Character has created an easily replicable identity for Women In Innovation, an organisation that aims to close the gender gap in innovation. Taking the idea that female pioneers pave a future for us all, the identity centres around a black line, or path, that weaves across the page intersecting with type.
One of the core goals of the new identity was to make it practical to use, given that WIN is a decentralised, volunteer-run and global organisation. “The reality is that the people using the brand every day wouldn’t necessarily be designers, but that everyone should feel equipped with the elements they need,” Character’s associate design director Gabby Lord tells It’s Nice That. “We didn’t see this as a limitation, in fact, it was a welcomed creative restraint.” The team scoured Google Fonts knowing that Google Slides would be an integral touchpoint of the brand, for example. “Innovation stems from necessity, after all,” Lord says.
The path-inspired identity system has been designed to be versatile, not just in how the graphic elements respond and adapt to different formats but how they can be implemented by non-designers. “We wanted to make the brand as easy to use as possible, while tapping into the innate resourcefulness of their communities,” says Lord. The highlighted text, for example, can be created on a computer or with an yellow marker to highlight elements if members only have access to a black and white print out. “Got yellow paper? Tape? Post-its? Then you’ve immediately got something WIN ‘branded’,” says Lord. “It’s a spectrum of hi- and lo-fi, which keeps things feeling fresh and interesting.”
Throughout the process, the team at Character wanted to showcase the work of female designers. Typography was no exception, with the team opting for two typefaces; Kotta One by Ania Kruk and Yantramanav by Erin McLaughlin. Both are “idiosyncratic on their own but create a rich and flexible system when combined,” says Lord.
The distinctive yellow of the brand has been derived from the American suffrage movement where the yellow sunflower was first used during an 1867 campaign for a Kansas state referendum. “The colour symbolises happiness, positivity, energy, optimism, and enlightenment,” says Lord. “We love that yellow is a primary colour, meaning that it can be mixed to forge new colours.”
The rebrand was officially launched on International Women’s Day (8 March) and comes ahead of a report from WIN, which celebrates 22 women that are currently breaking new ground in their fields, due to be published on 31 March.