Cover image of the hero video showing an slow motion rubber bullet impacting an apple.

The People vs. Rubber Bullets

Can high-quality journalism stop a bullet?

Long Lead is focused on finding, funding, producing, and publishing in-depth, longform journalism. Decimal’s third collaboration with the story studio showcases the revelatory reporting of Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, stunning original and historic photography, and a captivating multimedia website. The six-part feature tells the full, brutal story of kinetic impact projectiles and their usage. Aiming to impact the national conversation on less-lethal munitions, “The People vs. Rubber Bullets” commemorates the victims of these weapons and demonstrates how over the past 50 years they have been tragically misused by U.S. law enforcement.

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Mobile screenshot of the homepage of the experience.
Mobile screenshot of part 2 of the experience.
Mobile screenshot of the timeline of the experience.

Getting readers’ attention

Long Lead is competing against established, legacy publications that have made large investments in producing journalism at high volumes. Long Lead operates very differently, painstakingly producing relatively few stories but with unrivaled depth. As a result, their stories’ designs must surprise and delight readers to capture and keep their attention.

To that end, we designed the site to open with a video — shot with an ultra high-speed camera — of a rubber bullet decimating a cantaloupe. We sliced the video into frames and made it responsive to user input, putting the power of less-lethal weapons at readers’ fingertips.

Cover image of a screen recording showing the homepage hero on desktop with the cantaloupe exploding in slow motion when hit by a rubber bullet.
Background image showing a closeup of Scott Olsen's US Marines shirt.
Cover image for a screen recording of the navigation on desktop.

In-depth journalism

The site’s navigation is evocative of legal briefs and binders. Each of the six stories in this feature can be read independently or as part of the broader package.

To break up long runs of copy, we created “folios” that flip the text as well as image placements that alternate from one column to the other, keeping the reader fresh and engaged during this production.

Cover image of a screen recording of part 1 on desktop.
Background photo showing the Portland Protests.
Screenshot of part 2.

A history of violence

In addition to the six-part feature, we designed a visual timeline that chronicles how these policing tools first came into being and then slowly took over law enforcement’s crowd control tactics, providing crucial historic context to the story.

Cover image showing a screen recording of the timeline section.


Alex Muñoz
Alfredo Gago
Barbara Skrodzka
Cherif Zouein
Guillermo Brotons
Kevin Blanco
Long Lead
Alex Thebez
Amelia Lang
Charlotte Rymar
Dan Eisner
EJ Fox
Emily Keegin
Eoin O'Carroll
Heather Muse
John Patrick Pullen
Kevin Smets
Natalie Matutschovsky
Rebecca Holland
Sarah Rogers
Sonia Weiser
Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Jared Soares
Lyndon French
Will Matsuda
Blue Tape Projects