This brisk, concise online presentation does an inventive and compelling job of selling legal and tax services to technology entrepreneurs.
Patentise is a division of intellectual property lawyers EIP, created to help patent owners improve their tax relief under a scheme offered by the British government.
The scheme, called Patent Box, offers a reduction to tax on profits earned as a result of owning patents. Patentise’s focus is on maximizing a firm’s eligibility for the relief scheme.
This website is the first critical stage in engaging an informed but busy target group, who may prefer to think creatively than financially, and stimulating them to open a discussion with Patentise’s consultant IP lawyers. Its role is pretty much that of an introductory sales presentation, and from that point of view feels very familiar. Structured as a linear sequence based around five questions relating to the relief scheme and why potential clients should choose Patentise, it does several things very well – not least its use of webfonts, and by extension, the typography and layout.
Pre-webfonts, this kind of snappy, dynamic presentation would have only been possible using system fonts, meaning a weaker brand experience, or Flash, resulting in a poorer user experience and no search optimization. For a site that is focused on driving sales leads, neither of those compromises is acceptable anymore.
The site uses two weights of Linotype’s DIN Next throughout. It is a sensible, uncontroversial yet informed choice; it indicates some imagination on the part of the designers who clearly needed to avoid anything that looked like Helvetica while retaining that evenness of stroke and a rationalist construction. Thanks to its roots in the German Institute for Standardization (Deutsches Institut für Normung), it has the right air of officialdom for a brand selling services related to a national government. Interestingly, issues of national tradition have been ignored. DIN’s British counterpart would have been Gill Sans which, as the typeface long used by the UK Government, has the right associations. But as a design decision, its humanist form probably wouldn’t have had such a solid presence in this visually dramatic environment.
Staging the Experience
The reader interacts with and consumes the content in a linear experience controlled by vertical scrolling. The designers have staged this content using techniques that would feel more familiar to composers or film producers: timing and rhythm; consistency and disruption; balance and counterpoint; loud versus quiet; and the typographic layout is central to them all here.
The yellow background seen in previous screens is replaced by white, but the centralised text acts as a consistent element.
The alternation between large and small paragraphs feels like a rhythmic pattern.
Using a white background for this section gives the yellow added importance when it is used as an accent.
The return of the yellow background marks the start of a new section.
After all the centred symmetry of the previous sections, this asymmetry creates a sense of disruption, like a minor note at the end of a repeating refrain that had taught the listener/reader to expect a major note. Emphasis is created by upsetting the established pattern.
This statement is the presentation’s concluding point, yet it is kept small, emphasis provided by the large area of (profitable) yellow. The small line of text acts almost like a counterpoint, a delicate melody played over a rumbling bassline.