The Parish Council is launching a new website. It’s had the current one for some time and it was state of the art in its day but recent developments, especially those related to social media, have left it behind a little and it’s appropriate that it gets up to date. We have used the opportunity to do a little thinking about who we are as a parish council, what our ambitions are and how we should be engaging with people and groups who relate to the village in any way. That meant that before we’ve been ready to build the new website we’ve been going through a process which still has some way to run. We started by describing our village and what we expect it to look like in 2020 and beyond. This is an essential corner stone of our neighbourhood plan work and has resulted in what we call the H&I ‘identity and vision’.
This will be on the new website and is currently version 1.0. We expect it to go through several iterations as a part of the Neighbourhood Plan process.
We then invited several designers to look at our identity and vision document and asked them to translate that into a ‘visual identity’ of colours and fonts and a logo. This proved more difficult than we expected because there are no well defined Histon & Impington colours, although there is some link to red, and no single strong image to use as a logo.
In choosing one designer to work with we looked at their connection to the village, understanding of the brief, professional approach to the challenge and creativity and selected Matt Willatt (www.mattwillatt.co.uk). Matt went to IVC, he grew up in Girton and now lives in Orchard Park. It’s Matt’s design that is now being used in the new website.
The elements of Matt’s design are:
• colour: the base colour is a purple which is a combination of the ‘heritage’ red of the villages and the blue of Cambridge. It reflects our view that the unique nature of Histon & Impington is the result of its strong links to the heritage of the original two villages and to its proximity to (but separation from) Cambridge.
• font: Kindersley Street, designed by David Kindersley in Cambridge, is used for titlesand headings. It has good legibility (it is used for street signs and for the signage in Grand Arcade) and is claimed to be ‘commanding yet characterful’. Trebuchet MS regular is used as a secondary typeface on all materials for body copy. It is good for use both online and with printed media (Ed: and is what is being used here).
• logo: a ‘speech bubble’ containing ‘hi’.This emphasises communication, it is informal (to contrast the natural formality of the Parish Council) and youthful, and is a natural fit with web-based media.
It’s our intention to use this new website to increase the two way flow of information between the Parish Council and the village. There will be visibility of all meeting agendas and minutes (as now) plus the Parish Council calendar and its finances. All councillors will be able to post to it and visitors to the site will be able to leave comments.
The new website will be available at www.hisimp.net but will only address the parish council elements of the old one. We will be addressing the community’s needs for a news site and a new directory over the next weeks. We will also be looking to build strong links on-line with other community sites.