The Lily is like no other publication. That’s because our visual presence, as much as our editorial one, is defined by who we are: a creative team of editors and designers dedicated to telling stories about women in an unconventional, deliberate way.

In June 2017, we revived the very first U.S. newspaper by women. But since then, we have become something all our own: an instantly recognizable brand that informs as much as it delights. Our followers have come to expect a bold Instagram grid from us, a direct, conversational tone on Facebook and Twitter, and innovative projects — swipe-through comics on Instagram or a Facebook live stream on election night, for example. We adapt our stories for each platform, whether that be rounding up the day’s biggest news on Instagram Stories or creating a share image specifically for Facebook.

In 2018, The Lily experimented with different ways to tell stories, create content and promote brand awareness. Our experiments came in the form of two murals, a gift guide, weekly comics, an Instagram-only book club, a video series about contraception, a female-focused social media campaign and a highly visual bi-weekly newsletter and an ever-growing presence on the most visual social media platform of all — Instagram. View our work below.

1. Instagram

When women scroll through Instagram or other social feeds, we want to tell them something new. That starts with what they see. Every image on our social feeds is one-of-a-kind, created by a Lily designer. Our images are always fittingly unique to every story we tell. That trademark originality, simple and striking, comes in many forms. We want to get people thinking — and talking — about the ways in which visuals tell stories.

In addition to our main account, we run Lily Lit Club. It’s a monthly book club for the curious minded that highlights female authors and lives solely on Instagram. We share author photos, quotes from books and giveaways.

Our most popular posts on Instagram are comics which we publish using the slideshow feature. These posts have consistently high engagement and allow us to share perspectives from a variety of female artists. You can find all of our comics here and one of our favorites below:

2. Lily Lines

Lily Lines is a twice-weekly newsletter about women. Our Thursday edition is highly visual and is typically an in-depth look at one topic. View the Lily Lines archive here and see our three favorite issues below.

Rachel Brosnahan plays Miriam “Midge” Maisel in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." (photo by Amazon Studios; illustration by Ana Strumpf for The Lily)
Rachel Brosnahan plays Miriam “Midge” Maisel in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." (photo by Amazon Studios; illustration by Ana Strumpf for The Lily)
(Dave Coleman for The Lily)
(Dave Coleman for The Lily)

3. Social share images

This book is about a serial killer and her sibling, but it is not the slasher story you might expect.

Posted by The Lily on Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Every story we publish is accompanied by a custom social share image that appears on our website, Facebook and Twitter. This sets our content apart and serves as a visual calling card to readers who are looking for Lily content in a crowded social feed.

The ideal time to think about eating for cancer prevention is long before most people are concerned about developing it.

Posted by The Lily on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

4. Video

1. "When Used Correctly

Every video series is gifted a visual identity courtesy of our design team. “When used Correctly” delves into the most commonly asked questions surrounding contraception. Each episode lasts two to three minutes and features personal stories about contraception from real women along with expert voices. Together they tackle subjects such as how a woman’s body changes throughout her menstrual cycle to when birth control was first introduced in pop culture.

2. “Unfiltered”

‘Unfiltered’ tells stories about grappling with online harassment, exploring sexual identity and facing the unknown. We interviewed seven YouTube stars on camera for this enlightening series.

3. Tig Notaro and Amanda Seales: 1 hotel room, 4 weird travel stories

In this fun, offbeat video, four comedians tell their weirdest travel stories.

5. Special projects

1. The “Louder” mural

(The Lily)
(The Lily)

We wanted people to see The Lily’s message in the wild, so we created a mural, plus corresponding video and social content for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. The theme? “We’re getting louder.”

We threw a party to celebrate the launch of the mural. More than 125 guests (including local social media influencers) shared images of the mural using #thelilyisloud, received totes with the mural design on them, and participated in a video confessional booth telling us why they’re getting loud.

Annica Lydenberg of Dirty Bandits paints The Lily's mural at Union Market in Washington D.C.
Annica Lydenberg of Dirty Bandits paints The Lily's mural at Union Market in Washington D.C.

For a more in-depth look at the project, watch commentary from art director Amy Cavenaile and mural artist Annica Lydenberg and see the painting process in less than 30 seconds.

2. Election mural

To mark the historic number of female candidates in this year’s midterm elections, The Lily live-painted a mural of an eagle with 184 feathers, one for each of the 184 women who were first-time candidates for congressional or gubernatorial seats, or sought a higher office in Congress. Each time a female candidate won her seat, a feather was colored in. The final product conveyed how many non-incumbent women were elected to office.

We recorded Facebook and IG live video on election night, so our followers could see each feather being filled in. We also interspersed progress photos of the project with our female-focused coverage of the midterms.

3. Gift guide

The Lily elevates stories about women. Our annual gift guide is no different. This year, we curated a list of 52 items made and curated by women.

We promoted the guide using an Instagram mural, where nine individual posts make up one larger image when viewed from our profile. We created an Instagram story series called “Meet the Maker” where some of the women behind each product talked about their business. We also did staff roundups of our top five favorite gifts on Instagram.

4. “31 Days, 31 Firsts”

For Women’s History Month, we designed a social campaign called “31 days, 31 firsts.” It focused on women who have been the first of their kind. We enlisted four female illustrators to depict modern day icons like Rihanna — the first woman to win “Shoe of the Year” — to figures who paved the way long before we were born: Liliʻuokalani, the first queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii, ruled more than a century ago. The campaign was featured on The Washington Post’s Snapchat discover channel.

The Lily: Best Email Newsletter

The Lily’s Digiday Publishing Awards submission

The Lily: Best Millennial Publisher

The Lily’s Digiday Publishing Awards submission