Swiss Design is your one-stop portal for all things Swiss design and architecture-related in Japan. We elevated the previously print-based project to digital, allowing for additional functions and features to guide you into the world of Swiss design. From concept, execution to activation, we worked end-to-end on the digital platform, collaborating with the Swiss Government and 20 Swiss brands. The project covered everything from designing and building the identity as well as the website, marketing on social media, creating original multi-media content, to localizing for the Japanese audience.
Let’s Go Digital
The Swiss Design Map Project was started in 2014 by the Swiss Government as an initiative to raise awareness of Swiss design and architecture in Japan by mapping out various Swiss-related landmarks in the city of Tokyo. In its starting years, the project centered around print, and the maps were distributed at stores of sponsor brands and other Swiss landmarks. The format however caused certain limitations to the project; for example, once the map was printed and distributed, it could not be updated later on in the year with new event information or content. Distribution was also restricted to those who actually visited the Swiss-related locations where the maps were given out. To overcome these blockers and take the project to new heights, Cream stepped up to shift the map to a digital platform for 2015-2016.
The project logo and website design were kept in line with the modern, minimalistic style that Switzerland is renowned for. We incorporated elements of the iconic Swiss flag, instantly recognizable for its red color and white cross, with a Japanese font that closely resembles the style of Helvetica, the typography famously from Switzerland. All in all, the design of the digital platform embodies Swiss Design’s concept of ’less is more’, stripped of any excess and driven sheerly by purpose and function.
Swiss Design Brought to Your Fingertips
The centerpiece of the digital platform is the Swiss Design Map. We built an interactive map, which takes the viewer’s geolocation to show the quickest path to the destination of their choice from a selection of Swiss-related shops, museums, galleries and architecture around Tokyo. Users can also access key information such as operating hours, phone number and website link of the location directly through the map without ever leaving the site. The map is visually aligned with the red-white-gray colors used throughout the website so the user’s experience is cohesive even during navigation. 50,000 printed maps were also distributed at shops, galleries and museums in Tokyo, along with QR codes which instantly directs users offline to the online digital platform.
History and Tradition, Digitized
Many of the sponsoring Swiss brands are steeped in tradition and have rich, inspiring back stories. Furthermore, each brand offers products that are beautifully and meticulously crafted, in line with the theme of Swiss design, which is famous for its world class quality and aesthetics. Part of our mission was to highlight these stories and showcase each brand’s connection to Swiss design in a compelling way. We collaborated with our sponsors to create short video clips as a window into the brands. For each brand, we shot on location at its store featured on the map, taking full advantage of its beautiful products and store interiors. We also conducted interviews with representatives from each brand about its history and connection to Swiss design. Whether a luxury watch brand or an iconic outdoor sports brand, viewers can experience various representations of Swiss design come alive in the videos.
Dig Deeper into Swiss Design
The ability to update content throughout the year was one of the major benefits of the project going digital. For example, the printed map only featured Swiss design-related events that were planned at the beginning of the project. Events can now be readily added and changed on the platform’s dedicated ‘event’ page, which acts as the go-to spot for any activity hosted in Japan related to Swiss Design.
We also spearheaded the production of various contents to continuously engage and spark the interest of users into Swiss-related design. Developed contents range from interviews with upcoming stars of Swiss design and architecture like Mugi Yamamoto, interactive timelines for Swiss design milestones as well as the life story of world famous Le Corbusier and Hans Erni, to Japanese subtitled documentaries on iconic Swiss architecture courtesy of Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS). Through the use of multiple media formats, we successfully leveraged digital to provide users a fully immersive experience into the world of Swiss design.
From Digital to Social
Finally, a newly introduced dimension of the project was the use of social media both to deliver a consistent stream of information regarding Swiss design and to curate user-generated content through the hashtag #swissdesign to display on the platform’s “news” page. On the official Swiss Design social channels, we curated relevant news, shared exclusive features such as the “Le Corbusier Week” and closely covered the Design Preis Schweiz award.
By taking this project from print to digital, we have created a mobile portal to the world of Swiss design in Japan, accessible right at your fingertips. Consistently updated with upcoming events, news and informative content, the platform is your go-to stop for soaking up Swiss design-related inspiration. Thanks to the new digital platform, virtually anybody can access the Swiss Design project, anytime and anywhere.
Embassy of Switzerland in Japan