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A view on what's happening in the UN & NGO design community
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A Newsletter from the UN & NGOs Designers Group Geneva
Visual Communicators Newsletter
MARCH 2020

This is a monthly newsletter from the UN Designers and Visual Communicators Group in Geneva. Drop us a line if you would like to collaborate or share any material for inclusion in this newsletter: info@UNdesigners.org

Love triangle  

International organizations are finally starting to pay attention to the power of branding and visual identity. The latest example is the rebrand of one of the UN's biggest agencies, the now centenarian ILO.
The idea of a three-way partnership - between workers, employers and governments who work together to “drive progress towards a brighter future of work" - is beautifully developed into a visual identity that uses a triangle as its main conductor.
From the visual identity perspective, nothing remained untouched from redrawing the logo, to adding new fonts and tweaking the colour palette - and of course, adding the triangles as the new graphic elements. It is a very impressive campaign that took over a year-and-a-half to complete. 
Two departments led the project: Communications together with Design and Publications Production, while other departments were highly involved at specific stages and deliverables of the project. The initial development was done by an external agency, but implementation and roll out to different applications was done mostly internally.
From the design perspective, it seems that the big compromise of this approach is to develop the 'triangle' idea into a visual narrative while allowing flexibility to produce tons of collaterals through multiple channels. The clever work done in its publications templates shows that such compromise is feasible.
A UNDesigners meet-up with the ILO Branding team is in the making to further explain the process. Stay tuned for future dates!

Too many suitors after Women's Day?

We were a bit puzzled when many reputable sources announced that the theme for this year’s International Women's Day was #EachforEqual  while UNWomen's theme was #GenerationEquality. Although this is not a race, and every effort adds up to the cause, it may also be time to ask if it is a good idea for the private sector to take a leading role in organizing these international days celebrations - especially given the lack of transparency over who is leading the International Women's Day website. 
This year, UNWomen made a great attempt to put the message across with the help of visual communications, using nice illustration interesting data visualization and visual storytelling, while the International Women's Day initiative diversified its offer from a bit of a gimmicky campaign (which incidentally was already used by an international organization years ago), to typography passing through graffiti or even partnering with WyeEm to have access to exclusive photography.
With so much good content around, our wish for next year's UNWomen campaign is a dedicated portal to make its content shine.

Better by Design  

Those working for an International Organization understand that we are not innovative disruptors; there are no lounge areas with pinball tables in our buildings and no homepages featuring large stock art with a few bold words over it. We're more on the side of ‘business as usual’ - at least for the time being.
As business models change and we engage more private sector partnerships, operations may need to change accordingly. This is not just a matter of perception or visual identity, but a much deeper issue affecting what we produce and how we produce it.
Since we may need to rethink the way we work, look at structural organization, workflows and duties, there is no better help than the DesignBetter collection which packs really good (and free!) advice both to read or listen to, all by the professionals setting the new working standards.
Titles like Design Ops Handbook or Design Leadership Handbook are filled with useful tips on how to adapt design and production teams to new work environments. This collection is something that everyone dealing with design should read, even if you're not a disruptor and your organization's homepage does not feature large stock art with a few bold words over it.

March Inspiration
A campaign
"Stop the Spread" is a new campaign trying to “sanitize the stigma” and discrimination that activists say is stemming from coronavirus fears, "as ignorance has reached epidemic proportions". 
A rebrand
Nothing less than heavyweight agency Pentagram has created a new brand identity for cancer care charity Maggie’s under the slogan “everyone’s home of cancer care”
A game
UNDP has developed a game, Mission 1.5 that educates us about the choices we can make to stop surpassing the global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees, the level that keeps us safe.
A story
UNDP multimedia team keeps raising the bar with the stylish b/w story Bias and backlash about the invisible forces holding women back, linked to their Human Development Report.
A centenary
Sometimes too late is just in time – That's what the executives at TIme may have thought while putting together this interactive page with 100 covers featuring a century of women's achievements.
A video (or two)
There are multiple ways to communicate Climate Change, and these two videos are at each end of the spectrum: A turtle family going on ocean holidays and "a guy who's a f***ing idiot".

Job opportunities

• OCHA is looking for two Public Information Officers, one P4 and another P3 for temporary positions in NYC.
• OHCHR is looking for a Public Information Officer P3 to be based in Dakar.
• WHO is looking for a Unit Head, Digital P5 to be based in Geneva.
• UNOG is looking for an intern, graphic design and multimedia production to be based in Geneva.
• ILO is looking for a Communications Officer P3 to be based in Geneva.
• DNDi is looking for a Senior Communications Officer to be based in Geneva.
• OHCHR is looking for a Public Information Assistant (Audiovisual) G6 to be based in Geneva.
• UNOG is looking for an intern, Public Information – UNTV and Radio Section to be based in Geneva.
• UNAMA is looking for a temporary Public Information Officer P4 to be based in Kabul.

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Copyright © 2020 UN Designers Group, All rights reserved.

This newsletter has been produced by the UN Designers group, a non-profit organization created with the purpose of raising awareness around design and visual communications in international organizations, as well as help promoting the work done in this field. Our channels are both our physical meetings, usually hosted in UN agencies or other international organizations in Geneva, and this e-newsletter.

@ 2020 Created by Jesús Vicente. Thanks to Berta Pereycave for her continuous help and inputs from the other side of the Atlantic and Steven Kelly for the editing. 


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