The shape of our work by Voilà:

At the end of 2021, we created a visualization of our work for our annual greeting card and it worked so well that it launched a new tradition at Voilà:. Each year, we would create something appealing to tell the world about our information design work and our focus on sustainable development.

For 2022, we renewed the experience, but not the type of visual. This time, we created "portraits" of each month. We started with the idea of a calendar where each month is showcased in a rectangle. Testing this concept with real data made it clear that there were too many products and themes throughout a month to squeeze into one box. Opening up the layout on horizontal rows solved this problem and created a balanced and elegant layout.

We chose colour to communicate our four themes: environment, social development, governance and information design education. Limiting ourselves to the four colours of our palette (yellow, black and two tones of grey) brought its challenges which is always good for creativity. Using our two greys to differentiate themes didn’t really work so we used an outline for our information design education; an important aspect of our mission. What is obvious at first is that we work on all four themes all throughout the year, with none of them dominating the rest.

A major challenge was to visually differentiate 15 products, especially as we had chosen to do it with shapes. We tried out a lot. We started with hand-drawn sketches then prototyped a few geometric shapes digitally and iterated again until we eventually settled for a mix of the two. We wanted something recognizable and distinct from one another, but that also had t an organic quality that worked great with this concept. In the end, the shapes from the legend are easy to track in the visualization.

A distinct feature of the design is that each shape does not represent a project: it represents a product that may be applied to several projects during a month. This is defined by the size of the shape; bigger shapes are more noticeable, which also reveals our significant mobilization for these projects during our working days.

Finally, there were a few special moments in the year that needed to stand out: the recruitment of new team members and the award that we won. We manage to make them visible in a crowded field by applying a halo to them, which makes them immediately recognizable.

In the end, the final result looks a lot like our year: full and joyful.