hero imagegreen banneryellow dots
CASE STUDY: KNOW ME NOW
Introducing an effort
to reintroduce families.

Putting a name, face, and action to a social movement.

When moms and dads are incarcerated, children pay the price.

Children of incarcerated parents are

6
x
more
likely

to be incarcerated later in life.

The cycle doesn’t break itself—
in fact, it wants to repeat.
56
%

of formerly incarcerated persons in Oregon

are arrested within 3 years

of release from prison or felony jail sentence.

None of this is okay.
So, The Contingent—the same leadership group we collaborated with to bring you  Every Child—asked us to help them create a critical new program that aims to reduce recidivism, thus serving the children, the parents, and the communities that incarceration tears apart so well.
HOW TO GET AFTER IT:
Start a program that starts new starts.
First, give this platform an identity. Create a name, tagline, logo, visual language, messaging pillars, and website.

Second, make a case to government stakeholders to secure funding and support. If successful, this pilot program could scale—helping not just families in Oregon, but families across America.

Third, feel no pressure?
Strong results start with a strong
STRATEGY
This was an urgent need, and we responded with urgency in kind.

Our mission.

To reduce prison-return rates by building family-centric support systems—in homes and neighborhoods—that empower an incarcerated parent’s right to change, grow, and enhance their legacy.

Desk research wasn’t gonna be enough. We needed to have meaningful conversations (’cause that’s how meaningful work gets done).

hands holding

We walked in their shoes.
Visited prisons, listened to incarcerated people, and took their lived experiences seriously.

We reached across the aisle.
We partnered with the Department of Corrections, engaging in constant, open communication to ensure a viable program.

Dropping folks off at the corner wasn’t gonna cut it. We needed a strategic roadmap that ushered incarcerated parents from jailhouse to their house, demonstrating a commitment to their much-needed (but not-easy) personal journey.

woman and child

Dropping folks off at the corner wasn’t gonna cut it. We needed a strategic roadmap that ushered incarcerated parents from jailhouse to their house, demonstrating a commitment to their much-needed (but the not-easy) personal journey.

Step 1:
Belief
that builds.
Belief quiets doubt and inspires action. It sustains transition by building momentum and confidence through continuous connections with family and community.
Step 2:
Growth
that stabilizes.
Growth is an incremental process. Determination and stamina are required to break the cycle of incarceration and achieve stability with staying power.
Step 3:
Legacies
that last.
Legacies define families and communities. Taking ownership of your actions ensures your life will be remembered for your achievements, not your incarceration.
Now that’s a real program with real staying power.
Sure is. But what are we calling it?

“See the inmate,

not as a criminal

but as a human being

who did a crime.”

— Jan Strømnes, Breaking the Cycle

Best-laid plans thrive with best-best
CREATIVE
This wasn’t a brand pushing a product; this was a movement pressing for social change. Every decision needed to reflect immense urgency.
And enormous heart.
Know Me Now LogoAs I was. As I am. As I can be.
A name that does justice.
To us, the above quote was everything. The name needed to focus on the here and now. Give people a chance at a fresh start. Demand that society takes them as they are today.
Ignore my past.
A tagline, a journey.
Know Me Now represents a person’s right to change, evolve, outgrow their reputation. Though the name heroes the present, we wanted a tagline that contextualized the never-finished process: how far they’ve come … and how far they’ve yet to go.
Know Me Now represents a person’s right to change, evolve, outgrow their reputation. Though the name heroes the present, we wanted a tagline that contextualized the never-finished process: how far they’ve come …
and how far they’ve yet to go.
A symbol of reunification.
The name is three words.
The tagline is three phrases.
The logo is three shapes—
each with a more-than-meets-the-eye tale to tell.
The name is three words. The tagline is three phrases. The logo is three shapes—each with a more-than-meets-the-eye tale to tell.
The circles.
Notice they’re imperfect. One big, one small, illustrative of an adult holding a child. A reunited family or the madonna? Either way.
The triangle.
A roof over the family’s head? A mountain—a beacon of the northwest and the hill ahead to climb? Clever, but not quite.
Answer: It’s a kite on its side. Because a “kite” is what adults in custody call the letters they write home—a symbol of their familial connection, at the mercy of the wind.
Like any good logo, it can be color, black and white, or grayscale. And whether it’s gracing a letterhead or a billboard, it’s always telling a story of reunification, reconciliation, and progress.
Actualizing ideas takes real-world
TECH
As a nonprofit, Know Me Now needed a lean website solution to get them up and running now while giving them the autonomy to make their own updates down the road.
That meant
Building a custom WordPress theme with custom editing tools to create new site content on the fly, in-house, without breaking the fluid,
dynamic design.
That meant
Embedding email sign-up forms that directly integrate with their CRM tooling.
That meant
Providing rock-solid WordPress hosting with automatic security updates and developer support, including demo and QA environments.
HOW IT WORKED OUT:
Desperate times called for decisive measures. Thesis delivered an all-up brand identity and website that put the developing initiative in a strong position to fill a critical social need.

Know Me Now debuted in Oregon in January 2020 in front of government stakeholders, journalists, and advocates. As of July 1, 2020, the pilot program has generated:
30
Connect Kits
90
New Beginning bags
320
letters written
395
Instagram followers
1,105
Facebook likes
26,556
site clicks
281,280
people reached
1.5M+
ad impressions
But the program is still young.
And the work is far from over.
Credits
Thanks to the Know Me Now team. AKA the real people who made the real work. And a special shout-out to the SWAT team of Project Managers who came together to set this expedited project up for success.
Account Manager:
Shy Allot
Project Managers:
Chelsi Deymonaz, Regina Atoigue, Megan Trevarthen, 
Rachael Cervenka, Patrick Wells
Strategy:
Scott Lansing, McKenna Albion
Design:
Denny Robles, Angie Maurer, Nandya Thio
Development:
Michael Barrett, Madelaine Trujillo
Writing:
Tyler Stenson, Jenn Pidgeon, Joe Streckert