Jackson Lewis – Helm

A Jackson Lewis Company


what we did

Purpose exploration


Jackson Lewis is one of America’s largest law firms. They are also surprisingly entrepreneurial and innovative. Building on a #1 national ranking for labor and employment law, Jackson Lewis had created a collection of legal tools and widgets to help HR managers understand the complex employment issues which often vary state by state. They had interactive maps, dynamic Q&A forms and a lot of other tech wizardry behind their project. There was only one problem: the project lacked a cohesive design vision and experience.

Some of those people work at Jackson Lewis, one of the America’s largest law firms. They were working on the launch of a new HR platform to make life easier for HR managers and employees, and they wanted to envision it rebranded to have a strong and distinct visual identity.

Purpose exploration

We began our purpose exploration by trying to understand who is Jackson Lewis. What kind of people work here? What drives them? What are the stories that get told over and over? Framing questions around strengths rather than weaknesses is part of building a sense of purpose where one doesn’t explicitly exist. But there’s always a higher purpose moving the best parts of a company. In the case of Jackson Lewis it is to guide clients to safe harbor.


The working title for the platform had been “WorkthroughIT” — which quite literally meant the lawyers should call the IT department when they needed support. It felt heavy, like work that you need to plough through, and especially directionless. It did not reflect the confident sense of purpose of Jackson Lewis lawyers. Inspired in the safe harbor metaphor we proposed a complete rebrand and a new name: “Helm”, a bold and distinctive positioning that conveyed putting clients in control as well as communicating the firm’s expertise through the symbolism of a compass. It was empowering both to Jackson Lewis and to their clients, whom could be at Helm of their own destiny.

Product design and experience

Armed with a refreshed vision of what Jackson Lewis had created, we carried the navigational metaphor into website visuals and the product itself, using tiled waves to symbolize the changing waters, curve illustrations with straight cut through lines like the kind you would find on a captain’s map charting a new course. All of this helped Jackson Lewis re-imagine their online HR platform into a cohesive and scalable digital service.

let’s work together