Brand Identity, Digital Design, Typography

A visual identity for the world’s most ‘hyped’ technology.

Pentagram worked collaboratively with NLP pioneers Cohere to design its new visual identity, website and playground environment, alongside a suite of super-powered bespoke digital tools created for its design team to use as the company grows.

In 2021, Cohere approached Pentagram with a challenge—to create a visual identity that could bring language AI (also known as natural language processing or NLP) out of the realm of bleeding edge, experimental tech, and into today’s business needs. 

NLP enables computers to understand, organise and generate text. For machine learning engineers in big tech, NLP’s rise has provided the opportunity to create previously impossible applications, as well as uses such as predictive text on messages or auto-generated emails. 

For developers, this functionality requires deep expertise and vast computing power, which are only accessible to a select few. Cohere bridges this gap, and its language AI platform has been built to be used by any software engineer at any company. Founded by Ivan Zhang, Nick Frosst and Aidan Gomez (the co-writer of ‘Attention Is All You Need’, the Google Brain paper), Cohere’s offer is aimed firmly at the businesses enterprises that power our economies. 

Cohere achieves this through output-based models, which can generate copy, classify information and summarize any form of text. Cohere can help many types of businesses, such as law firms that need to find specific information in hundreds of court documents, software providers that need to organise takeaways from thousands of reviews or online communities that need to find hate speech quickly, amongst millions of posts.

New Nature

Pentagram’s design team needed to create a brand that could match Cohere’s offer of game changing, useful language AI. The new identity centres on the concept of ‘new nature’, introducing the fluidity and imperfections of nature to the rationality and efficiency of computing. 

Cohere’s language model offers infinite possibilities to manipulate and produce language at a greater rate than ever before. It’s designed to allow people and computers to learn in tandem, ultimately changing the relationship between humans and machines.

In the same way that the natural environment is represented by a network of intelligent living cells, within the Cohere ecosystem new projects are created, the community grows and learns, and as this happens so do Cohere’s language models. Each cell represents part of Cohere, with users, projects, inputs and models coming together to communicate Cohere’s unique stories.

Visual Identity

The multi-layered visual identity features a number of different elements which channel ‘new nature’. At its root is the Voronoi pattern, which stems from the diagram named after mathematician Georgy Voronoy and appears across the whole visual identity. Voronoi diagrams have both theoretical and practical applications in science and technology and the tessellations are found in everything from a giraffe’s coat to a dragonfly wing. The patterns create infinite possibilities and feature throughout Cohere’s new visual identity.

The Cohere logo comprises a symbol and wordmark, each with cell visual language at its core. The wordmark is carefully crafted using the Cohere typeface. The openings in the characters create cell-like components, representing language itself and the many components that make up the Cohere platform.

The symbol is made up of three cells, each in a different stage of expansion which come together to build something new. These cells dynamically connect to create an abstract letter ‘C’. The imperfect geometry of each of the three shapes celebrates the organic and captures ideas of natural meeting synthetic. These subtle touches help the visual concept of a ‘new nature’ emerge.

Cohere’s new colour palette features natural tones that convey nature (coniferous green, mushroom grey and volcanic black) combined with synthetic hues that link to computing (simulated coral, synthetic quartz and acrylic blue). Gradient atmospheres are an extension of the colour palette, providing more texture within the layouts without being as visually dominating as 3D cells or patterns.

A series of icons act as hardworking functional assets built to perform at a small scale. Each icon consists of a single monolinear line and a drawing inspired by the Voronoi language designed in a 24-pixel square. The team also designed a set of functional UI icons and a set of Endpoint pictograms. These act as shortened visual identifiers that quickly communicate endpoints. A conversation between two blocks, they are built into the cell-based language.

Cohere’s new custom typeface includes headline, outline, text and mono versions. The Headline version features characters with Voronoi cell cuts that are automatically dispersed through the characters as you type. There is a variable version that allows precise control over weight, number and placement of cuts.

Cohere Text has three weights (bold, reg, light) plus italics. Its faux mono style references our digital, code-centric world. Cohere Outline is a one-weight headline typeface built specifically for Cohere For AI, and Cohere Mono is used across code environments and for any code snippets. Small tags and notes bring a touch of contrast and create focus, and special characters and endpoint glyphs are built in for maximum ease of use. 306 different languages are available.


Bringing the ‘New Nature’ concept to life, a suite of tools was created which enables Cohere’s internal marketing and design teams to seamlessly craft compelling ways to communicate the Cohere brand. Using these versatile tools, beautiful marketing materials can easily be created for any on and offline applications. 

As a business grows and requirements change, templates often become outdated. Cohere needed a brand system that would grow with it, and the tools and components were created with high levels of flexibility to ensure this.

The tools created for Cohere include a bespoke plug-in for Figma that enables the Cohere team to create their own Voronoi patterns with ease, plus two layout component libraries and a custom Cinema 4D tool.

The first layout component library creates cells within containers, and features different presets which determine how the cell’s visual language appears. This acts as a starting point, cutting time wasted on routine tasks such as creating rounded corners. The second creates cells as words, with cells that form around the word as you type. Both can be used with Figma to create static assets, or with the After Effects tool to create animated versions.

The design team also created a custom cinema 4D tool. Built using Python, the powerful tool allows the Cohere team to create 3D pebble visuals based on the Voronoi pattern. The tool provides the Cohere team with endless possibilities—the tool renders video and stills and can be used by anyone, as no previous 3D knowledge is needed. It allows for wide or narrow close-ups, multiple numbers of pebbles, and also has the ability to loop. The setup allows the user to move from a micro view setting to a macro view where the cluster of pebbles can be appreciated from a closer view. The user can choose between preset colour palettes or create their own, and they can play with the texture offset or add a glass effect.

Once the foundations of the visual identity were set, Pentagram’s design team brought it to life across the entirety of the Cohere experience, from expressive brand applications to the design of the platform’s website, user dashboard and playground. 

Cohere’s website provides a seamless platform to introduce and access its services. Everything is explained visually, helping potential users to quickly understand what Cohere can offer a business, and how easy and intuitive it is to use. Features include a dashboard designed to give  a personalised experience, a playground area and extensive information for users. The playground encourages users to easily explore Cohere’s different features within a test environment, it lets them save and share code, and provides access to help and support when necessary. The website also contains a wealth of useful information and documentation in the form of blog posts, tutorials, guides and guidelines for responsible usage, all of which can be accessed by anyone visiting the site.

Cohere has created a game-changing product which can immediately benefit businesses everywhere, and Pentagram’s multi-layered visual identity has helped the company bring this breakthrough technology to life in a way that is both genuinely useful and sensitive to its remarkable potential.

Jody Hudson-Powell
Luke Powell
Project team
Ceri Stock
Helena Postigo Matey
Jonathan Quaade
Myungsik Jang
Yurii Khomovskyi
Angelica Yiacoupis
Daniel Kozma
Elif Gurbuz
Fernanda Ruiz
Lou Hisbergue
Amy Joycey
João Miranda
Zuleika Sedgley
Harry Boyd
Adam Heslop
Arnaud Le Roux
Fabio Catapano
Jake Greenwood
Julius Steinhauser
Mat Hill
Matthew Curtis
Zosia Swidlicka
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