Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour
In 2018, Universität Konstanz had two academic groups named as Clusters of Excellence, setting up the University to be designated as one of 11 German Centers of Excellence in 2019. The clusters, as new collaborations across existing departments, needed to establish visual identities to help them present work, recruit new researchers, and foster new collaborations. Given the University’s existing strong black, white, and blue identity, we worked to maintain a high level of visual cohesiveness with the parent institution while also establishing some bold new hallmarks for the individual Clusters.
From their site:
“We aim to spearhead an integrated study of collective behaviour across a wide range of species, including humans. Our research is interdisciplinary in scope – combining biology, social psychology, behavioural economics, sociology, physics, and computer science – but united in a quantitative approach that involves extensive collection and sophisticated analysis of empirical data. It is built on new tools – including an Imaging Hangar for the design of virtual and reactive environments, and a space-borne animal tracking system (ICARUS) – enabling the study of collectives in unparalleled depth.”
The collection of individuals or “fish” in the logo became the atom of the identity, giving us a single building block with which we are free to illustrate, manipulate, duplicate, and tessellate to create scenes and patterns as needed. In order to differentiate at times from the monochromatic identity of the University, we swung in the opposite direction, using the type of rainbow palette often found in the vibrant visualizations borne out of the cluster research. Given the undeniable “fish-ness” of the shape that was chosen, and in light of the fact that some of the departments deal with non-biological systems, the distinctive rainbow allows us to use less specific shapes without breaking too far away from the foundational look.
The brand was unveiled when the Cluster and University hosted the ASAB Summer conference in late August, allowing us to push our new system onto registration materials, presentation templates, conference apparel, and attendee swag to great effect.