Ardian is Europe’s largest private investment house, managing or advising over $100bn in assets. Rooted in its values — excellence, loyalty & entrepreneurship — Ardian is dedicated to creating sustainable value for stakeholders and delivering positive social impact across global communities.

As a growing company with vast international reach, Ardian needed a completely renewed digital presence that matched their professionalism and progress in business. The website and digital touchpoints needed to be content-rich, sharp, easy to navigate and representative of their growing organisation.

We worked with them to revise their brand position strategy, brand content strategy, information architecture, designs and design guides, website, emails, social media and more.

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Credits: Designed with a team at Seenk. Development by Ecedi.

Revising Web Architecture: a different brand story

The old website, built in the early 2000s, represented a classic structure of “Company”, “Activity”, “Press” – the bare essentials.

We dived into Ardian’s history, read their brochures, welcome books, value systems, annual reports and met with their teams, to uncover an entirely different Ardian. Ardian is built by incredibly interesting and motivated people; is rich in values and drive; has a wide breadth of expertise and engages in internal and social growth.

By introducing new content (Insights, Careers, Sustainability, Vision), re-organising old content, rewording sections and targeting their major user groups, we built a new web architecture. Our vision was to have a navigation that itself told a brief story of Ardian.

Modern Visual Codes

What was once a dense, fixed-width, boxy website, we turned into a spacious, flowing, airy new design. Capitalising on the brand’s existing visual assets – coral, navy, and Futura – we took inspiration from magazines and reports to deliver bite-sized information that cohesively built a long-format story.

A focus on photography, representing the human relationships in private equity, and presenting large spaces, open cities and a horizon for progress was also a focus of the new design.

Complexity addressed with systematic design

Even during the project’s initial phases, we watched Ardian and its communication needs evolve. This presented us with a need for a unique level of flexibility as we built the website: we were not designing for their content or business today, but for the potential of tomorrow.

Going beyond the basic page-builder approach of designing a large variety of blocks for their content, we structured a page-logic system that was tied into the zoning of their web architecture. Automated content styles for the top parts of the page based on page level, and automated content at the bottom of the page based on page zone, to increase intra-site linking.
An extensive UI and development guidelines document was written, covering hundreds of elements and interactions, and over 150 page blocks.

A continued collaboration

To accompany their new website and nourish their growing image as a leader in the industry in terms of approach, innovation and contribution to society, we built a complete ecosystem of digital communication designs and a strategic communication plan for Ardian.

We worked on content strategy and design for emails (internal and external), newsletters, social media, their newsroom, team photography, city photography and motion design; delivering guidelines, templates and producing content.

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