Building the platform for a sustainable resource economy

Ensuring human well-being while safeguarding the Earth’s natural resources is one of the defining challenges of our time. We’re working with the Hoffmann Centre to help them achieve their goal of a sustainable resource economy, in which the world’s citizens and the environment can thrive.

Stimulating debate & innovation

Based at Chatham House, the Hoffmann Centre works with thought-leaders in politics, business and research to accelerate the uptake of smart policies, technologies and business models that will reshape the world’s demand for resources and transform the global economy. Applied Works were asked to help realise the Hoffmann Centre’s vision through the creation of a new editorial platform, bringing together key topics for debate to a growing community of thinkers, supporters and enablers.

Hoffmann Centre launch event panel (from left): Bernice Lee, Eben Bayer, Niall Dunne, Kate Hampton, Rob Bailey, Laurence Tubiana, Robin Niblett. Photo: © Suzanne Plunkett 2017


Working closely with the Hoffmann Centre team, we ran a series of workshops, in which we mapped audience groups and structured a hierarchy of editorial themes. This groundwork informed an approach to developing the content strategy and positioning, visual identity, illustration style, infographics, editorial design and user experience.

Visual identity

We partnered with designer Zoë Bather to create a visual identity for the Hoffmann Centre, structured around three core themes: resource demand, the fourth industrial revolution and the land economy. The identity uses a bold primary palette of 4 colours – orange, rust, sea blue and sky blue – that are used across a series of commissioned illustrations and a supporting toolkit of icons, charts and graphic assets.

Illustrations for resource demand, fourth industrial revolution and land economy, by Nathalie Lees

A distinctive type family, Museo, was chosen for its versatility – working equally effectively in the word mark, as a headline font, in paragraph text, or for pull quotes, captions and footnotes. Constructing the identity around a graphic, editorially driven visual language, allows the Hoffmann Centre to easily publish and connect compelling content using a simple, effective suite of assets.

Editorial platform

We designed and built, populated with articles written by the Hoffmann Centre team, visiting fellows at Chatham House and thought-leaders from specific fields of expertise. It acts as a platform for debate – with a clear means to connect with contributors – linking articles, projects and events across a range of interconnected topics.

Long-form articles feature a central column, with asides living in the left and right margins to add context and provide links to related content. A number of different asides can be added, including: author details; pull quotes; headline stats; info panels; and links to articles, events and external content.


Many of the articles require additional infographics and interactives, that are delivered through a suite of supporting visuals, including graphs and charts, carousels, timelines, bubble maps and hotspots.

Extrapolation or saturation? Two future scenarios for China’s steel consumption

We also developed bespoke illustrated interactives – the slides below are taken from an infographic for Professor Tim Benton, who walks us through the land-based interconnections between resources, and the challenges we face in ensuring the multiple uses of land are compatible with a sustainable future.