Established in 1996, Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP) is a technology and industrial product development consultancy with 65 employees in two offices — its headquarters in Cambridge, England, and a new one in Palo Alto, CA. Working for the consumer, healthcare, energy, and industrial markers, CDP designs products like a disposable splint system for fractured limbs, a respiratory humidifier, a self-cleaning powered painter, a device to help save water in the shower. CDP recently introduced a new identity designed by Moving Brands.
[The] existing business story ‘Think differently’ — although genuine — was almost a replica of Apple’s ‘Think Different,’ an irony that worked directly against communicating its truly innovative approach. We redefined the brand story as ‘Potential realised,’ precisely encapsulating the company’s purpose and its ability, through innovation, to realise potential for its clients.
We retained the name Cambridge Design Partnership as it anchored the business to positive perceptions, but we knew its length would present challenges across applications. We created a symbol to work alongside the wordmark, which in time could be used exclusively to represent the business in all markets.
This symbol and accompanying visual identity system flowed from tensions inherent in the business: between design + science, curiosity + focus, technical + human. A combination of straight and curved components form an ownable mark that feels both engineered yet human.
Graphic textures are created by rotating and cropping this symbol, to create a range of expressions, from measured and precise to vibrant and expressive.
The old logo wasn’t too terrible, it was just really long and wordy and not particularly indicative of a company designing highly efficient and advanced products. The hand-drawn line did help give it a human touch but other than that, a fairly forgettable logo. The new logo is still long and wordy — and I’m glad that both client and Moving Brands didn’t change the name to something like Cinammon or some other Palo Alto-ish clever name — but the choice of Grilli Type’s Pressura Mono set in all uppercase helps give the long name order and simplicity. The new icon — a “c”, “d”, “p” monogram — is an attractive solution that conveys a contemporary, technological feel more in tune with the products they create. Highlighting the joints of the shapes where the lines intersect with a color overlay isn’t a novel idea but what’s particularly nice here is that you get a teardrop shape, a circle, and a square, taking this trend one step forward.
In application, the logo is blown-up and rotated to highlight the joints, providing slightly abstract patterns and crops while everything else is spare and minimal. There isn’t much else to see but you can definitely appreciate the commitment to a clean and efficient identity system.