NHB builds on its roots with the help of TSLA Design

Singapore’s National Heritage Board (NHB) has unveiled a revitalised Roots brand and digital experience via a new logo and a makeover for its website Roots.gov.sg. The refresh is done in line with Roots' fifth anniversary, and aims to build a rich resource that is not only accessible to Singaporeans, but evokes a deeper curiosity and reach into the local heritage. This is also NHB's first major rebrand since the creation of Roots in 2016. 

Done in collaboration with TSLA Design, the new logo (pictured below right) spots a simpler black-and-white typeface. It also does away with the pink box previously (pictured below left). In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a spokesperson from TSLA said the new logo consists of two different typefaces to represent the past and present. The two perfect concentric circles in the logotype are also visually modular and allow for future possibilities in expression as the brand grows, the spokesperson added.

roots logo change

Meanwhile, the revamped Roots website is said to be a one-stop destination for discovering Singapore’s culture and heritage. It brings together content from across NHB's national collection, heritage trails, national monuments, intangible cultural heritage and more. According to Norfaiz Noeryamin, manager (digital), strategic communications and digital division at NHB, the new platform offers fresh content, new features that improve user-friendliness, and also integrates resources from other platforms such as the National Library Board’s Infopedia and the Esplanade’s offstage websites to facilitate information gathering. "With these enhancements, it is now easier than ever for everyone to discover the depth and breadth of Singapore’s heritage," he added.

Roots' rebrand also includes a new brand identity, as well as improved user experience and interface (UX/UI) functions. TSLA said in a press release that the team has also worked on rewriting academic pieces into more engaging articles for all - allowing anyone to discover heritage. TSLA’s scope included branding, web design, UX/UI and extended to integrated marketing. According to a press release, the combined NHB and TSLA team spent "countless hours" auditing, researching and pouring through the site’s web pages, conducting multiple focus groups across different user profiles to organise over 120,000 pieces of content into intuitive categories to help bring out the content and facilitate a better user journey on the site. 

To promote its new Roots website, NHB has also launched a nation-wide virtual treasure hunt. Titled "Heritage Hunter", the contest gets participants searching for easter eggs in the form of golden coins throughout the website, and gives away weekly prizes. To participate in the hunt, users can head to NHB’s Facebook, Instagram or the Roots.gov.sg home page for the first clue and further details. The contest ends 31 March 2021.

“We hear so much about how our nation is young, but this work really opened our eyes to the very rich heritage and lesser-known stories of Singapore,” a TSLA spokesperson said. She added: “Bringing this to life makes us proud that we can help make sure knowledge and information more widely accessible to all.”

Earlier last month, NHB copped flak for modifying an audio clip from an app without attributing to its original creator. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE understands that the Instagram filter, which placed the words "lohei" on users' foreheads, came with two different background music for users to choose from - one of the which was created originally by app founder Koh Beng Liang, and was later modified by NHB. In a Facebook and Instagram post, the NHB apologised for utilising audio from the popular "Dj Beng lohei app" in the brand's “Lohei, Our Way” campaign without crediting the original creator. 

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