How to Connect People 8,000 Miles Apart

Designing for a multiplatform project about a place you’ve never been, connecting people you’ve never met.

Connecting the Falklands is a project created and led by our Square UK team. The goal was to connect sellers in the remote Falkland Islands (about 950 miles off the coast of Argentina) with the technology to accept credit card payments. In partnership with Mastercard, Square led the way to get these sellers connected and accepting digital payments – many for the first time. Previously, these sellers had only accepted cash payments, and often in foreign currency. As the island only has one bank, this was a major obstacle to financial success.

To commemorate and document this project, Square sent a photo and video team, led by Jane Stockdale, to the Islands to interview the sellers, learn about their lives and businesses, and experience the Falklands firsthand. They traveled over 30 hours by Royal Air Military planes to reach the Falkland Islands.

I was tasked with creating an editorially styled, digital experience that would showcase the beautiful documentaries made from this trip and give visitors to the site a sense of what the Falklands are like, from the breathtaking nature and remote location to the everyday challenges that all business owners share.

Having never been to the Falklands, I spent a lot of time “walking” through the streets via Google Maps. I tried to take note of the unique blend of architecture in Stanley, the capital (and only) city in the Falklands, which is a mix of historical Georgian architecture and mid-century fishing village. I was especially inspired by the different types of arched windows I saw in many of the buildings, particularly St. Mary’s Church and Christ Church Cathedral. I decided to bring this window motif into the design not only as a subtle nod to those familiar with the city, but also as a conceptual device to connect us with a distant place via windows – allowing us to see inside another destination, another way of life.

I used windows as a conceptual device to connect us with a distant place.

The aim of this project is to highlight the beauty and resilience of the Falkland Islands, rather than Square products, so I felt at liberty to select a typeface not immediately recognisable as Square, but still within our brand system so that it’s aligned. For most of the display type, I worked with the Light cut of Cambon, our serif font. It reminded me of lettering I had seen on signage throughout the island, especially on this lovely map at Falklands Helicopter Services.

The photos and videos taken for this project have an easy, natural style while still being documentary in nature. For me, a large part of editorial design is working with photos. On an editorial project, you typically have access to photos from which you can create a narrative.

The way that photos are selected and ordered subtly creates a path that guides the viewer through the story you are trying to tell.

Editorial work also means having the confidence and permission to show off photos of details, or things that may not obviously be connected to your story but help sketch in details about the world you are trying to showcase in your project.

The first sections of the site deal with our introduction to the islands as well as their response to COVID-19 before we arrive at the first film, “Connecting the Falklands”. The photos I selected here were broad in nature – even some aerial photographs – so you start with a macro view of the island. As we move through the page, the photos become increasingly specific as we learn more about the island. In the middle of the page, we come upon a mini-carousel of photos in our window motif, which leads us to modal pages. These deep dives on specific sellers give us an opportunity to see the details in the lives of our business owners and learn more about their creativity, process and ingenuity, simply through the photos we select to present.

The Falkland Islands are an amazing place filled with resiliency, beauty and nature, and I’m proud to bring the stories of these sellers’ strength and resolve to the world outside the Falklands.