Chamber of Architects of Romania
The Order of Romanian Architects (OAR) is the most important organisation reponsible for representing and promoting the domain of architecture in Romania. The new online platform aims to solve three big problems of perception: to increase confidence in the institution of both architects and the beneficiaries of their projects, to clarify the functions that the Order performs in the local environment and to highlight the fact that OAR is a highly accessible institution.
We agreed together with the client's team – which was comprised of Raluca Ștefan, communications adviser and Ștefan Ghenciulescu, OAR's vice president – that this project required first of all that we organise and clarify information that the Order makes available to its multiple audiences. At the same time it was imporatant to ensure that every kind of visitor could easily find the information relevant for them.
In order to help visitors understand that they have reached the site of an organisation that is easily approachable, we relied on the power of colour. We enriched the brand's rather austere chromatic system with a set of eight colours, one for each category within the principal menu. So as to avoid an unwanted excess of colour, the secondary chromatic is used sparingly. Its use is limited to mouse-over effects and the names of the categories of the articles on the homepage.
The first page needed to give the visitor a very clear visual representation of the Order's activities. It contains all the most important information on the organisation's activity at any given time. This is also where links may appear to all of the site's sections. The only criterion that needs to be met for an article to be accessed from the first page is its relevance.
Entries on the first page can be big or small, with or without images, depending on their importance. In the case of imageless entries, when in mouse-over, their entire background turns the colour of the category that corresponds to the article, while the text, title and subtitle turn white. We ensured that the eight secondary colours would be dark enough for the white text to be legible when in contrast with them.
A great deal of attention was given to legibility. The text of the articles is displayed in large letters, the spaces between rows are substantial, and each line is limited to ten words. The typeface used is Open Sans, because of its similarities with Gothan, the typeface indicated in the identity manual. The second reason for this choice is that the Open Sans type family is part of the Google Font package, and its use is therefore free of charge, regardless of the number of page views the platform receives.
Orientation on the site is facilitated by a sub-menu on the left side of the page. Here the visitor can find all the sub-categories of any given section.
From a visual point of view, the site is optimised for all devices from which it can be accessed.
The operations involved in the management of the site are explained thoroughly in a 74 page manual. Thanks to this resource, the administrator can find clear explanations of the best ways to resolve problems whenever help is needed.