Justified Juror Comments: EDP Identity
In 2013, for “Justified: AIGA Design Competition,” a distinguished jury chaired by Clement Mok selected 14 case studies that each serve as an effective tool to explain the role of designers in conceiving and implementing solutions.
Valerie Casey, founder and chief executive officer, Necessary Projects, San Francisco, California
This bold identity for EDP heralds a new way of thinking in the sustainability space. When companies provide evidence of environmental, cultural and economic success, they do not need to resort to the tired indicators of being “green.” EDP confidently displays its global leadership in producing renewable energy through a vibrant and dynamic system that excites the ideas of progress and promise. Truly creative, the EDP branding is a breakout moment for design as a strategic business lever.
Jessica Hische, letterer and procrastiworker, Title Case, San Francisco, California
I really like this rebrand because of its juxtaposition of complexity and simplicity. Everything feels incredibly cohesive because of the color red (the company knew they had brand equity in that color so it was kept for consistency), but the library of icons and interchangeable logos makes for a very complex visual identity. I also think the rounded sans stencil typeface that was commissioned is very interesting.
Brad Johnson, VP, executive creative director, Second Story (now part of SapientNitro), Portland, Oregon
Energetic without oil, green without being green—what I liked about this project was its proposition of a systemic solution. The elemental, four-shape “kit of parts” can be recombined in infinite variations to visualize energy. How renewable is that?
Clement Mok, design and business consultant, The Design Office of Clement Mok, San Francisco, California
Moved the needle. Inspirational. The flexible and seemingly infinite ways that the identity system builds and extends the brand is the beauty and genius behind this design solution. MTV and Nickelodeon travelled down this path before. It’s news when an energy company embraces this approach.
Josh Rubin, founder and editor in chief, Cool Hunting, New York, New York
Getting people excited about a utility brand is a tough challenge given the relative unsexiness of the subject matter. The modular illustration system Jessica Walsh developed is both visually intriguing and emotionally uplifting, thereby creating a sense of excitement for people not typically engaged with energy and utilities.
Christopher Simmons, principal and creative director, MINE™, San Francisco, California
Modular, flexible, malleable, responsive identity programs are quite in vogue at the moment. This is a rare example of one that was conceived and executed extremely well. From its 11 logo variants to its simple, four-shape illustration system and custom typeface, this single-color identity program is both restrained and exuberant. While seemingly endlessly flexible, it also manages to speak with a singular voice. Aside from its technical achievements and beauty, the design also stands out as an innovative and surprising solution for a sustainable energy company.
Alina Wheeler, author, Designing Brand Identity, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Although I wanted more insights into the process, I am a champion of pushing the boundaries of how corporations express who they are. How refreshing to have an energy company not use green, and to position themselves as friendly and not arrogant. I love challenging how a symbol should function, but realize that the whole look and feel is actually more memorable than the morphing trademark itself. I would have liked to see more applications to better understand the way this strategy was applied in a static environment.