A conversation with web-designer Bernd Schermuly
Since 18th March 2020 Diospi Suyana presents itself with a new web appearance. The website is the result of several weeks of hard work. Read the following interview between Klaus John and the architect of our corporate identity:
KJ: Bernd, when did you first come across Diospi Suyana?
BS: It was in the Spring 2004 when the head of the printing company Druckerei Dinges & Frick called me and said that a special brochure was needed. “A doctor-couple and a few friends want to found a missionary hospital in Peru and need some help with their publicity work!” I think Mr Dinges remembered me as I work a lot for the Catholic and Protestant Churches. In the ensuing phone-call he told me that you were going to pay me a visit.
KJ: You earn your living as a graphic-designer. Why do you support Diospi Suyana with your know-how?
BS: When you presented your project to me in my office back then, I was seriously impressed by the idea. But to be honest, I was not 100% sure that this dream would truly be realised. I agreed to help, but was not going to do it buckshee. I said: “I would love to help you, but I have to earn my money with my design-skills!” We agreed a price that was fair for both sides and I loved designing the brochure. With hindsight my product helped a great deal in spreading the word about Diospi Suyana.
KJ: Suddenly in 2004 Diospi Suyana sparked your interest and before long it had become a matter close to your heart.
BS: Definitely. After the first brochure Diospi Suyana had me hooked. For almost 15 years now I have worked for the missionary hospital on a voluntary basis. It is also due to your enthusiasm with which you infected me. Once while we were sitting in your office Udo Klemenz called. Your conversation was brimming over with enthusiasm. Later Udo invested a total of ten years in Curahuasi. I felt that something very special was happening at Diospi Suyana.
KJ: You created Diospi Suyana’s corporate identity. The result was a roaring success. How do you see it?
BS: Designers know that corporate design leads to corporate identity. It is the marketing department’s dream and is ultimately unrealisable unless one component is included: truthfulness. And it is in this point that our and my actions differ from propaganda. This content strives for truthfulness. Diospi Suyana is nothing for those on an ego-trip. It simply involves making God’s work in the world visible. And all of us who are in some way connected to Diospi Suyana strive to do this. I feel associated with you and rejoice for everyone who is shown Diospi Suyana’s help.
KJ: Truthfulness. You see integrity and genuineness at Diospi Suyana?
BS: Yes, indeed I do. Back in 1999 I heard Bazon Brock, an aesthetics professor in Wuppertal, say, one can compare the internet with museums and archives, the cathedrals giving rubbish a home and designers beautify the rubbish so that one reveres it. Looking at content online I have to agree: form beats content 5 to 3.
But that should not mean that I leave the good form. I love designing and making things beautiful, most of all those things whose content has quality. Diospi Suyana has been doing this for all these years.
KJ: For our friends the new website is similar to the old one. What exactly have you changed?
BS: I gave the new website a slightly changed re-design. The user should immediately feel at home on it. Its operation is – as on all great websites – self-explanatory. The surface conceals a totally new technology which should be able to fulfil all wishes for the next five years.
The pages have been optimised to be shown on Smartphones and Tablets which in future more and more people will use to access websites. We are ready for this. The homepage has dynamic boxes for all important contents, e.g. one can load “Current News”, “Press Articles”, “Media”, i.e. film and audio with one click. YouTube and self-made videos and audio contributions are now directly shown in the article and can be played directly. We have included various security measures so that neither YouTube nor Google can track you when you visit our website. Only once you have clicked on the YouTube video for the second time are you connected with YouTube and can watch the video. Even in that case we have tried to ensure that as few data as possible is passed on to YouTube. According to YouTube these embedments are GDPR-compliant.
KJ: Cross you heart: how many hours did you spend for us at your desk?
BS: To be honest I stopped counting at some point. I love doing this work voluntarily and do not want to turn my every action in a sum of money. But as you always want to know everything exactly I would say: the monetary value is somewhere between €15 and €20,000. The following thought is extremely sympathetic to me: I stand behind it and I love watching Diospi Suyana growing and thriving.
KJ: You are a Catholic. Why is your faith important to you?
BS: Yes, I am a Catholic with a bit of Protestantism thrown in for good measure. My great-grandmother was a Protestant. Her husband ensured that she would be able to live in a Catholic village. I have learnt that we are connected with God and people even if we come from different faith-backgrounds. This knowledge carries us through and helps us to do good works. Furthermore, it gives me lots of joy.
KJ: That is a beautiful way of putting it. One final statement?
BS: I am thankful to be a part of Diospi Suyana. All doctors, carers, nurses, teachers, everyone who works in Curahuasi do it for the people in Curahuasi, but also for me. We work together, they in Peru, I in Wiesbaden and we remain closely interconnected.
KJ: As a Peruvian I can only answer: “Mil gracias!”