The USCIS Rebrands and Builds Trust with Creative Cloud for Enterprise

The Statue Of Liberty with Manhattan Downtown Skyline Panorama

Image source: Adobe Stock / Javitouh.

There is an unexpected importance for a government agency to have a brand identity, and to create seamless customer experiences amongst its citizens. Last year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) focused on creating a unified, consistent brand.

The aim? To create a consistent and engaging digital experience across all surfaces (think: desktop, mobile and more), for all constituents and employees.

With the agency since 2013, Lead Visual Information Specialist Wesley Kelley was tasked with creating an updated brand identity for the agency and getting consensus of multiple departments to follow the same standards.

“My main objective was to be able to deliver a streamlined experience when an applicant went to our website, a portal, or came across any type of communication such as flyer or brochure. We had to establish both trust and consistency,” Kelley said.

The team, led by Kelley and Visual Information Specialist Pamela Richard, completely redid their approach to how the agency executed their marketing and communications in order to position the agency’s mission as the nation’s lawful immigration system. “We built out new brand values – approachability, friendliness and ease and communication,” Kelley said.

Maximizing the Creative Cloud for Enterprise Plan

Adobe Creative Cloud, Kelley said, was the foundation for the agency’s re-branding effort.

“One of the greatest tools that helped me was InDesign. I started with all of our print projects – and there are quite a lot – and took everything and compiled them into Creative Cloud Libraries so that everything was in one place for everyone,” Kelley said.

Using Creative Cloud Libraries made it possible to manage, organize, and access everything from logos to colors so that the team could work more efficiently and ensure creative consistency across the brand. “Everything, from signatures to colors to logos has a library in Creative Cloud. Within each library there’s an option for web, print or video. So anyone and everyone on the team could have access to it,” Kelley stated.

As the re-branding project took shape, it was also critical for the agency to have assets, such as images, templates and fonts that were easy for everyone to use – both designers and non-designers. Within the USCIS, there are numerous departments creating thousands of different webpages, templates and print forms, and all assets needed to be accessible and intuitive. Templates created in InDesign, for example, could be customized for agents in the field and remote locations by simply updating the relevant text.

Using Creative Cloud made it simple for anyone to open up the shared library and ensure consistency with thousands of content creators and an increasing amount of content. As a result, workflows sped up, allowed for quick and easy asset hand-off, and unlocked the agency’s content velocity to empower all members of the team to quickly design digital experiences that were consistent with the agency’s look and feel and could be shared across any surface.

Kelley also found it easy to get sign off as the project went through different stages. Using Creative Cloud allowed him to create prototypes quickly, and he was able to show decision makers exactly what designs would look like, so they were able to visualize the look and feel of the web pages and other assets.

In addition to InDesign, “Illustrator and Photoshop are our two workhorses, because everything we do has to be visually compelling. We touch a lot of products – from the web to the thousands of banners and social media assets and graphics – and they all have to make an impact,” Kelley said.

As a result using XD on the brand project, and the increased engagement across the agency, powerful collaboration, and increased operational efficiency, USCIS has moved all web development work to Adobe XD.

“XD was a no-brainer – we know how collaborative and communicative it is, and we’ve seen our work portfolio of people coming to our team with requests grow by the thousands,” Kelley said.

What’s Next for USCIS

The feedback from employees has been nothing but positive and focuses on the “thank you for making my job so much easier” sentiment.

Kelley’s aspirations aren’t stopping there either. “We support every employee in the agency, which is about 20,000 people. It’s incredible how much people are wanting to use our team more and more. Creative Cloud is the only way we can actually manage it and continue to build our design empire within the federal government.”

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