New Zealand on Air

We helped NZ On Air, our national broadcast funding body, to express their great work and how their decisions are made.

NZ on Air came to us with two main problems. An inflexible and hard-to-use content management system was obstructing publishing. The general public also lacked understanding of their vital role in the cultural landscape and why their decisions get made.

Designing from the content out

Small screens force us to strip away any unnecessary ‘chrome’ and make the content itself do the hardwork visually. Gone are they days when web designers created pretty wrappers around largely unstyled lumps of text. This is a good thing, and not just for mobile.

There are only 3 significant visual devices on the site: large blocks of colour, great photos and, most importantly, type. We lead with plain-english page descriptions, show off the imagery where it’s relevant and choreograph the written page for scanning, comprehension and easy in-page navigation.

A digital brand refresh

Whilst the New Zealand On Air logo and ‘spectrum’ is well established much of their supporting material lacked cohesion. We were lucky to be given a fairly free reign to explore typography and tone – settling on the typeface Whitney and using it at scale to provide the right mix of clarity and friendliness. This work is now being extended into offline channels to create a properly unified visual language for NZ On Air.

NZ On Air won Bronze at the 2014 Best Awards.