Brand Identity, Digital Design

A new brand identity for an AI company that helps its clients make better business decisions.

Secondmind is a Cambridge-based AI company that helps people make better business decisions. Using years of practical machine learning research and experience in mathematical modelling, Secondmind collaborates with clients to get a better outcome, achieve more, and waste less.

Pentagram has designed Secondmind’s new brand identity and website. Referencing the beauty of mathematics, the brand identity visualises how complex data is simplified and made understandable using the Secondmind platform. 

The design team created the Secondmind symbol using a 3D mathematical function (r(u, v) = {u cos(v), u sin(v), u cos(v/3)} 0≤u≤1 0≤v≤12), which creates a precise and engineered shape, and echoes the ‘S’ of Secondmind.

Three other mathematical shapes were designed to live alongside the core symbol—these will be used for future products, and are the base forms from which an extended library of key imagery was created. This features a variety of crops of the symbols at their simplest or more complex states. The rotating symbol animation is used across all core brand outputs and can be found on web and presentations. The symbol family animations can be used to explain the idea of transitioning from complexity to simplicity and are used as supporting elements.

The visual language uses skeuomorphism to create a graphic system which is grounded in real-life. Seamlessly matching the rest of the UI system, the information design uses the same skeuomorphic principles to emphasise and categorise information. 

The team designed a set of bespoke icons for Secondmind which are inspired by the thick vertical strokes and thin horizontal strokes often found in mathematical typefaces. These are used across both digital and physical applications.

Depending on the context, the brand can swap between a ‘light mode’ used for less technical communications and a ‘dark mode’ for more complex information. The primary colour palette features white and shades of grey and purple, with an extended colour palette of pink, orange, mint and coral.

Two contrasting typefaces are used throughout. Commercial Type’s Algebra Display Regular 2—a broad-shouldered slab serif which references textbooks and academia—is used for headlines, with subheadings and quotes set in Algebra Display Regular. This contrasts with the warmer, rational, dependable Forma DJR which is used for body copy.

The streamlined new identity strikes the perfect balance, reflecting Secondmind’s mission to help customers translate complex problems and data into easy-to-understand information, and to help them make important decisions confidently and quickly.

Luke Powell
Jody Hudson-Powell
Project team
Margherita Papini
Nav Bhatia
Ben Leonard
Luis Gutiérrez
Amy Joycey
Simple Revolution, Strategy
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