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DS4 Skills

The Brief

Data Space for Skills (DS4Skills) is a new initiative aiming to create a shared open source network for sharing and accessing skills data from all over Europe. As a new Europe-wide project based in Brussels, DS4Skills needed an engaging visual identity and a site that was accessible to people from many countries, with a wide range of digital abilities.

The European Commission has funded the DS4Skills project with a view to developing a human-centric and trusted Data Space for Skills.

Matrix has developed a track record in Europe for helping to create brands and communication strategies to promote Europe-wide initiatives that improve skills, accessibility and sustainability.

At Matrix we applied our own set of skills to create a new visual identity package including all logo design, fonts, brand guidelines and branded documents. We then applied our new branding concepts to the new website’s user interface. DS4Skills now has an engaging user-focused platform as a foundation for future growth in the skills-sharing space.

Branding was a collaborative process from the first discovery session. We prepared a visual identity questionnaire, and the responses informed the design team’s direction for visual assets and the brand definition document.

The team developed four distinct design concepts and amalgamated individual aspects for presentation and appraisal with the client. After consultation, the client selected our ‘Digital Cube’ concept, with a box or cube to represent ‘storage’ — a physical space for skills. The typographic treatment is a combination of fine line and bold elements that result in an elegant but strong logo.

We also created an Identity Toolkit comprising a full suite of logos in all possible formats and a brief guide to using the logo.

This design phase was the foundation for the new web user interface for the new brochure site. Because of time and budget constraints, a fully bespoke website solution was not possible. However, Matrix has a library of templates created for previous clients that we can quickly transform and customise.

Our development team created new layouts for DS4Skills based on the project goals from the discovery phase, while adhering to the digital brand guidelines and identity toolkit.

The website is an accessible, UX-optimised platform with ample white space, subtle use of branding palette and logos, and bold, engaging images. The navigation is simple and intuitive, offering information about the initiative, including a new ‘Resource Centre’ — an information hub for updates and new developments.

Website

Key features

  • 01
    Bold new visual identity, including logo, fonts and brand palette;
  • 02
    New identity toolkit that can be used on all future digital and physical assets;
  • 03
    UI design of website in sync with the brand guidelines Matrix designers created;
  • 04
    Intuitive interface and presentation, with enticing visual elements and engaging story elements;
  • 05
    Fully accessible site, which appeals to users of all cultures and abilities.
Goals

Goals

To align a visually engaging brand identity with a rewarding new website UI, to optimise promoting the innovative new European project.

  • To create a professional, bold and inviting visual identity for a new Europe-wide initiative;
  • Deliver an intuitive UI that enhances the sharing of information;
  • To become a respected hub of information, and the focus point of a vast skills-sharing network;
Process

Process

Collaboration and design innovation to deliver the perfect brand identity.

  • In-person branding workshop and creation of brand definition document, as a foundation for developing the visual identity package;
  • Initial design ideas developed — team collaborating on concepts and amalgamating ideas into initial presentation;
  • Logo and typography refined and approved;
  • Creation of identity toolkit and brand applications such as PowerPoint templates and letter heading.
  • Applied design and branding concepts to website user interface, creating a seamless and intuitive user experience.
Results

Results

A future-proofed visual identity and modern user interface that boosts the international reputation of DS4Skills.

  • A professional, engaging platform for a new pan-European initiative;
  • Positive international coverage of DS4Skills project since launch of the website;
  • Building a new professional client relationship in mainland Europe — Matrix will be supporting and hosting DS4Skills for three years after launch.