in the Government and Civil Innovation category. 

Project Team

  • Alex
  • Ellery
  • John
  • Kristen
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Cities of Service

Digital infrastructure for cities

Data-driven narrative for a thriving nonprofit

Our Client

Cities of Service works with cities to develop high-impact service plans, designed to tackle challenges from the ground up with active involvement by community volunteers. Cities measure their impact in areas like education, health, and safety by using specific metrics for success so that they can understand outcomes and opportunities for future initiatives.​

Challenge

How can Cities of Service convey its work across a few specific issue areas in a process-centered way that entices more cities nationwide to join their movement?​

Results

The Cities of Service website Bureau Blank developed leverages a Drupal content management system (CMS) and uses compelling, accessible narrative and data-driven results to share cities' stories throughout the site. After first rebranding the organization’s visual identity and communications collateral, we built the website to tell a story that highlights sustainable, systems-level impact achieved in over 200 cities around the world.

Project Team

  • John
  • Josh
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NYC Department of Probation

data rewards

Goal Tracking Web App

The top priority of the New York City Department of Probation (DOP) is building safe, strong communities for all New Yorkers. The department’s Neighborhood Opportunity Networks (NeONs) are a key part of this commitment. Each NeON is a group of community organizations, government agencies, local businesses, and community residents focused on connecting probation clients who live in target neighborhoods to opportunities, resources and services. 

The NYC DOP asked Bureau Blank to explore ways that technology could be used to encourage positive behavior change among its clients, specifically goal setting and tracking. We equipped the DOP team with a simple tool for addressing a complex challenge: an app where probation clients earn points for community goals. The department’s approach is informed by a national trend towards “justice reinvestment,” which is a data-driven strategy to identify the drivers of costs in the criminal justice system and take innovation solutions to reduce them while maintaining public safety. When this platform is fully implemented by the NYC DOP and the NeONs it will truly be the first of its kind and provide a model for national departments to follow.

Project Team

  • John
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Living Cities

re-engineering our cities

Creatively disrupting the status quo

Our Client

Living Cities works with cross-sector leaders in cities to build innovative urban practices aimed at dramatically, measurably improving the economic well-being of low-income people. Their member-based model draws expertise and financing from a philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions. Living Cities’ core values driving all of their work are collaboration, innovation, leadership, and impact; those values speak to the people, processes and systems that can change lives.

Challenge

Living Cities’ complex array of projects and work needed a visually engaging design and content strategy to enable effective communication with members, stakeholders and the public.

Results

Since 2008, Bureau Blank has helped the organization on myriad, dynamic communications projects, from branding, designing websites, print and interactive annual reports (including Disrupting InequalityThe New Urban Practice and #HereandNow), creating a suite of great-looking events materials, including motion graphics and even 3D-printed awards. Each time, we consider the audience and nuanced policy approaches Living Cities deploys in its work.

Project Team

  • Adrian
  • Dan
  • Ellery
  • Jeff
  • John
  • Josh
  • Kristen