By now, I’m sure you’ve seen our new look. The big reveal happened a few weeks ago when we launched our new website, and I’m super proud of what we’ve designed. My colleague Alvaro wrote about the six things you need to know about Akvo in 2019, but you might wonder how the visual rebrand fits in with this, and how these changes reflect who we are as an organisation today.
As you may expect, this was not a project with a quick turn around. It was a long process, which started about two years ago when I got this niggling feeling that Akvo’s visual style and brand were lacking something. I kept picking at it, like a thread that pops out of a woollen jumper, until the whole thing unravelled. As a team, we deconstructed and then reconstructed our visual brand until we found a style that fits with who we are today.
When Akvo launched in 2008, our aim was to introduce IT tools to international development - specifically the water sector - to help speed up reporting processes and encourage knowledge sharing. The logo and identity that were created back then were fitting. The logo was blue, referring to the water sector. It was a URL (Akvo.org), which reflected the online nature of our tools. The font for the logo was round and curvy, bringing softness to IT, which at the time was alien to the international development sector.
Nowadays, however, these things no longer apply to us. Technology is widely accepted and adopted in the sector. We don’t just do tools anymore, but have a wide range of services and a methodology to help our partners go from data to decision. Finally, we don’t just work in water and sanitation. We have expertise in smallholder farming, sustainable energy, and much more.
Early in 2018, I blogged about the first steps in this process. The work described in that post was the basis for reconstructing our brand. We want all of our materials to communicate clarity, dynamism and impact, because, at our core, that is what we bring to the table when we work with partners. That meant letting go of all the familiar visual elements we had and starting afresh.
We’ve brought in clarity by pulling together a much smaller colour palette, adding lots of white space and using crisp and fresh images. Dynamism is communicated through a mixture of heavy and light fonts and bold colours. Impact is created by pulling all of these elements together and combining them with bright highlights, dynamic patterns and a new logo.