The Swiss high voltage grid is part of the country’s critical infrastructure. Fault tolerance is close to zero. However, Europe’s energy system is changing massively and the demand for electricity continues to increase. In this situation, Swissgrid, the owner and operator of the national extra-high-voltage grid, conceived its new strategy to lay the foundation for the future electricity supply in Switzerland. This increased the demand for communication and public relation activities.
Swissgrid prepared for these growing demands with a revised brand positioning. Scholtysik & Partner supported Swissgrid in sharpening the brand identity, implementing the brand strategy within the company and redesigning the corporate visual identity.
Active dialogue and variable design
Clear, adaptable and quick to the point. This is how Swissgrid communicates and that’s the way their identity should feel like. Therefore we developed a highly variable system of a few powerful elements: a constantly changing, yet always self-similar composition of the familiar logo, powerful typography and the striking “Powerbar”, an adaptive and – wherever possible – animated color stripe.
Clear language, adherence to facts and the willingness to engage in dialogue
Clear communication enables a fact-based dialogue with professionals, politicians and the public. The form follows the content. Clear layouts, straight lines, high contrasts. The brand typeface – Trade Gothic Next – signals direct, pragmatic communication without further ado. The illustration style and icons also convey this attitude in an understandable and precise design.
How to address different user groups individually
Swissgrid uses all channels to fulfill its information task and does not abandon printed or spatial communication. However, the increasingly central role is played by the website. We therefore redesigned it completely. Extensive information can be composed entirely modular into rich and individually visualized content. The different users are addressed specifically. The most important user groups are highly specialized professionals on the one hand and interested non-professionals on the other.
For the latter, major thematic dossiers promote an understanding of Swissgrid’s complex field of activity. The former group can access technical information directly via search or navigation. A novelty is the interactive map function based on GEO data. It offers a realistic representation of transmission lines and network projects.
Implementing strategy and brand identity
We supported the internal implementation intensely and over a long time. A broad set of measures embedded strategy and positioning within employees’ minds. Every single day, Swissgrid’s actions determine to a great extent how Swissgrid is perceived by the public and by partners.
A visitor centre to stimulate public dialogue
Whether to lay overhead lines or underground cables is often a heated discussion. That is why Swissgrid built a visitor centre at the site of the nation’s first underground cable with 380 000 volt. The exhibition explains both technical challenges and political processes to politicians, civil servants, NGOs, residents and the public at large. Visitors can directly post questions or opinions that are going to be published and reviewed.
How to make complex things vivid
Electricity is invisible and remains puzzling to many people. We counter this with super clear and understandable visualizations. In doing so, Swissgrid neither falls into naïve-childlike nor elitist-abstract modes of illustration, but always maintains empathetic professionalism.
Dynamic, lifelike pictures
The structures required to overcome the transmission network and their topographical conditions are impressive. This is expressed in imposing pictures by the well-known Swiss photographer Tom Haller. They enrich Swissgrid’s communication and illustrate their challenging mission.
The architecture emphasizes the self-image
A functional design language with a strong charisma reflects the attitude of the Swissgrid brand. The move into their striking new headquarters underscores the ambitions of their brand management and releases internal energies. There, the important role of Swissgrid in our country becomes visible.
Adequate motion design
Cinematic techniques and computer animation consistently continue the linguistic and visual appearance. Swissgrid uses their movement to convey abstract, complex or invisible processes and contexts in a memorable way.
Our work for the redesign of Swissgrid has been awarded a DDC(German Designer Club) Bronze Award in the “Identity” category.
Brand analysis | Brand positioning | Brand strategy | Brand promise | Brand personality | Code of conduct | Design assessment | Logo redesign | Corporate design | Corporate language | Corporate sound | Online CI/CD guidelines | UX and Interface design | Motion design | Printed publications and collateral | Exhibition design | Fairs | Implementation | Launch.
Pictures: Scholtysik & Partner, Tom Haller, Uwe Spoering