Cut the Curb

[case study]    brand/identity    campaign


Develop strategy, copy, brand identity, and promotional assets for a campaign concerning the accessibility of sidewalks and public advocacy in Philadelphia. 


Multi-functional assets utilized on digital, print, branding, interactive, and video based channels. A grounded and bold campaign with encouraging messaging and unique roll out, targeting able-bodied Philadelphia commuters to take action in local politics.


Margarita Barrios Ponce

Urging Philly to take shortcuts

CUT THE CURB is a campaign insisting that able-bodied pedestrians of Philadelphia take an active role in urban accessibility and local government. Through physical intervention, striking photo treatment, and declarative messaging, CUT THE CURB demands attention.

Curb Cut Effect

Those rolling strollers, skateboards, bikes, using crutches, or looking down at their phones all benefit from curb cuts. Though these sloped sidewalks were installed to aid veterans disabled in combat, they eased the mobility of all pedestrians.

CUT THE CURB draws on Angela G. Blackwell’s (2016) article, in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Where the curb cut effect can imporve how we build out public policy and economic reform.


Most able-bodied pedestrians take curb cuts for granted and the demand for better urban accessibility falls on the shoulders of the minority. 

This “advocacy apathy” is mirrored when we examine similar deficits in economic reform and local politics (Blackwell, A. G., 2016). In recent years, Philadelphia has struggled greatly with this advocacy issue.


It targets its audience from the ground at places where a person might trip, struggle to push a cart across, or have to pick up their stroller to pass. 

By finding people in moments of inconvenience the campaign positions talking to local representatives as a need, not an ask. 

Research shows that 9/10 non-emcumbered pedestrians go out of their way to use a curb cut.

The Brand

This campaign becomes not just for the Philadelphia commuter, but for the policy maker, apathetic voter, and the uninformed.

Buy In

The campaign ultimately leads viewers to a mobile action portal, which bridges reporting a broken sidewalk and engaging with public policy. 

After a broken sidewalk is reported, users are shown information about other local bills that are “curb cut effect approved” and send  letters of support beyond the topic of urban accessibility. 


whatcha doing down here?!
you might as well take a bear

Copyright Tessa Baum  2024