Gathering feedback on Design elements: the Greenpeace global Design event
A chance to present the Planet 4 design and its elements, and gather inputs from creative minds. And from you!
Greenpeace designers and digital media producers from offices all over the world recently gathered in Hong Kong for a Design Skillshare, the first of its kind in the organization. The event aimed to build a community of creative folks inside Greenpeace to connect, share and learn from each other.
Planet 4 could not miss out on this opportunity, so I was sent as a representative to share our latest design directions, get actionable feedback from specialists with different cultural backgrounds and reinforce our open premises of inclusion in the Planet 4 project.
During his opening speech, Greenpeace's Head of Story and Communications stressed the importance for our designers to be familiarized and aligned with the 7 Shifts and the Framework, which shape the 10-year vision of the organization. As visual communicators, we should strive to convey more authentic experiences rather than mere reportage of facts. He called for a shift from the third person point of view to a first person one, something Planet 4 has tried to do from the start.
The key actionable outcomes of the skillshare were:
- an action plan to establish recommendations and guidelines for our global brand;
- the establishment of communication channels and parameters for our community to grow and evolve;
- the mapping of common pitfalls and best practices when collaborating with external agencies;
- the agreement upon global standards to improve creative briefs;
- the evolution of designers’ role in internal campaign planning processes.
Participants were also encouraged to bring samples of printed material and digital files of the best work done in their respective local offices to be showcased throughout the event.
In my session I introduced the Planet 4 Design team and shared our process of remote collaboration, our agile methodology throughout the project phases and some of the software we use to synchronize our work. I also reinforced our core philosophies, such as being open, user-centered and mobile first. Finally, I showed some of the P4 design directions, detailing our typography and colour decisions, and showing first hand a visual mockup of the new ‘Take Action’ page.
Gathering feedback on Design Elements
Alongside the generally positive reactions, one challenge on this piece of work emerged: the proposal to replace Helvetica Neue with Roboto as the system font and its potential impact on the Greenpeace global identity. In general, folks felt that this change might contribute to inconsistency across the organization, especially when it comes to our offline materials.
Even though this choice was the consequence of an open voting process (which saw Roboto receiving 39% of global preferences), the Planet 4 team understands that such a shift might cause some trepidation, so we are both continuously seeking feedback and joining in on this debate; keeping nonetheless the main focus on the original delivery of the prototype still planned for October 2017.
The slides highlight some ideas about colours and fonts, but we need your feedback on the choices made so far on these elements. Please, take 3 minutes and tell us what do you think!
The Planet 4 Design as an opportunity for both the community and the organization
Even without being tasked to redesign nor dictate Greenpeace’s entire brand guidelines, we realize that Planet 4 represents a unique opportunity to revisit past decisions, give our web content a “fresh look” as well as opt for a more flexible and readable font for the modern web.
Our organization has the chance (and the need!) to update the brand styling in a way that aligns with contemporary design practices and sensibilities. From the quality of the discussions started at the event and now continuing in Greenpeace channels, it’s clear that the newborn Designers community is a key player to boldly innovate, achieve global consistency and strengthen even more our visual identity. We intend to stay in touch and support one another to keep this momentum going.
From my perspective, the Design Skillshare was a great success and a unique bonding opportunity. Meeting fellow designers from all over the world, hearing their fascinating stories and exchanging experiences was a giant step toward building a community of creatives.
We can bring Greenpeace design to the edge and help face common challenges in the future. And I believe we will.