When was the last time you witnessed a productive, thoughtful conversation in the comments section of a website? Better yet, when was the last time you participated in one?
Sadly, comment sections are too often commandeered by trolls, bots, and a deluge of scams. Which is a real shame, because their whole purpose is to help foster discussions and create communities around shared interests and inquiries. Today, the majority of our collective public discourse happens online – and too often it feels chaotic at best and toxic at worst. Instead of accepting this as business-as-usual, OpenWeb knew something needed to change.
But this wasn’t the only cultural conundrum OpenWeb hoped to address. They also saw that publishers – the institutions we look to for education, awareness, and accountability – were being squeezed dry by too many social media companies acting as middlemen between publishers’ work and the audiences reading and watching that work.
So OpenWeb merged moderation technology with civic responsibility to create a platform with a purpose — de-trolling digital discourse and helping publishers thrive.
OpenWeb offers publishers digital tools that enable them to host conversations locally instead of losing their viewers to social media platforms through their technology that incentivizes healthier, more substantive conversations.
Through this re-imagination of the “comments” section of publishers’ websites, they turn casual visitors into registered users, driving sustainable revenue for publishers and keeping vital ad revenue from going to social media monopolies.
When we met them, OpenWeb was passionate about their cause, yet less clear about how to share their story with the world. In late 2019, they invited COLLINS to craft visual and verbal identity, as well as a new brand narrative, that would reflect their evolution from an emergent B2B platform into a mission-driven enterprise.
OpenWeb understood that if we want to have better conversations online, we need better hosts — hosts who encourage and incentivize good behavior, not casual cruelty. Who better to serve in this role than publishers themselves?
By equipping publishers with the tools they need to host better conversations, people will seek out their platforms, then stay and talk about what they’ve seen or read. Publishers will grow and thrive. And we will all benefit from the ripple effect positive conversations can have on society at large.
In a category where most moderation providers are seen by publishers as off-the-shelf, interchangeable vendors, OpenWeb needed to be understood as a reliable, valuable partner. A company that cared deeply about the success of publishers. To do this, we crafted an OpenWeb voice that speaks with gravity, urgency, and idealism.
We began with a new symbol that tells a story of exchange, enlightenment, and harmony that can exist within widely differing perspectives. This symbol stands for OpenWeb, as well as its larger mission of improving the quality of conversations online.
As a company with written communication at its core (and the core of its publisher partners) we borrowed from bold, striking, typographic headline styles of early 20th-century newspapers, a vernacular familiar to publishers, that would speak to them in a provocative voice that also conveyed trust.
We also found new tools to visualize OpenWeb’s products and the conversations people are having on them. We introduced a unique design and visual system that mirrors the dichotomy of different POVs and the growth that can happen through their exchange.
With their new story, identity and voice, OpenWeb is on its way to fulfilling the promise of its name – creating a more open web to exchange ideas, civilly – and restoring more power to publishers along the way.
- Dashiell Alison
- Ian Aronson
- Megan Bowker
- Madeleine Carrucan
- Tom Elia
- Tomas Markevicius
- Eric Park
- Barney Stepney
- Niamh Walsh
- Tom Wilder
- Roee Goldberg
- Tomer Inbar
- Nadav Shoval