Brand Identity

Visual identity for one of Britain's most prolific innovation foundations that is inspired by an ecosystem of kinetic planets.

Nesta is an innovation foundation that backs new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time. Currently run by Geoff Mulgan - the head of policy in the Prime Minister's office under Tony Blair and Chief Adviser to Gordon Brown - Nesta sees innovation as the key to human progress, prosperity and happiness.

Nesta is an ignitor and incubator for social change. Its initiatives include the £10m Longitude Prize challenge fund to help tackle the threat of antibiotic resistance and Make Things Do Stuff, a national education programme designed to help young people understand technology.

Nesta exists in relation to others, operating on a sliding scale of visibility, sometimes taking the lead in projects, and sometimes staying in the background. It ignites, partners, endorses, leads, facilitates and shapes, depending upon the context and perspective of a project. Its new identity, designed by Pentagram, comes directly from the purpose and personality of the organisation and is a visual representation of its multifaceted ecosystem.

Pentagram are very proud to work for the foundation behind some of the most societally beneficial innovations in the UK. Nesta’s ecosystem expresses a rich universe of co-creation with the organisations they invest in and the collective creativity that comes out of it.

The logo visual system, made from a combination of separate floating shapes, represents the organisation’s way of working. There are deliberate gaps and splits in the shapes, creating the moments of friction, movement and invention that are essential to Nesta’s work. The overall effect is an effervescent energy that breeds constant action.

The identity reflects Nesta’s flexible personality by presenting it as universe of planets that shift and change according to your point of view. It is inspired by the avant-garde artwork of Kasimir Malevich and the mobiles of Alexander Calder. This visual style has been applied across all of Nesta’s sub-brands.

The aesthetics of the brand are modern but classic, as Nesta is not a trendy or unpractised start-up organisation. Its solid experience guarantees that its mission and vision is long term and the brand identity’s timeless quality reflects this.

Pentagram has also developed a brand architecture for Nesta, including a new strapline for the brand, ‘See Spark Shape Shift’. This unconventional strapline uses broken telegraphic language that expresses the energy and possibilities that flow through Nesta and all its work.

Brand Identity
Marina Willer
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