New website and logo for Elysée Palace
Previous Elysée Palace website
The project, designing the site and the Elysée's online visual identity, was a public tender oversen by two chief digital officers from the Elysée, Romain Pigenel and Frédéric Giudicelli. Both budget and deadline were tight - three and a half months from brief to launch for a total budget of €50,000.
The keywords of the brief were ‘intuitive design, interactivity and accessibility', says agency director François Vogel, ‘otherwise, we had carte blanche'.
The defining tenets of François Hollande's presidency, accessibility and sobriety, are translated visually into the website's design. The frill-free site is easy to access and navigate with optional audio description. It's design responsive, automatically adjusting to all screen sizes including tablets and smartphones. A horizontal timeline lets users follow the President's agenda in real-time and gives full access to his speeches, videos and exclusive photos. The site is in French only.
Twitter and Facebook accounts allow users to write directly to the President and comment on events. Citizen Tweets are permanently posted on the site (monitored by the Elysée to avoid any untoward calls to arms or revolution!).
The Elysée also ensured that the site was 100% designed and produced in France, even down to the choice of type designer and font. The typeface for the logotype and headings is Jean François Porchez's Le Monde, originally designed for the Le Monde newspaper in 1999 and reissued in 2010 as Le Monde Livre Classic.
The symbol chosen by the President is a somewhat obscure emblem of France, the complex ‘faisceau de licteur' - lictors were bodyguards of magistrates in ancient Rome, the ‘faisceau' is the bundle of oak branches, (for strength), and olive branches, (for peace), they carried to ward off attackers, topped by an axe to execute them, if necessary.
It predates the French Revolution and was adopted in 1790 with the initials RF in the centre as the symbol of the first French Republic. Giscard d'Estaing adopted it as his presidential insignia on a blue white and red flag.
Textuel La Mine developed a modern stylized version of the ‘faiseau de licteur' in white, reversed out of dark blue.
Not given to effusiveness, President Hollande pronounced himself "très satisfait" with the result when contacted by CR. It corresponds perfectly, he says, to his wish for transparency and accessibility.
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Vive la République et vive la France!
Great layout, especially the alignment and use of space
Interesting evolution of the work Red did on the logo a couple of years ago
Caused a lot of controversy at the time!
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