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New Logo and Identity for Mlinda by johnson banks

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Reviewed Jul. 23, 2014 by Armin

Industry / Environment Tags /

Loosely established in Paris in 2005, while its founders juggled other full-time activities, the Mlinda focuses on “the impact that economic growth has on the environment” working on “shifting mindsets from short-term attitudes to long-term values” and targeting “individual behaviour as well as systemic change in business and finance.” Their main goal is to change the way businesses produce and individuals consume in order to achieve sustainable production and consumption. Now with a full roster of projects and growing ambitions, the foundation has introduced a new identity designed by London-based johnson banks.

New Logo and Identity for Mlinda by johnson banks
Logo detail. Mlinda means “custodian” in Swahili and is pronounced “muh-linda”.
In terms of visual identity, we’ve developed an unusual approach to their name that illustrates ‘reduction’: their logotype gradually contracts from a series of repeated characters, down to one.

johnson banks project page

New Logo and Identity for Mlinda by johnson banks
Negative and positive words.
New Logo and Identity for Mlinda by johnson banks
Process for creating the words.

This is the kind of idea — a logo and range of words that “gradually contract from a series of repeated characters” — that doesn’t sound too good if you just heard it and you would imagine it was a car wreck waiting to happen… yet here it is, and it’s pretty fantastic. Starting with the logo, every thin line of each character is perfectly in place and in rhythm creating a subtle optical illusion of movement. At smaller sizes and on straight-up black (see business cards lower in the post) it starts to get messy and jarring so to keep things elegant, I guess, just avoid small sizes and black. The contracting approach for negative words and expanding for positive words might get lost on the casual viewer but it’s also the kind of visual message that passes unperceived at first glance yet still triggers something in the subconscious. I’m not trying to get too metaphysical here! Just really enjoying the idea.

New Logo and Identity for Mlinda by johnson banks
Words + Images = Negative.
New Logo and Identity for Mlinda by johnson banks
Words + Images = Positive.
New Logo and Identity for Mlinda by johnson banks
Icons.
New Logo and Identity for Mlinda by johnson banks
Business cards.
New Logo and Identity for Mlinda by johnson banks
Belly-band for a plan to give out second-hand books of relevance.

In application there is not a lot to see yet. It’s mostly the different positive and negative words on images meant to stir consciences — I’m not convinced that full color photos are the best backdrop for the words as it starts to look too much like an ad campaign. Perhaps some moody duotones and adding a color to the words might add some drama. Regardless, this is a smart concept that elegantly illustrates the mission of the foundation.

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