Brand Identity, Digital Design

Visual identity and website design for a pioneering innovation platform.

Pentagram has created a brand identity for Harambeans, a pioneering platform that inspires innovation ventures and social change across Africa.

The Harambeans network has existed since 2007 supporting African professionals around the world with mentors, feasibility study grants, scholarships, pro bono legal services, and access to venture capital. It supports visionaries who mostly set up purpose led startups to promote social change.

The network works in partnership with Fortune 500 companies and Ivy League universities, and their efforts have been commended by many across the globe, including the Queen of England, Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg.

Building on this inspiring narrative, the visual language and logo created by Pentagram encapsulates the togetherness, dedication and energy of Harambeans; with strong ‘H’ letterform coming together in a powerful monogramed pattern that is greater than the sum of its parts. The symbol also works on its own to reflect the stature and dignity of each Harambean.

Pentagram placed the emphasis on Harambeans commitment towards bringing people, ideas and innovation together in service of Africa’s future, and developed a brand line that acts as a steadfast manifesto for platform: ‘Building Africa’s Future’.

Eschewing worn-out tropes around visual depictions of African identity, the typographically confident brand strike a balance between tradition and innovation, reflecting the community led change-making that is central to Harambeans’ ethos.

The colour palette takes a bright and modern twist on some of the more traditional colours associated with the culture, context, climate and natural environments of Africa. The breadth of the colour palette reflects the diversity of the projects and people which the Harambeans represents.

An intimate photography style captures the Harambeans’ personality, giving the viewer a sense of the individual’s motivation and commitment. These images capture natural, candid moments which demonstrate a real connection between the Harambeans’ and their vision of changing lives and communities in Africa.

Pentagram also designed and developed the Harambeans' website, implementing the brand system to create a welcoming platform that is capable of attracting and engaging stakeholders.

The brand was launched at the House of Lords in November 2018, to an audience that included The Vatican.

Marina Willer
Project team
Stuart Gough
Hamlet Auyeung
Zuleika Sedgley
Marta Gaspar
Kate Blewett
Jenni Kaunisto
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