Building the platform for a sustainable resource economy

We’ve been working with Chatham House to design and build an online platform for Sustainability Accelerator, a major new initiative driving innovative thinking towards an inclusive, sustainable future. It aims to catalyse radical shifts in the way we use the earth’s resources by providing access to forward-thinking research, insights and experimental ideas.

We ran workshops with Chatham House to deepen our knowledge of the initiative and formulate a strategy to meet their goal of communicating complex sustainability issues. Our focus was two-fold; an editorial platform for researchers to communicate evidence-based solutions, and a library for cataloging source materials so that others could easily access this wealth of information for their own research.

Visual language

We centred the visual language around illustrations by Nathalie Lees, establishing a distinct style for graphic assets and future content of infographics and interactive stories. The colour palette utilises oranges and blues from the Chatham House brand guidelines, offering an opportunity to stand out in a sector where green is the dominant colour. All colours are accessibility tested and optimised to work across light and dark mode, a feature we implemented on the website that responds to user system preferences.

Editorial style

The platform is populated with articles written by the team at Chatham House, and thought-leaders from their fields of expertise. To facilitate a better reading experience we introduced a more compelling editorial style, providing users with immediate insights and a clear means to connect with contributors. Articles feature a central column with pull quotes, asides in the left-hand margin to add context, and links to related content across a range of interconnected topics.

Research Explorer

The collaborative energy that goes into generating ideas and devising evidence-based solutions leaves a trail of resources in its wake. These materials hold considerable value for the wider research community but often go unseen. With this in mind, we developed the Research Explorer to collect the full breadth of Chatham House’s research into a comprehensive and searchable repository. Audiences will now be able to access the latest, most compelling content across a diverse range of subjects.

Interactive stories

To further support the accessibility of the content we developed an interactive story to illustrate an article by Professor Tim Benton. It walks us through the land-based interconnections between resources, and the challenges we face ensuring the multiple uses of land are compatible with a sustainable future.

Charts and graphs

Many of the articles require additional infographics and interactives, that are delivered through a suite of supporting visuals, including graphs and charts, carousels, timelines, bubble maps and hotspots.

Publications

We’ve designed 3 printed reports for the Sustainability Accelerator to date, part of a series of publications that examine how healthy diets, international trade and agricultural subsidies can have significant effects on poverty, food security, nutrition, and other sustainability concerns such as climate change, land use and biodiversity.

Applied Charts

Chatham House was the first client to utilise Applied Charts, our graph authoring tool, which we used to create hundreds of charts for the printed reports.