Parliamentary Ombudsman of Finland

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Design drivers for the the Parliamentary Ombudsman of Finland: heritage, tradition, usability, legibility and transparency of administration.

Assignment

The Parliamentary Ombudsman of Finland “exercises oversight to ensure that public authorities and officials observe the law and fulfil their du­ties in the discharge of their functions”. The aim is also to ensure good administration and the observance of constitutional and human rights.

The first Parliamentary Ombudsman began his work in Finland at the beginning of 1920. Due to this long history certain heritage values were kept in mind when we redesigned the Ombudsman’s visual identity.


Solution

All elements, including symbol, logotype, colours, typography and image narration were fully renewed. The changes made were executed in a subtle manner in order to maintain the recognizable visual language of the Ombudsman. 

Performed actions were strictly based on usability and legibility: many changes were made just to get all vital visual elements reproduced more clearly. For example, the traditional Ombudsman's seal and Ombudsman's symbol went through a complete overhaul as they had many obscure details causing problems both in print and on screen. 

Color palette and typography were aligned to Parliament of Finland's colors and typography. This was intended to communicate the Ombudsman's historical relationship to the Parliament. But, as in the Human Rights Centre's identity the chosen typefaces and styles were used in reversed manner.

Photo narrative was based on art objects that are in connection with the Ombudsman's office. Aimo Katajamäki's "Wood People" was used as an allegory, representing people of Finland. To lighten up the mood in brochures Jukka Lehtinen's "Where the Strawberries Grow" was used as a pictorial motif (photo by Pertti Nisonen). New and more human photo style was introduced in personnel photos, too (all personnel photos taken by Tomas Whitehouse).

The new visual identity will be extended to Ombudsman's website approximately in year 2015.