Modernizing to Preserve History

California State Library Foundation (CSLF) wanted to bring their difficult-to-navigate, antiquated website up to date in order to improve user experience and engagement with their members and donors. As a non-profit, they needed an inviting design and engaging content that maximized their limited budget.
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2023 Web Excellence Award Winner Charitable Organizations
CSLFDN website displayed on desktop screen


The California State Library Foundation (CSLF) is tasked with educating people about the importance of historical artifacts in order to preserve cultural education. Directing a convincing spotlight on history poses no small challenge in today’s fast-changing, over-saturated digital world. CSLF seeks to connect the community with resources, inform and inspire people to value State Library Foundation programs and assets, and financially support State Library collection maintenance and acquisition.


The CSLF website was in need of more than a visual design update. It was hosted on the proprietary system of a former vendor which made even simple updates exceedingly difficult and expensive. As a non-profit, CSLF needed a modern website that they can self maintain with limited resources. Another critical consideration for the CSLF website was improving call-to-action to motivate contributions to fund the foundation.


Voice & Reason employed bright, bold colors and strong typography to bring CSLF’s messaging to the forefront, including their mission and the impact the nonprofit has on the community through its support for the state library. Messaging was nuanced to maximize audience resonance and membership development objectives.

Custom shapes were added to create movement and direct content flow. Our vibrant palette combined visuals from the foundation’s archives with modern imagery of people to bridge library content with the purpose of preserving these artifacts to benefit the community.

Navigation was restructured for ease of use and accessibility. Site flow and page architecture were grounded by the primary objectives of education about the foundation and fundraising. Leveraging paypal for ecommerce made selling and content administration a breeze for the limited foundation staff.

Existing site analytics were used to audit page usage to determine the most sought content and functionality. Our wireframe process abstracted the website into groupings of repeatable components for varied configurations to efficiently form different types of pages.

The result is an energetic, engaging, and responsive website that performs just as elegantly on mobile devices as on a desktop computer. CSLF was entirely delighted with their fresh new design and how it adeptly represents the organization, the work they do, and the cultural resources they support.

Bold colors and typeface engage the reader. Clear, frequent calls to action motivate membership development objectives.


CSLFDN website screen
CSLFDN website screen
CSLFDN website screen
CSLFDN website screen
CSLFDN website call to action
CSLFDN graphic
CSLFDN website display on mobile screens

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