Bringing the State of European Tech 2022 to life with Atomico
The tech landscape moves with the blink of an eye. New tools and trends are constantly emerging, and before you know it, what was the talk of the (tech) town yesterday has become obsolete today. No doubt it can be difficult to keep up with this ever-evolving industry.
That’s why for the past eight years, leading European venture capital firm Atomico publishes the State of European Tech (SoET): the definitive, data-led report on the European tech ecosystem. SoET consolidates data and insights from over 4000 respondents all over Europe into a comprehensive report that outlines trends, opportunities, risks, and threats to the European tech space.
Last year, Atomico was looking for a new partner to design the 2022 SoET report and develop a new website that hosts the report and offers an unparalleled digital reading experience. Since SoET 2022 would be the largest report yet, Atomico went the extra mile and decided to host their first ever SoET Live event to launch the report. They needed a show-stopping new identity for SoET 2022, which would be used to design the report, website, and event assets.
The first leg of the project focused on developing SoET’s new identity. We wanted the new look to represent SoET’s data-driven nature while facilitating an exceptional reading experience across the print and digital report.
After multiple rounds of testing, we settled on a dark mode base for the digital report, while the print report is designed in light mode. This ensures optimal legibility on each medium. We chose Atomico’s turquoise blue as SoET’s primary color to ensure SoET’s identity was recognizable as part of the Atomico brand. We contrasted this with a bright orange and introduced color gradients. To stay true to the SoET tradition, we kept the same logo and font from previous editions.
One of the key visual elements of SoET’s identity are the blobs representing data. These blobs resemble an organism’s cells and are a metaphor for the constant evolution of the tech industry - more on that later!
With SoET’s new look ready to make waves, it was time to translate the identity into a next-level print and digital experience.
Designing the report
Atomico’s target audience comprises founders and tech investors that require high-quality information on the tech landscape but don’t necessarily have the time to pore over 400+ pages of data sets, insights, and analyses. Which is why our strategy was centered on optimizing the reading experience.
One way we did this is by taking a digital design approach to the print report. The book is designed with index notches that resemble a website menu and provide readers with quick navigation. This way, instead of flipping through the entire report, readers can easily steer to a specific chapter or section. Just like clicking a button.
Each chapter starts with an introduction, followed by a summary of the main points. To add an even more digital touch, we included estimated reading times for every chapter. The blobs are featured in each chapter and become larger as readers progress through the report to symbolize the increasing complexity of the data.
Turning the report into a compelling digital experience was the next step. Typical industry reports tend to focus solely on the experience, and as a result legibility is often overlooked. For the SoET website, we focused on combining ease of reading with aesthetic appeal, rather than choosing one over the other.
The website offers simple booklike navigation and splits up the vast amounts of data into various chapters and topics. Content can be accessed in various ways, from search engine queries to specific reading tracks. The reading tracks are inspired by Spotify playlists: they consolidate information from different chapters into quick insights on specific topics, like women in tech, the state of diversity in tech, and climate tech.
One of my favorite parts of the website is the homepage, where the data blobs come alive and float around. Take a look yourself by checking out the website Awwwards. We’re currently awaiting the jury’s final vote, which will be announced in March.
Launching SoET Live
The website and physical report were launched at a dedicated event hosted by Atomico at the prestigious BAFTA in London. 200 guests, founders, investors, and renowned speakers came together to discuss the state of European tech and celebrate the launch of SoET 2022. To prepare for the event, we delivered a range of promotional materials that were used in the days leading up to the event, as well as during the event.
“Our collaboration with Atomico is definitely one for the books,” says Michael Vromans, Chief Creative Officer at DPDK Digital Agency. “Building SoET’s new identity and making it come alive across so many different mediums was a challenge we thoroughly enjoyed tackling. The success of SoET 2022 has led to our next venture with Atomico: SoET 2023. We’ve already got a few things in the works…which I’ll keep close to the vest - for now.”
Working with Atomico has been rewarding to say the least. The project was a huge team effort, and we’re grateful to work with a client with the same dedication towards exceptionalism and thirst for innovation. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store for SoET 2023!