New domains will provide capital companies and enterprises with “Moscow registration” online, and help to create Moscow’s brand and Russian capital recognition on the Internet.
The new project’s audience is very wide. It includes owners of any websites connected with Moscow: local companies, foreign business planning to develop in the Russian capital, administrative portals, and even personal pages. In other words it concerns everybody who wants to target their Internet resource making sure that Moscow users in particular are aware of it.
The project is mainly interested in business audience. We needed to find the common ground between their interests, the advantages of running business in Moscow and the potential of the new domain extension.
In order to do that we went through a large number of business stories of all kinds when entrepreneurs described distinguishing features of running business in Moscow and talked about their goals and professional ambitions. We studied the results of the questionnaires made by the client and taken by Moscow citizens. We asked the questions: what motivates those people? Why do they achieve their ambitions in the capital? What does this city mean for them?
We were able to determine several factors: strength, ambitiousness, freedom of action, and growth — values familiar to every businessman and connected not only with business but with any promising initiative. That is why they will be familiar to anybody wishing to realize their personal potential.
Moscow provides enterprising people with great opportunities for implementing their ideas and ambitions. We decided to communicate this idea by choosing characteristic inspiring words that correspond to the given situation and audience’s values.
In conjunction with .МОСКВА or .MOSCOW. the key words create a complete domain name: сила.москва (strength.moscow), прогресс.москва (progress.moscow), амбиции.москва (ambitions.moscow) and others. This is the principle the concept is based on.
Working on this project it was important to take into account that visual identity would be used by different registrars for their advertising campaigns. This is why we tried to make the identity as easy-to-use as possible. We gave up the idea of using paid fonts and chose Roboto font as the signature font. We picked an eye-catching but simple illustration style that can be easily reproduced by any qualified illustrator. We also unified carriers templates so that registrars could easily model their advertising materials with their help.
Business values behind the names of new domains are reflected in metaphoric illustrations: progress is depicted as a space shuttle, freedom as an air balloon, elephant represents strength, a spyglass symblolizes ambitions, etc.
Many people find Moscow inhospitable and unfriendly. Local domain extension, on the contrary, changes this perception, defining the environment for business development as something accessible, familiar and if combined with the named values — undoubtedly positive! We emphasized this quality with friendly illustration style.
We remind that business requires a serious approach with the help of strict geometric lines and reserved color palette. Graphics flat-style, which has become traditional for web interfaces, intensifies the project’s connection with the Internet environment.
The client contacted us already having the logo. Therefore, one of the core identifiers of the project became a module in the form of a coat of arms visually rhyming with Moscow’s coat of arms. This also defined the color palette of the concept: along with the main red color we chose an additional dark blue tint. These two colors together form a dynamic and slightly resonant pair.
The armorial contour is a flexible object. It can be used as an illustration base, at the same time the pointed part of the shield points at the domain or slogan located below.
In order to present the wide choice of free domains we use a construction in the form of a “merry-go-round” consisting of several shields with illustrations on them. This principle is convenient to use in animation when a merry-go-round rolls horizontally and the outer shields make it into the center and become active while the sign below them is replaced with a domain corresponding to the illustration.
The shield can be used as an information container not only for illustrations but also for texts and pictures. Besides, the very format of the advertising medium (a leaflet, for instance) can also be created in the form of a shield.
A detailed description of the results of our work is given in the guidelines in Russian and English. The guidelines contain all the rules on the visual identity usage that domain registrars might need — anything from logo composition to complicated advertising media layout.
We attached the necessary source files, illustrations and several layout templates to the guidelines so that out fellow-designers would not have to create graphics from scratch.
When our work was completed we were pleased to watch various registrars create promo-pages for new domain extensions. The largest Russian registrar — RU-CENTER created one of the most impressive versions. The promo website for this registrar was developed by Art.Lebedev Studio.
Another wonderful example is the promo page on RBC Information Systems website designed as a test.