Established in 2012 in London, Campus is a network of co-working and event spaces operated and supported by Google for Entrepreneurs, which provides financial support and Google’s resources to startup communities across 125 countries. There are six campus locations — London, Madrid, Warsaw, São Paulo, Seoul, and Tel Aviv — with a seventh on the way in Berlin. Together, the campuses have over 80,000 members with startups that have created more than 11,000 jobs and raised more than $537 million in funding. Over the past few months, Campus has been implementing a new identity designed by London-based MultiAdaptor.
Positioned slightly away from the main Google brand, the Campus identity has been designed to reflect the startup spirit of the entrepreneurs and founders, and their employees and investors, who make up the rich mix of its global community, and are the primary target audience. Purpose-driven, with a belief that start-ups can change the world for the better, we’ve created a big ideas brand for big ideas businesses. But with a democratic feel, that uses a tactile DIY aesthetic to invite participation.
MultiAdaptor provided text
The logo hasn’t changed much. Originally designed by Portland, OR-based Instrument, the logo was made of an isometric cube forming an abstract “C” and a serious sans serif. The new version changes the shades of gray for a wireframe approach which is a little bit more interesting. My main complaint about the icon is that it looks too much like a boring cubicle and gives the impression that the co-working space is going to be made up tiny, little individual cages. But that concern is assuaged by the new identity, which is full of energy and more eye candy than you can shake out of a piñata.
The Campus brand is a reflection of their vibrant international community of entrepreneurs, united by a shared belief that startups can change the world.
The ‘frame’ represents the physical spaces at each of the six global cities: a constant presence that underpins the vast array of events, programmes and services that Campus provides.
The Campus brand captures the startup mindset of its members — a spontaneous, DIY aesthetic, but purposefully structured and crafted. Bold, brave and eclectic, but carefully considered and sophisticated.
The Campus frame can flex to any format, allowing for an infinite array of creative expressions around it that adapt to the needs of the application and audience, but with an instantly recognisable, consistent identifier.
Typography, image style and colour palette are all designed to capture the ‘spirit of startup’, while allowing Campus communications to constantly refresh and reinvent, without diluting the core DNA.
This flexible toolkit enables locations, programmes or events to be grouped together so that they are clearly distinguishable, and relevant to their context.
There is something for everyone in the identity elements — if you don’t like the stencil font, you might like the halftone-ish textures; if you don’t like those, you might like the flexible frame; if you don’t like that, you might like the duotone photographs; if you don’t like that, maybe you will like the combination of all of them together. If you still don’t like any of it, what’s wrong with you? Sarcasm aside, there is indeed one too many — or three too many — things going on but in application they all come together convincingly in a very deliberate more-is-more approach.
There is a fantastic energy to this that’s even more impressive given the amount of elements at play and that there is a consistency to it all while never feeling repetitive. The stencil font — Cera Stencil — sometimes stands out a little too much and its relationship to the regular sans serif is somewhat odd — even though it’s also part of the Cera family. I’m also not a fan when the only a corner of the frame is shown (as in the print materials image) but those are small, personal grievances that barely detract from the impact of the range of materials created and how well they help establish that Campus is a vibrant place, where lots of things are happening, and that people are there to work and get shit done.