Towards the end of last year, Tom from Euromoney Thought Leadership got in touch to tell me about an exciting new project they had coming up. Their client, international law firm Baker & McKenzie, wanted to commission a survey on artificial intelligence and the implications for the financial markets. Not only that, but they wanted the report design to reflect the subject and not just be another stale white paper; they wanted something fresh and exciting. The game was afoot.
I was already looking into new ways of online storytelling as a potential medium for The Economist Educational Foundation. The BBC and Telegraph were starting to use scrolling stories with lots of imagery and videos to make complex topics more accessible, including this terrifying look at the Nairobi Westgate Mall massacre. As I collected these examples, I realised that a lot of them were built using an online app called Shorthand – it allows scrolling images, a fully responsive site, and a simple drag and drop build. I pitched the idea to Tom, who pitched it to Baker & McKenzie, and they were on board straight away.
So next step - the design of the piece. There were two initial challenges:
Challenge 1: the report needed to be co-branded to reflect both the Euromoney Thought Leadership brand (who were the lead) but also tie into the Baker & McKenzie brand.
Challenge 2: the subject of artificial intelligence and risk and regulation is a bit of an abstract concept. I was convinced that I didn't want any robots or matrix-style binary code. However the title of the report was Ghosts in the Machine, which had an intriguing ring to it. It was mysterious and secretive.
// THE IDEA
The ghost in the machine. Something which is there but unseen.
Artificial intelligence. A neural network reaching across technology.
// THE EXECUTION
Explore the idea of an AI ghost using negative space. By showing what is there, you can also show what is not there. Intricate networks radiate out providing pathways for the new technology to act across. A typographical solution, using the key identity colours of both brands, that shows connection and communication.
For the rest of the report, I used elements of the connected network to continue the theme
You can see the full report here
The feedback has so far been incredible, from Euromoney's clients and Baker's team and stakeholders, with no small amount of the credit due to the Shorthand platform for making such a great product. Thanks chaps!