File Under Visual Identity System

Reigniting the Legacy of a Design Revolutionary

for the Buckminster Fuller Institute

In the spirit of the eponymous design-scientist, the Buckminster Fuller Institute works to catalyse solutions to complex global problems.1 Like Fuller, though, BFI's communication was often esoteric and convoluted, hindering their reach and impact. BFI engaged Son&Sons, a small-but-mighty branding firm in Atlanta, Georgia, to overhaul their visual identity.

1. BFI’s work includes various educational and community initiatives, as well as it’s flagship program, The Buckminster Fuller Challenge. The Challenge offers an annual $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

While also digging into Fuller's legacy, our team2 conducted a company-wide brand audit to better understand the problem at hand. To bridge our research and design efforts, we created a visually-rich brand strategy document to clarify and communicate our findings.

2. Our team was lead by Creative Directors Wade Thompson and Rick Anwyl, and included Jack Whitman, Elizabeth Kelly, Amanda Brennan, Bailey Andrews, Meredith Morten, and Kristen Murphy.

At the heart of BFI, and Bucky himself, is a desire to tear down the boundaries between creative disciplines, and unite them towards the building of a better world. With this key insight, we developed a visual identity positioning BFI as the crossroads of creative fields.

I am the point at which disciplines converge to create forward motion

The new visual identity for the Buckminster Fuller Institute works to embody the profound wisdom and playfulness of the man himself by referencing his life and work3 whenever possible and presenting it in a sophisticated, modern, approachable aesthetic. "I seem to be a verb," Bucky once said. And so, we aimed to make the identity system as active and kinetic as the man himself.

3. The structure of the logo mark (above), for example, directly references the geometry of one of Bucky's most famous designs, the geodesic dome.

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