Neue Narrative: Modularizing new ways of work

We redesigned brand and website of German independent publishing house Neue Narrative to better showcase their range of products, tools and ideas about new work and the next economy.

Posted by Christoph Rauscher on Nov 10, 2022; updated on Nov 11, 2022
Website and brand relaunch for Neue Narrative

Neue Narrative started out as a printed magazine in 2017. With every issue, the editorial team took a deep-dive into a focus topic around “new work”: purpose, leadership or money are just some of them. The magazine has always been a kaleidoscope of perspectives and voices, and with their colorful illustrations, they managed to stand out from the crowd of economy magazines.

Today Neue Narrative is not only a magazine, but offers a variety of products and tools to reinvent and improve our current work life. Having collaborated on some of those tools before, the team asked us to help with the relaunch their website to properly showcase what Neue Narrative is today: a future-focused publishing house, with tons of new ideas for a better way of working.

To sharpen our understanding of the current brand, we started out with one of our favourite tools: We prepared a visual compass to find out more about the brand’s values, dos and don’ts, in order to pin down a visual direction to move forward with.

Neue Narrative: Workshop board

From there, we dove into design exploration: What visual elements could work? How loud, how quiet does it need to be? How close is the printed magazine to the digital outlets? As the brand has been evolving organically over the past five years, we took what was already there, worked with it, and brought it to the next level: Improving color palettes, typographic pairings and visual elements that keep the pages together.

The idea of Neue Narrative is to provide tools and content that feels like “a really good, productive workshop”. We translated this idea into small, visual cues, like tactile cards, perforated lines as well as sturdy containers where any type of content can be placed. Together with the playful illustrations, the site becomes colorful, light-weight and fun. My favorite part however is the leading typography: Labil Grotesk has the occasional playful, wonky letter that gives the whole page just the right amount of oddity and jest.

Neue Narrative: Design elements like colors, typography and stylistic elements

Together with the team, we scribbled rough wireframes to see what modules would be needed, but we designed almost no fleshed-out pages up-front. Instead, we created a big bunch of components in different ranges (quiet and loud, colorful and plain, big and small) that can be connected freely. The editors now use this flexible repertoire to build any site they want, with any message that is needed, and are able to re-shape their appearance and communication to whatever idea comes next.

Various components for Neue Narrative

We’re quite excited to see what the team did with all those modules we designed: The new website is already live! It goes without saying that this was a team effort: Thanks go out to to Martin Wiens from NN for sparring and collaboration. Front-end development was done by Bianca and Joss from Neue Narrative, backend tech comes from Reinblau (another fellow co-operative, hi!). The header illustrations were done by Soner Aktas, the key typeface is called Labil Grotesk from Christian Jánský, distributed via Kometa, and the body copy is set in Moderat by TIGHTYPE.

Liking what you’re seeing? Do you also need help with your brand, website or digital infrastructure? Drop us an email and we’ll take it from there!

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