The Danish Design Centre gets new visual identity and website
28. November 2016
Today, Denmark’s national design centre gets a brand new design of its own: Together with agencies WAAITT and B14, the Danish Design Centre presents its new corporate visual identity and digital platform.

Last time the Danish Design Centre (DDC) renewed its visual identity was back in 2003. Today, however, the organisation sports a new look across all platforms. In early summer 2016 agencies WAAITT (We Are All In This Together) and B14 won the assignment as a consortium and have respectively created a new CVI and a new digital platform including website design and data visualization tools. The new visual identity forges DDCs new logotype from basic geometric shapes while using the same shapes to construct a flexible iconography for e.g. pictograms for data visualization, theme images for website use and individual subbrand icons for projects and other activities at the Danish Design Centre.

-We are very happy with the iconography that pretty much forms the backbone of our new visual identity. It solves a basic strategic task for us: On the one hand, the Danish Design Centre must be a clearly recognisable sender of all our activities and events - on the other, there must be room to maneuver visually speaking for our projects and collaborations to stand out from one another.The iconography provides both a distinct overarching visual identity that is always recognisable as ours while at the same time allowing for individual programs or events to have a ”stamp” of their own, in a way that is easy and flexible to administrate, said Danish Design Centre Communications Director Peter Kamph.

The new website is organized in themes, guiding to relevant content in the design landscape.

- For DDC it was paramount to ”take its own design medicine” during the developing process, so we started off with a co-creation workshop for representatives for DDCs key target groups, e.g. businesses and designers. Among other things, they stressed the importance of DDC’s ability to visually blend into many different contexts, almost like a living organism adapting to its surroundings. At the same time, they made clear that DDC should assert itself visually and be recognisable in itself – albeit in a style that might appeal to users beyond the industry itself. So we tried to come up with a concept that had edge visually speaking, was rich in colour and might easily transform itself intelligently according to context and scale up and down while remaining easily recognizable, explained designer Dennis Müller from WAAITT.

- The visual identity tells a metaphorical core story about the very essence of diverse creation by design. In animations used online and in videos, the story is told through living images showing anything from figurative icons for ”city” or ”person” to tools for abstract concepts like ”growth” or ”path finding” literally coming alive from the same geometric shapes. In this way, the CVI is digitally native and made for screens in all sizes, for video and animation as well as the visualization of data. This has been crucial to us, since all our most important communication channels are digital, Peter Kamph added.

Rasmus Høymann Laursen from agency B14 was in charge of designing the Danish Design Centres new website and of executing the new identity so it properly underpins the strategy and content of the website. Again, the starting point was key learnings from the co-creation workshop with users: - Probably, the most important change from DDC’s previous website has been the attempt to organize all of the content into themes. These themes operate as virtual guides in the design landscape and activates all types of content across the platform.

The key idea was to help users - who may range from design professionals to business owners completely new to the sector and its concepts - find the easiest path to the relevant content. In keeping with the fundamental idea of the visual identity, the iconography stands out strongly in some places, as sort of wayfinding system for users, while only just hovering discreetly in the background in other places, he said.     

-We are very pleased to launch our new CVI and website, not least because we now have some great tools, tailormade for a digital world, which puts us in a good position to solve our many different communications tasks.   

Over the last couple of years, the Danish Design Centre has set forth with a new organisation and strategy – and the new CVI and digital platform has an important role in ensuring that this transformation is visible and in making  sure the new DDC also looks new to businesses and the design sector, Peter Kamph concludes.