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Reimagining a brand

I was approached by Knowledge Commons—at the time under the name Humanities Commons—to create a  new brand identity for the organization as they moved forward and changed their name in order to adapt across disciples outside of the humanities.

They needed to establish a strong visual language that could be repurposed across the board, in print and digital forms. Crucially, the logo needed to be dynamic, layered, show multiplicity, and be accessible.

“We want our brand to come across as strong, fun, bold, modern and cutting edge. Our target audience is people working in academia, but those who are shunning the stuffy traditions and trying to make it a more innovative, exciting place to be.”
Original logo + Final rebranded logo
Repeating Pattern
Logo Exploration 1
Logo Exploration 2

1 |

Already in the first two pages of sketches, I came close to the idea that was ultimately selected and refined. My main focus was on creating organic letter shapes paired with the brand typeface, Atkinson Hyperlegible.

2 |

We looked at a few different style explorations in the first round: Bauhaus inspired, illustrative and academic, and abstract organic.

3 |

We narrowed in on two ideas: The Bauhaus inspired shapes, and an abstract variation of the keystone and arch. In the end, we decided that while we liked the symbolism of the keystone and arch, the modern shapes felt more versatile and bold.

4 |

Once the logo was selected and refined, we worked through the same process with colors, ultimately landing on ivy, verdigris, and gold.

5 |

In addition to the logo, I also created a custom repeating pattern and a small asset library for the project. We incorporated the texture used in the logo into the final pattern to bring it together.

6 |

While it may seem like little remains from the original logo, a dark green is still the dominant color—a nod to their MSU affiliation—and the letter shapes subtly reference the speech bubbles in the original. The new logo is brighter and the logo mark’s overlapping letters add a deeper symbolism to the design.

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