CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation) is an organisation based in the Netherlands with a mission to advance food security, resilience and inclusive economic growth in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific through innovations in sustainable agriculture.
In the last years the organisation has worked in many different agribusiness projects to create value for farmers, entrepreneurs, youth and women, while producing affordable, nutritious and healthy food for all.
There needs to be a transformation in the way agriculture is conceived so that each smallholder farm is treated as a competitive business.
Michael Hailu, CTA Director
During the last years, CTA has invested part of its money to improve and reinforce its brand and, in light of this change, many company websites have undergone a general redesign and alignment.
With the new brand style guide in place, CTA has also acquired a fresh mindset with respect to the way they communicate and engage with their farmers and stakeholders. For this reason, at the beginning of 2017, the organisation contacted us to design the digital and offline version of their 2016 report.
During the past years, they had exclusively used printed versions which were then distributed among farmers, advisors and collaborators. However, for the 2016 report, they were looking for a more effective way to engage with their audience and this is where they thought that internet could help them to fast-spread the achievements and goals reached by CTA during the past year.
Since the new brand style guide launch back in 2015, CTA has sought proper alignment with the new identity for every new project the organisation undertakes. We were already familiar with their current style guide because in the past months we had worked together with our partners, Brickson Den Bosch, on the redesign of the main CTA website. So working on the report was going to be the creative part of this rebranding.
To ensure that the result was up to CTA’s standards, we relied once again on our partners in the Netherlands, Brickson, to work on the development of our design. The report was going to be a series of important articles, facts and events that transpired in 2016.
The objective: to create a one-page website that would be easy to navigate both on the desktop and mobile devices.
CTA provided us with a table of contents while they were defining the main content of the report.
The first draft of the content helped us to determine the structure and the level of interactivity for each article.
We worked hard to define the hierarchy between facts and articles. Also finding pictures that could harmoniously match with the CTA colour palette and meaningfully link to the content proved to be a laborious endeavour.
We also included some illustrations, designed by the agency Hero as part of the new CTA branding, to quickly represent each of the sections at a glance or visualise some of the facts.
Once the structure was defined and layout approved, we spiced up the page by adding subtle movements to bring attention to some UI elements.
A smooth parallax animation was added to the opening and closing sections of the report while we added some nice transitions to define the breaks between the different CTA’s areas of focus. We wanted to ensure fluid navigation on mobile devices as well so some tweaks to the code were needed, so as to avoid consigning the report to a very long, boring page. For this reason, for the benefit of small devices, we introduced a slider for each of the articles of each of the areas, something that helped us to considerably reduce the length of the page itself.
We wanted to ensure fluid navigation on mobile devices as well so some tweaks to the code were needed, so as to avoid consigning the report to a very long, boring page. For the benefit of small devices, we introduced a slider for each of the articles of each of the areas, something that helped us to considerably reduce the length of the page itself.
The last bit of our work focused on a consistent and pleasing offline version that would be aligned with the online version of the report and, of course, to current CTA branding.
In this case, we wanted to ensure that content was easy to be read, easy to locate and fully linked back to the main website for further information and research.
In both English and French, the report provided a good overview of CTA's interventions that assisted smallholder producers and helped them benefit from innovations in agribusiness.
The way we built and structured the information in the report highlights how CTA is able to stay ahead of trends that enhance the central role of agriculture in ACP countries and how their mission has evolved over the years. Way to go!