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Web design & branding: "Nova Innovation Award"

Nova Innovation Award is an award by the BDZV (German Association of Newspaper Publishers), that is given to innovative and sustainable projects in German newspaper journalism.

My role: I was tasked with rebranding the Nova Award and improving their website's usability.

Target group: My first step when approaching this project was to ask about the target group, in order to understand what they want to do on the website. The website's users mainly are people who work at publishing houses — editors, journalists and the like — who want to be informed about the award, how it works, and what projects got awarded in the past.

This helped me to determine who I am designing for and what I need to keep in mind when creating a concept for the site.

Concept phase

Challenges: Users needed explanation and guidance when entering the page, considering that the brand "Nova" is not self-explanatory.

Structuring the page's content, especially finding a balance between information, inspiration, and additional content (e.g. interviews with industry experts), was another challenge.

Approach: Following UX best practices, I created a concept for the front page, where users could quickly understand what the website is about and what to do there.

NovaWireframe

Visual design & logo

Challenges: The visual design had to be modern and reflect the “innovative” aspect of the award, while also being evocative of its relatedness to newspapers.

The brand’s colors should also somehow link to the BDZV's branding, which includes blue, grey and white.

Solution: By using a clean color palette with a highly saturated blue tone for accents, I achieved a modern look & feel — which also can be shown next to the BDZV's brand identity without looking completely off.

To find a connection to newspaper journalism, I used a more traditional looking serif font (Libre Baskerville) but gave it a modern twist by changing between styles and weights.

Nova-Mockup-Case

Logo: The award was already using the old logo during the last two years. It is also used for the trophy itself. Meaning, the best way to approach the redesign was to find something that is similar to the old logo but improves on its weaknesses.

Therefore, I modernized the symbol that was used in the old logo, simplifying it and making it more flexible by decreasing the number of used lines and gradients.

The added wordmark uses the full name of the brand, which immediately explains so much more about what the brand is about.

Nova-Logo-Vergleich

From "Huh, what's 'Nova'?" to "Okay, seems like it's an award for innovation"

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