The Alfred Landecker Foundation aims to protect democratic structures in the face of rising populist and nationalist movements that are fuelling hatred toward ethnic minorities.
The foundation has paired up with London-based design agency Studio Output to create a new visual identity and digital editorial platform.
The tone for the campaign is challenging, provocative, but also authoritative in hope that people will pay attention to the paramount issues that the foundation is trying to address. Bold, single colour illustrations in red tones have been selected. The colour palette uses “deliberately uncomfortable” colour combinations to encourage the viewer’s eyes to draw attention to more inflammatory topics and more harmonious ones for thought-provoking content.
Additionally, the typography is deliberately set at unusual angles which, according to Studio Output is “to add to the sense of discontent, with hover states shifting the content off-balance”.
“At its heart is the idea of frail structures that are under threat,” says Studio Output. “This is reflected in the monogram logo itself, with its contrast of fine hairlines resisting the dominant, heavy strokes applying pressure.”
Provocative questions are asked rather than statements forced on the platform. Arguably, a challenge for the team was to create designs that lead to active participation around key issues and shook audiences out of apathy. This goal eventually led to the deciding “deliberately unconventional” approach.
“The site is designed and built around the tension between two principles: The frailty of democracy against the chaos in the world, and a call-to-arms to build a civil response and do better,” Studio Output explains.
The audience for the platform is huge and ecompasses experts, government officials and NGO leaders, educational institutions and other interested individuals of all ages and demographics. This made the tone difficult to establish since the site needs to appeal to causal browsers and invested viewers alike.
The core navigation is built to answer three simple questions for The Alfred Landecker Foundation: ‘What we do’, ‘Why we exist’ and ‘Who we are’. These pages re-stack as they’re viewed, aiming to reflect how they feed into and affect each other. “Manifesto-like” topics that inherently demand action are used to focus the site’s navigation and draw in readers, like ‘Strengthen democracy’ or ‘Depolarise debates’. Topic types are colour coded to enable site users to connect them across the platform and easily follow particular themes.
“The project really typifies the kind of work we want to be doing: something meaningful and positive but presented in a relevant way which grabs attention”.