- Web Design ServedProject Featured On:Web Design Served — 11/17/12
Nordic Energy Research
- Nordic Energy Research
Identity, Stationery & Website
- Nordic Energy Research (henceforth NER) is the platform for joint Nordic Energy Research and policy development under the auspices of Nordic Council of Ministers. NER promote cooperation in research and policy that adds value to the national initiatives in the Nordic countries. Through 25 years of action, NER has built strong networks both among researchers, and between researchers and policy-makers. Hundreds of PhDs have been awarded as part of the Nordic projects they have supported.
NER approached us to redesign their identity, without touching their existing logotype. The project encompassed the design of an extensive identity manual as well as illustrations, icons, promotional material and stationery, and the restructuring, design and build of their new website.
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For an organization like NER, with a number of publications and reports put out every year, the need for a clear and easy to work with identity was evident. In a world of politics and large organizations; the fast paced and forward thinking NER wanted to reflect the fact that they have a modern approach to what they do, which really makes a difference. The decision to steer away from the commonly employed stock imagery was easy. Instead, a circle grid, based on the circular shape of the logotype's swan marque, was designed, upon which all illustrations, icons and information graphics are based. Not only did this provide NER with a rule set for designing new publications and such, but also gave them a distinct visual presence clearly separating them from the competition.
Two different typefaces are used throughout the identity - Otl Aicher's quirky Rotis Sans and Caslon 540. A rich colour palette was necessary considering the huge amounts of different information graphics produced by the organization each year.
- Illustrations and printed matter
A number of illustrations, graphs and icons were designed, some intended for immediate use and others forming the base of a toolbox of design elements to be used over time. This allows NER to swiftly put together reports that are consistentwith the identity, without losing the friendly touch provided by the illustrations. The illustrations feature different situations in the daily life of the organization as well as some more symbolical references to what NER do. The icon set, based on the (at smaller sizes) rather restricting circular grid, led to curious representations of the different subjects and is usedmainly on the website.
A range of physical objects, including roll-ups for events and stationery was designed, along with digital presentation templates. The stationery was HPT (Hybrid Print Technlogy) printed on GFSmith Colorplan Pale Grey 350gsm stock.
- Website - Structure
Working with a large and versatile organization with many different target groups and needs, we were faced with the mountainous task of organizing NER's content for the site. We spent a lot of time looking at different types of content and planning how to best structure the various sections of the site.
We soon realized that the site would have to be quite flexible in order for everything to fit. Following the circular grid, we used a modular approach, in which each single page can be highly customized. Using a light colour palette, even the very content heavy sections of the site have an airy, inviting feel.
- Website - Design & Development
The main section of the site is the NER's activities, which are separated into programmes and projects. Under 'Activities', these are displayed as tiles, that can be filtered using a number of keywords or by searching freely (please see below for a further explanation on the filtering solution).
The modular approach provided the necessary flexibility for the front-end, while the back-end of WordPress was highly customized, including an extensive Custom Post Type with close to 50 Meta Fields. Each activity can thereby be editied to serve as a one page website.
Another key section on the site is the News section which, just like the activities, needed a versatile solution for various types of content. The Custom Post Type for News include the options of adding a large top image, a top pull quote for interview articles or a slideshow, to name but a few.