Unit 10 – Brief 2: Authentic Visual Identity – Research: Other Multi-sided Indentities

Looking at the links/works that people in the feedback group suggested.

The 17 Sides of a Cultural Identity

Built in 2005 by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA in the city of Porto, Portugal the Casa da Música is, without a doubt, a significant architectural statement — further emphasised by its intense angles and towering presence. By using the building as a visual source, Stefan Sagmeister created a dynamic, faceted and endlessly varied identity — all literally speaking. The resulting logo is perhaps, well, not pretty, but as a vessel for the complete identity and adaptable execution it is a mighty impressive piece of design architecture itself. One on which styles, ideas, themes — specific or broad — can be projected upon. Stefan was generous to share this project with us and show what happens behind the scenes in the realization of this identity.

It seems that using the system taking inspiration of the building to influence a logo seems popular. Perhaps this is due to the fact, the logo becomes very personal and specific. It wont apply to else where. Also by choosing the colours based on the event taking place sounds like a great idea to show the multi purpose use of the building and the company.


Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

When an arts centre in Philadelphia approached us to help find a way to unify all their work under one banner, we thought it would probably be a case of all of their initiatives, projects and activities falling into line. But we quickly discovered that each initiative also wanted their own degree of independence.

In a nutshell, the Pew Center needed the benefits of one unified identity, whilst somehow recognising its work in dance, exhibitions, fellowships, theatre, management, heritage and music. And to make it trickier, they wanted to let the initiatives retain their current names. What you’d have to describe as a challenging brief.

After lengthy discussions, and several unsuccessful design presentations, we began to realise that any of the previous identity ‘models’ were redundant and we needed to think of a new way to express this. We started to think of the centre and its constituent parts a little like ‘cards’ we could shuffle and re-organise. The next step was building a uniquely fluid identity system that allowsΒ flexibility in the core mark (where you see progressively more of the initiatives) and then completely inverted logos for the divisions (shown above).

Pew Center for Arts & Heritage from johnson banks on Vimeo.

Great piece of identity and I think this is because they struggled for so long, and they carried on working until they found something perfect. I think this represents the layers of the institution really well, and shows how they are single parts of the company but build up to something more complete.



The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment had many admirers of their work, but a strangely subdued brand – just an anonymous piece of type and the colour orange which didn’t really encapsulate their work.

One element that had been successful was their choice of acronym: ‘CABE‘. Unlike many other government organisations, their peculiar four-letter acronym had become particularly memorable.

I came across this identity on the branding and identity page on Johnson banks website when looking at the identity before. The shape is very similar to what I have been creating, it’s interesting to see how changing the shape of the booklet can make it instantly inclusive of the brand identity.


MIT Media Lab’s Brilliant New Logo Has 40,000 Permutations

To honor 25 years of backseat-driving robots and vision-scanning iPhonesand touchscreen-keyboard-3-D-display hybrids, the MIT Media Lab tapped Brooklyn-based designers (and erstwhile Media Lab rats) E Roon Kang and Richard The to dream up a fresh visual identity. The result is pure, unadulterated Media Lab: an algorithmic logo that generates a sui generis image for each of the Lab’s sui generis brains. (Cue spazzo nerd gasp.)

MIT Media Lab Identity, 2011 from readyletsgo on Vimeo.

The Lab has transformed from a scruffy operation focused on quaintly enhancing the “digital revolution” into a full-blown brand synonymous with wild experimentation, collaboration, and big-time math geeks. Now, it’s got the graphic design to match.

The spotlights tip a hat to the Media Lab’s rakish spirit of cross-pollination, with each spotlight symbolizing a single individual. “People come from many different backgrounds — they’re engineers, scientists, artists, designers — and have very different ways of thinking, seeing, and working,” The says. “At the lab these people cross paths, collaborate, and inspire each other, and that’s the magic of this place.”

This is also a really interesting way to visualise the idea of multiple and more than one sector in a company. I will definitely be taking inspiration from the identities that I have come across today.


Mori Arts Center 

Mori Arts Center
Spectral Corporate Identity for Mori Arts Center, Tokyo. The logo is comprised of 5 autonomous logos.


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