(Est. 2010) “Sage Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing novel therapies with the potential to transform the lives of people with debilitating disorders of the brain. We are pursuing new pathways with the goal of improving brain health and our depression, neurology and neuropsychiatry franchise programs aim to change how brain disorders are thought about and treated. Our mission is to make medicines that matter so people can get better, sooner.”
As Sage evolved from a clinical to commercial-stage company, we helped it express its distinctive approach — shifting the conversation around mental health from subjective experience to biological condition, with solutions that have the potential to radically improve people’s lives.
To help Sage own the ‘brain health’ space, we reframed the brand around its core belief that seeing the brain differently makes a world of difference. This language embodies Sage’s commitment to destigmatize mental health conditions and treat the brain with the same attention and urgency given to other vital organs.
The design system puts an emphasis on an optimistic depiction of the brain and the patient stories behind it. At the heart of the design system is the new logo that tells the story of a united, collaborative approach to brain health. Bold colors and illustrations challenge industry conventions of inaccessible scientific imagery and suffering patients.
Images (opinion after)
The old logo was pretty bad, with an odd icon that was unclear what it was and the name in small caps Trajan. The new logo has an icon that, at first glance, is hard to tell what it is but the blobby, hugging outer shapes reveal an abstract minimal drawing of a brain (seen from the side, with the spinal cord going down) in the negative space. It’s an odd shape overall, for sure, but it’s such a welcome change from monograms that I’ll take it. The wordmark, set in Klim’s Tiempos and Type By’s Fakt, is a good combination that has a clinical and serious vibe that balances the more organic drawing of the icon. The identity, at first, is a little disconcerting with big, bold, graphic illustrations of the brain and some trippy compositions with human faces but after sitting with it a few minutes, I actually really like this as I think it strikes an interesting combination of making the company look science-based but also empathizing with the complex and often confusing emotional and psychological feelings that the brain can trigger. I’m not a big fan of the missing-people ads… I get the message that depression can make feel like people are not there but the execution feels rushed (and The Leftovers did it in a more interesting way). Overall, this is a very interesting identity, opting for something relatively more challenging and perhaps uncomfortable while sidestepping design trends that would have probably been an easier way out.