The Consilience Project
STUDIO / DESIGNER
New Branding Scheme
Bob Gray (Designer, art director)
Paul Hughes (Art director)
Bobby Tannam (Typographer)
Leah Bredendieck (Designer, illustrator)
Ros Kavanagh (Photographer)
Ciarán Hickey (Developer)
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
The Consilience Project publishes novel research at the leading edges of global risk mitigation, governance design and culture. Their content explores the key challenges and existential threats facing humanity, and the underlying problems with current approaches for addressing them.
The identity needed to account for and be accessible to multiple audiences, from those in positions of influence, government, business and academia to those who are interested in understanding the state of the world from an unbiased point of view. The project acts as an educational resource as well as a publishing platform.
The content published is for any individual, group or institution trying to innovate around global coordination challenges, catastrophic risks and social technologies. The primary aim of the project and indeed the articles published is to clarify and reveal the nature of the metacrisis (interlocking, interrelated problems) to enable comprehensive solutions to global problems.
How the brief was fulfilled
A comprehensive identity system was designed to align with with the Gestalt principals; closure, common fate, continuation, similarity, figure ground, proximity, symmetry and similarity. The logo with its cut-out sections, collage illustrations, and layered imagery are all a part of this system, applied across web, social media and print. The project’s name was informed by the same principles: Consilience, meaning the convergence of evidence from independent sources to form strong conclusions.
The website, which publishes and archives the project’s writing, was designed as a central educational resource for readers. It allows free access to research that would ordinarily be behind a paywall. Long-form articles are The Consilience Project’s primary output, empowering readers in better sense-making and developing collective intelligence. Each has a built-in glossary function, and readers can bookmark, comment and make notes on articles after making a profile. Options to share the article only appear after the reader has reached the half-way point.
Accompanying each article are a triptych of illustrations, to section the feature article for the reader, allowing for a pause along their sense-making journey. The illustrations are all deliberately made using collage and three dimensional forms, to further tie in with the identity’s Gestalt principle origins. Illustrations are backed up with visual and contextual research, and several rounds of art direction, distilling complicated ideas into single iconic objects.
Other illustrative elements include watercolour sketches of clouds before rain, portraits partially hidden by filters, and dog-eared pages forming the notch in the Consilience logo, all literal interpretations of the project’s sense-making aims. These form an integral part of the identity system, with specific internal and external uses for each.
The design solution allows for a wide range of applications, from the public facing articles and podcasts to intelligence briefings addressing organisations and government agencies working within the wider risk mitigation field.
Every element of the identity is connected to everything else, linking constantly back to the Project’s main goal, clarifying the nature of the interlinked problems that form the metacrisis.
What a treat of a design project! The breadth of the system feels limitless and is supported by excellent typography, colour, and composition."