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Creating a family of online and print publications


To tie in with its 40th anniversary, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL, planned a restructuring and repositioning of some of its publications. The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is one of the world’s leading research institutions, and Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences. EMBL wants to keep attracting Europe’s best young scientists and share their achievements with a variety of audiences on a regular basis.

The Challenge

The aim of this project was not only to better tailor existing publications to their target audiences, but also to increase the appeal and visibility of EMBL publications, giving them a fresh, modern look. And in the process make publications more clearly recognizable as a uniform family of products. By making better use of the online and print channels, we optimized the (re)use of content and accessibility.

The Process

We started out with a workshop with EMBL’s communication and IT departments to determine priorities and identify the most important target groups and messages. In preparation for this workshop we interviewed a few important stakeholders and reviewed the current content and competition.

The collaboration with Edenspiekermann’s bureau in Amsterdam was very sucessful in every respect. The selection criteria were quite challenging as we were looking for a partner with expertise across a wide spectrum of tools, ranging from design and print production to developing digital tools, like websites and newsportals. Edenspiekermann was able to cover all these areas equally well. What I appreciated the most during the one year collaboration was their professional consultancy and clear focus on the objectives.

– Lena Raditsch, Head of Communications –
European Molecular Biology Laboratory

The Result

A clear family of publications consisting of an easy to manage online news website, print magazine and eNewsletter, and a new look for the annual report and website. A clear set of colors, typefaces, form language, and style guidelines for photography, infographics and illustrations.

The corporate website,
The corporate website,

The online news website, EMBLetc.

Almost every week the scientists at the five EMBL sites publish groundbreaking results, but the current website offered little opportunity to showcase this news. So together with EMBL editors we developed a news website that is appealing, dynamic and easy to manage.

The EMBLetc. newsportal, and the printed magazine
The EMBLetc. newsportal, and the printed magazine

In combination with regular eNewsletters and a quarterly print magazine, the news website forms a cohesive family of news outlets that engage readers across platforms, crosslinking to each other. EMBL alumni are spread all over Europe’s universities and research institutes and this alumni network is an important target group for EMBL, so alumni have a dedicated section in the online portal and print magazine.

Magazine covers: photo’s EMBL and Jon Mold Illustrations: Aad Goudappel