International Crisis Group is celebrating its new strategic direction with a new look – a new symbol, a new logo, fresher colours and a new tagline. From August 2016 onward, we’re proud to showcase all these on our completely redesigned website, crisisgroup.org.
The new brand identity will serve Crisis Group’s aim to be the preeminent organisation providing independent analysis and advice on how to prevent, resolve or better manage deadly conflict. Our goal is to be impartial, independent and bold, and our 2016-18 Strategic Framework pledges that we will become more agile, more global and more visible.
To this end, we chose a strong logo that would stand out and be memorable. It features a globe to represent our international identity, a strong square frame to represent our bold focus, and six vertical stripes within the frame to represent our attention to local detail.
For the new wordmark, we chose Gill Sans as the font, a time-honoured English humanist typeface. Its subtle emphasis on the word “Crisis” highlights the critical element we add to any discussion: our focus on the turmoil that leads to conflicts, and what to do about them.
Many people know us as “ICG”, which was indeed how we presented ourselves in our early branding from 1997 to 2005. Since 2005, we have often referred to ourselves as plain Crisis Group. But our research showed it was important to emphasise our full name International Crisis Group, to make clear our worldwide reach and our non-profit identity.
Our principal logo lockup puts the symbol and wordmark in an instantly recognisable square. We have made sure that our new logo is simple, easily readable and flexible: it has horizontal versions, negative versions, monochrome or multi-colour versions, and can even be used with the symbol standing alone.
Our two new signature colours, as with the rest of the rebranding, represent an evolution rather than a revolution. The former blazer blue has evolved into a more sophisticated teal blue-green, and the yellow has become orange, symbolising our mission to sound the alert when dangers threaten.
Our tagline has been broadened and strengthened. The former “Working to Prevent Conflict Worldwide” will become “Preventing War. Shaping Peace.” It will now appear separately from the main logo.
All this streamlining was made possible by a year of discussion, design and superlative pro bono support from communications experts Edelman UK, to whose excellent staff we are most grateful. They also taught us a fundamental of branding: to make our staff, our partners or our community of readers, opinion makers and policy leaders love our new logo will depend entirely not on the symbol we have chosen but on what we now put behind it.