The Research Council of Norway, a government agency under the Ministry of Education, is dedicated to fostering innovative thinking that addresses global needs.
Allocating approximately $1B annually to fund research and scientific advancement, they needed a unified brand identity system that could effectively communicate their role and mission, as well as increase awareness of their broad work.
The Research Council's vision is "empowering ideas for a better world". We created a design concept that conveys how they do this: by connecting the scientific community with resources, institutions, corporations and talent.
Connections enabling change.
Inspired by the idea of effective connections, we developed a custom-built Dubins Path-based generator, which identifies the shortest path between two points. By picking a series of random points in a grid, then using Dubins path to connect them all, it can generate a near-infinite number of different shapes.
We generated a curated library of icons that serve both as logos for the motherbrand and selected sub-brands, and also inform a series of 3D graphics, illustrations and physical objects across the identity.
A lot of the work went into creation of presentation templates, reports, posters, roll-ups, flags, screensavers, video call backgrounds, Instagram stories, etc. Overall over 100 templates that the 38 sub-brands need and use every day.
Forskningsdagene (a Research Festival) also got its own twist on the identity, with a more festive look. The core foundation of The Research Council Of Norway’s identity is still present, but with just an extra colour and a unique pair of 3D-themed images, it can stand out once a year to celebrate research and science with the whole Norwegian community.
Making this visual identity has been a huge, instructive and fun undertaking, and perhaps one of the most interesting things we discovered while working on it, was all the different ways in which math can be converted into different visual objects. One of the key elements has been the illustrations. For the main brand, we have been working closely with Camilo Huinca (@onlyjoke), who has created a large library of Dubins path-inspired illustrations, highlighting all the different areas where The Norwegian Research Council is present.
For Nysgjerrigper (Research Council's program for elementary school students and teachers) we produced “Dubins’ Zoo”, a little world of illustrations targeted towards younger audiences. With simple strokes, the generated shapes were transformed into living beings and objects - everything from a rotating globe to a cuddly rabbit. Furthermore, all the shapes have been animated and created in a way that allows them to function as standalone illustrations or to be combined into larger, more complex compositions.
Forskningsdagene (a Research Festival) also got its own twist on the identity, with a more festive look. The core foundation of The Research Council Of Norway's identity is still present, but with just an extra colour and a unique pair of 3D-themed images, it can stand out once a year to celebrate research and science with the whole Norwegian community.
Last but not least, in collaboration with @NorwegianTrash_no, we have created four different plaques that The Norwegian Research Council awards to researchers for their outstanding work in their respective fields - essentially the Michelin star of Norwegian research centers. The plaque is made from 100% plastic waste. Everything from yogurt cups, electronic waste and disposable cutlery to soda caps are crushed into small pieces before being pressed into sheets. By using these materials, we want to demonstrate how plastic waste can be reused and transformed into something of beauty and of value.