Isomorphic Labs

Brand Identity, Digital Design, Typography

Beautiful Symmetry: Pentagram’s new website for Isomorphic Labs creates a new visual language for digital biology.

Traditionally, drug discovery is long, expensive and risky. But Isomorphic Labs - a member of the Alphabet family, and led by AI pioneer Demis Hassabis - believes machine learning can transform that process for good.

Isomorphic Labs is a digital biology company working to redefine drug discovery with the power of artificial intelligence. The company was founded and is led by Demis Hassabis, who also co-founded and leads Google DeepMind. It aims to usher in a new era of biomedical breakthroughs and find cures for some of humanity’s most devastating diseases.

The company does this by deploying digital biology in the belief that there is a fundamental symmetry between the biological world, and the world of information science. Isomorphic Labs’ AI techniques and systems are powerful tools for the prediction of certain complex biological phenomena and are being applied to various scientific discovery programmes.

It was Demis’ notion of a remarkable symmetry between the digital and biological that propelled the creative partnership between Isomorphic Labs and Pentagram.

Working closely with Isomorphic Lab’s leadership, Pentagram’s creative team began with a fresh brand idea in ‘Seek to Find’; intentionally understated to reflect the humility, purpose and scientific pursuit behind Isomorphic Labs’ brave mission.

The brand idea itself has its own symmetry, embodying isomorphism in the way that ‘seek’ and ‘find’ are each a mirror or translation of the other. It works on another level too: supporting the company’s work in its first two years to build its technology platform and recruit world-class technical, scientific and operational talent to its locations in London and Lausanne.

The design team went on to dramatise Isomorphic Labs’ search for an isomorphic mapping between biology and information science brought to life as a dance; the visual language is led by the balletic movement of digital cubes that endlessly reconfigure into new structures, tireless in their pursuit of a state of mirroring with the natural world.

Alongside evolving the brand system’s colour palette, gradients and a set of icons to work with the typography, Pentagram refined the existing logo and created a dynamic symbol animation. The entire identity is scaffolded by an underlying informational grid.

The core colour palette is minimal, leaving room for the gradients and graphic language to bring expressive elements to the identity. The extended colour palette allows for the clear and effective communication of large amounts of information and data. The ambiences are constructed using just two colours from the core and extended palettes, and can work as standalone elements or as background for the 3D elements.

Isomorphic Labs’ new typeface is Klim Type Foundry’s Söhne; its elegant strokes, rounded curvatures and slight narrowness perfectly mirror the blocks of the visual identity.

The design team also created a set of numerals and pictograms, reflecting the visual language of the core brand symbol. A selection of these exist as motion assets for use in particular digital applications.

The dynamic grid grounds the concept of the identity in space, with infinite compositional possibilities to contain information and content. Built following the same logic that creates the grid, the UI language comprises a system divided into three elements: foundations (the grid, spacing, padding, motion icons, type and hierarchy), molecules (functional elements like navs, the footer, dropdowns and CTAs) and modules (structures built under the foundations, using the molecules).

The 3D language is born out of the conjunction of biology and technology, and has three colour expressions. In fluid motion, the individual blocks create clusters that represent artificial intelligence’s search to accurately mirror biological and chemical processes that will inform and seek to improve the drug discovery process.

The bespoke 3D tool, developed in collaboration with Variable's Marcin Ignac, allows the Isomorphic Labs team to create unique 3D visuals that run in real time, allowing users to output 4K and higher stills and video. A variety of parameters allow control over a noise field, allowing users to compose a wide variety of differences within scenes.

The tone of voice is highly distinctive for the sector, choosing to reject jargon-heavy health and tech industry styles in favour of writing that is ‘Bright, Brief and Human’. The result is a website that demonstrates a culture of ambition, belonging and shared purpose with language that is fresh, inclusive and inspiring.

As well as writing and designing the UX and the UI for the site, Pentagram also managed the build of Isomorphic Lab’s website by On Associates. For Isomorphic Lab’s rebrand launch, Pentagram produced both online and offline assets, including business cards and an on-screen graphics package for use in the launch video campaign, on social media and the company’s blog.

Isomorphic Labs and logos are trademarks of Isomorphic Labs Limited.

Luke Powell
Jody Hudson-Powell
Project team
Ashley Johnson
Ceri Stock
Stefan van Rijn
Helena Postigo Matey
Jonathan Quaade
Jamie Rickett
Myungsik Jang
Yurii Khomovskyi
Michael Mason
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