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THE BULSTRAD EPIC


Unusual task for unusual design. Client: Bulstrad

If we are to define our work into categories based on deadline and volume, the most common task is “project” – the turnaround time is between 1 and 3 months and it covers corporate identity design or a range of packaging types. The next level is “campaign” – it takes between three months and a year. Campaigns cover the creation of a brand from scratch, including a full range of packaging types, advertisement and information materials. They establish the overall guidelines for a significant portion of the client's production for years to come. The most monumental unit of measurement in our work is the “saga” – a full scope of services for a client that covers stretches of time approximating to the human lifespan. It involves multiple projects and campaigns that build the image of the company and its products over the span of decades.

Somewhere between a “campaign” and a “saga” we can place the “epic”. The epic takes place over a number of years too and plays a key role in our client's business. The interesting part is that all companies are able to handle a “project”. The smart and resourceful among them can manage “a campaign”. But very few can pull off an “epic” and a “saga”. It is those who possess strategic thinking skills, high professionalism and excellent personal qualities.

It all started when we won the internal logo-design contest for Bulstrad's 50-year anniversary.

Back in 2010, when our negotiations with Bulstrad about their documentation's design were just starting, we knew that an epic was about to begin. For 8 years now, our studio has been in charge of each and every Bulstrad document's final look: over 60 individual insurance products, including a policy, offer, additions, calculator, accounts, general terms and conditions... Every single document is drafted in two copies and two versions – one for print and one digital. And about ten variations of the changes. Literally, thousands of pages of documents. For every document, in addition to the general terms and conditions, the specifics of each particular insurance product are taken into account. Sudden legislative changes necessitate all sorts of mental gymnastics and magic tricks in order to preserve the logic of processing the documents and the distinctive ”Bulstrad” touch.

The first phase of that epic commenced with a summary of all requirements and practices of Bulstrad's staff. As a result, their documentation received a distinctive design, where a minimalist approach to composition, font and colour determined the documents’ look. Another characteristic feature of Bulstrad stood out – the document's strict internal logic and functionality. The position and look of every single field, square and explanatory text were subject to a system, corresponding with the user’s way of thinking and acting. Bulstrad received simple, correct and easy-to-use documents, each one distinctly corporate.

Полица Булстрад Каско Стандарт. Версия за печат

Bulstrad Casco Standard Policy Print version

The second phase of the epic was the creation of the documents’ digital version. Each field’s look and parameters were tested single-handedly by Bulstrad's executives, which is another characteristic feature of our collaboration: total commitment. By the way, this is true for the majority of our most successful clients.

Once all visual and information parameters were specified, we got down to the backbreaking task of implementing those parameters in all documents – we are talking tens of insurance products, each one having several accompanying documents, each of which drafted in three, four or ten versions until it is ultimately perfect.

An insurance company’s business depends on a wide variety of factors: internal management decisions, new product ideas, legislative changes, technology development, and even down to climate changes. Each one of these factors necessitates changes, improvements, upgrades of the existing document flow. Every change is reflected by the documents, which is why we invented an archiving system, unprecedented in our field. It was then that the system matured and became widespread. And graphic designers had to study the functioning of cash registers in order to figure out how to fit the data from a A4 page into a receipt. Ongoing issues were being resolved: the documents were being used in real-time, on tens of different platforms, by people of various qualifications. Every issue called for a solution as it arouse, and at times it would require fundamental changes in databases or document forms.

One of our main concerns regarding the use of digital forms was the large amount of data traffic due to the selected platform. The task of reducing traffic marked the next chapter of the epic – switching to a simpler and more compact format.

Motor Third Party Liability Insurance Policy Digital version

Полица Гражданска отговорност на автомобилистите. Електронен вариант​​​​​​​

As soon as the improved system was adopted by Bulstrad, the legislation underwent some changes. This allowed for a whole new document drafting model to be developed, which led to a completely different and much more practical data structuring, and that in its turn brought about the creation of a new design and layout. The next step was to carry out tests and incorporate the new look.

Casco Hail Policy Digital version, second version

Полица Каско Градушка. Електронен вариант,
 втора версия

 

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