The Alfred Landecker Foundation was established in 2016 by the Reimann family after they researched their ancestors’ associations with the National Socialist regime. Unsatisfied by simply uncovering their own past, the family took the lessons they learned and set up the Foundation to promote action and engagement.
Today the Foundation exists to “defend civil liberal societies and protect democratic structures”, which in the face of rising nationalism and hatred directed at minorities seems even more important. This takes the form of providing tools, technologies and advice to help people confront the past, protect minorities, and strengthen democracy, among other things. To re-establish itself, the Foundation has worked with London-based Studio Output on a new digital editorial platform and visual identity.
The Foundation’s audience is wide – from experts, government officials and NGOs to educational institutions and individuals of all demographics. So the biggest challenge for Output was to inspire active participation over apathy, particularly among younger people. In order to achieve this, they decided the website needed to provide an editorial outlet and a new platform for growth.
The studio says the site is designed and built around 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”. Rather than adopt standard webpage names such as ‘About us’ or ‘Projects’, the website’s navigation aims to answer three questions: What we do; Why we exist; and Who we are. “These pages restack as you view them, to reflect how they affect each other and create a more immersive experience,” the studio explains.
Under those headings are pages on what the Foundation does, such as Strengthen Democracy and Depolarise Debates. These topics again inspire action and are presented almost as a manifesto for the Foundation’s activities. To build a sense of how these topics connect in both confronting and thought-provoking ways, they’re also colour coded.
A mix of typographic faces are used and are occasionally set at unusual angles to heighten this sense of discontentment, plus a series of hover states also shifts content and click-throughs off-balance. The idea is to highlight the structures under threat, which is captured best in the monogram logo itself, through its “contrast of fine hairlines resisting the dominant, and heavy strokes applying pressure”.
The visual identity adopts an illustrated style using a mix of fine linework and emotive figures. The colour palette is muted but pops against blocks of white space. Output has also created a social toolkit to incite action and highlight helpful articles.
The identity is clean, clear and supports the Foundation’s mission rather than detracts from it. For Studio Output, this project typifies the kind of work they want to do more of: meaningful, positive and reflecting the changing needs of society today.