Nathalie Vollenweider

Various Projects

Weltformat 2017

Poster Workshop - Eurostile 

Weltformat in Lucerne is an event I enjoy going to, and whenever I can go, I will for sure walk through the poster exhibitions spread over the city. In 2017, I also attended one of Weltformat's poster workshops. 

In the workshop, each of the participants got a different font assigned to, and the task was to display the font's name or characters on the poster. I got Eurostile.

In 1962, Eurostile was designed by Aldo Novarese for Nebiolo, one of the best-known Italian foundries.

The font is particularly popular in science fiction artwork and media set or produced in the 1960s and 70s. Eurostile and its antecedent Microgramma had a near-monopoly on science fiction typefaces through the end of the 20 century.

Reading about the font's history, I was instantly thinking about those neon pop culture posters from the 80ies. Research also brought me to the cover artwork from David Pelham for J.G Ballard's sci-fi works, which have the same elements: colorful gradients and complementary contrast; both combine hot and cold colors. I wanted to use those elements as an homage to the font's history. 

Thinking about science fiction, I couldn't help but imagine space and meteorite fragments. So I played around with the font, cut it diagonally in two, and moved each half a bit apart. 


"Arrêt" - Marie

Marie is French and living in Zurich for four years. Whenever I took a picture of her, she would hide behind her hand and say, "Arrêt!". The cigarette she would instantly hide either under the table or behind her back. I think that is such a funny behavior, and Marie, later on, would always ask me to send her the pictures I took of her because she adores them. 

However, it inspired me to come up with this artwork. You "see" Marie, doing her arrêt-pose, hiding the cigarette under the bar table on the image. 

"Stop" is something I always connect with the color red – probably because the stop signs on the streets are red. So are also the ones in France – red and white. 

Marie is hiding her bad habit under the table, I made it visible by adding the violet smoke coming out of her fingers: "Only because you hide it from the camera, doesn't mean it is not there, sorry Marie." She loves smoking those flavored cigarettes, where you can click a blue button for mint flavor and a violet button for berry flavor. 

In Marie's French dialect, she pronounces the "R" more vital, she is rolling it a bit – like a cat purring – and it seems like she's stretching the word by doing so: "Arrr-êt!".
I put the two "R"s close together to visualize the vibrance, and I also placed it on the top, as this is something striking in the way she speaks. 

Marie is fluent in four languages (fun fact: not in German) and sometimes she would suddenly talk to me in a different language, mix them up or use French expressions in English, which of course make no sense, and which will let me sit there staring at her in confusion. Therefore, I included some Lorem Ipsum text – it sounds like a language but isn't one.

I plan to extend this project to a series and create more postcards of people.


Supplementary Material

EF Education First was founded in Sweden in 1965 and has been the world leader in international education since then. EF has more than 600 offices and schools in more than 100 countries. EF has helped millions of people of all ages and nationalities become global citizens, whether by learning a language, discovering the world, or earning an academic degree. 

In 2019, EF changed its font, and the brochures got a new cover look. Also, some product colors changed slightly. The brochures are sent in an envelope together with additional material such as sales letters and flyers. To match all the marketing material with the new look of the brochure, we had to develop a new concept for this material. I was responsible for that together with the Art Direction and another designer. I came up with an idea, which later on became the concept for all of the supplementary material.

On the flap of EF's brochures in 2019, EF displays the destinations that they offer, so that potential students directly see what destinations they will find in the brochures without having to go through 120 pages. 

For the supplementary material, I came up with the idea to take this journey further and display experiences to engage the potential students on an emotional level. To make them want to go and explore.  

I had the lead over creating the new envelope, poster, and roll-up templates, while the AD and my colleague designer were focusing on testimonial, sales letter, and product flyer templates.

The response was massive and loud! Salespeople from our worldwide markets were reaching out and told us how much they love the concept and the new marketing material. Other departments and products were copying the concept. And focus groups held in different countries with our students showed that they think the material is engaging and cool.

EF Language achieved the best sales year in history that year. And before Corona happened, they had the second-best sales week in history while using this material. 


Educational Elements Typo Posters

Within EF, we were creating new marketing material daily. We always tried to be up to date with looks and use of speech, to satisfy our markets and their students' needs.

EF does not only want to sell education, but rather a life-changing experience – learning a language while immersing into the culture.

Here, the copy concept is proactive and motivates you to experience the cultural aspect of language travel or attending class abroad. To add an educational approach to the "go and explore" feel, I came up with a concept of using graphical elements, which you will find while attending class. 

1 - Stylized notes

To stylize school notes, or highlight certain areas, students likely use an additional color. They also tend to write notes on the sides of the text in a vertical direction.

This concept was used for the green poster on the left side. It not only creates two layers for the two messages but also invites people to engage with it.

Versions with hand-written notes were also suggested, but it was 1.5 years too early for this concept. After having a staff turnover in the highest creative position, the idea with hand-written notes was brought up again by one of my co-designer and got approved! 

2 - Dictionary

The dictionary is probably THE side-kick tool of any student. This concept goes very well hand-in-hand with the copy concept of one of EF's star content creators, Danny Kenyon. With this copy concept, Danny not only wanted to motivate non-natives to dive into the culture action-wise but also language-wise, by displaying and explaining expressions used by locals. 

3 - Marker

A marker is a powerful tool, and a strong marker game saves up a lot of time later on while learning or refreshing memories. It also helps students to learn where to set focus on – to differentiate what is essential information and whatnot. 

So, I loved the idea of using a marker to highlight messages. To create a very authentic marker look, I used different markers on paper, measured their weight, and converted them into points. To achieve the same transparent overlay effect, I added the function "multiply" to it. And every stroke is hand-painted.

The color used here is one of EF's product colors in different tint strengths.

Using Format