Before we could even start redesigning the newsletter, we had to understand the meaning behind what we’re about to create: the newsletter’s identity and the essence it represents.
We’ve been sending notes from the equator (NFTE) issues each month for about two years, and it has helped us bring people into the Konti-verse. Even though it is a subset of our website, NFTE has evolved to become a space of its own, for us to reach out to the dataviz community at large. We realised, in hindsight, that NFTE deserves its own solid branding identity for its curated content. We jumpstarted our design from a series of stages before we eventually arrived at our current iteration.
Here’re the different stages of the NFTE design’s rebranding, according to our process:
1. Open table
Before we could begin brainstorming about the new notes from the equator, we had to understand what’s distinct about the newsletter’s purpose and its community. As a team, we dissected the current NFTE newsletter’s content and art direction to tease out what we had done right and how it could be visually improved.
At the team meeting, we threw out quick-fire single words on what we think represents NFTE. This got the concept stage going.
We filtered out all the keywords and condensed them further, in order to accurately represent our new vision for NFTE. At this stage, it was important for us to remind ourselves of Kontinentalist’s purpose — to unravel Asia’s data narratives and present it from Asia’s perspectives. During the exchange, we began to suggest words like “explorer”. Terms like these walk a fine line between expressing what we hope to be and exoticisation, which feels like an imperialistic concept 😬. We are a ethnically diverse team situated in Asia, and cultural awareness and inclusion are of utmost importance for us. So our terms need to resonate with our principles. “Explorer”, with its grey nuances, didn’t make the cut.
Here’s is a snippet of our discussion: