Wildish & Co has devised a new identity and strategy for carbon removal company Brilliant Planet, taking cues from “modern environmental publications and scientific white papers”.
Brilliant Planet uses algae to capture and convert CO2 into stable biomass in the remote desert environment of Akhfennir, Morocco. The project is backed by venture capital and Innovate UK and has a dual effect on the environment, de-acidifying local seawater while sequestering CO2 and permanently removing it from the atmosphere.
The company’s chief executive officer Adam Taylor tasked the studio with designing a brand that would “feel at home alongside the likes of Google, Apple and Meta”, says Wildish & Co managing director Sam Fresco, as he would be seeking business from “corporate clients in and around the tech space”.
In a bid to move the identity from “early to established” and come across as “credible, well-funded and professional”, Fresco says the studio identified three strategic pillars: Scientific, Compelling and Credible.
Working from this, Wildish & Co took cues from “modern environmental publications and scientific white papers”, aiming to communicate how the company merges “the macro and micro” through “scale, movement and gravitas”, and incorporating an “honest yet dramatic, almost cinematic feel” to the identity, Fresco explains.
These design cues also helped the studio in redefining sustainability branding, as it took it away from “tired eco-tropes” like “green logos and leaf motifs”, according to Fresco. Though the “academic touch” was “unexpected”, Fresco says it helps to convey “scientific rigour” in everything from visual cues to written content, as there was a “clear emphasis on concrete action and measurable outcomes”.
He describes one of the biggest creative challenges as defining “an optimistic, yet serious message” as Brilliant Planet wanted to avoid “scare tactics popular in the space”. Another more physical challenge was shooting content for the new identity in Morocco, which involved a seven-hour drive through the desert to the algae facility, according to Fresco.
As well as greens and blues “plucked from the sea and from algae ponds”, colours from the desert feature throughout the brand, to make it feel “rooted in a specific place” and separate Brilliant Planet “from the tree-planting decarbonisation brands already out there”, says Fresco.
Putting algae at the heart of the brand, Wildish & Co designed an animated device to represent how the carbon is captured. Fresco explains how the “simple” device illustrates “the concept of algae multiplying at a cell level”.
The brand mark also seeks to embody Brilliant Planet’s “mission and values”, says Fresco, playing on the idea of the future “blooming” as the algae blooms. “We loved the visceral idea that blooming was connected to flowering, so the facility grows as the brand grows and takes on clients”, he adds.
Wildish & Co opted to use “editorially led” sans-serif Greed Semibold as the headline font and serif Tobias Regular as the body font, both from Displaay foundry.
Brilliant Planet’s new tagline, Permanent and Powerful, was chosen “to ground the brand name with something weightier”, conveying a sense of “measurability and scale”. The rest of the brand copy includes “detail-rich statements” that look to emphasise its “expertise and academia”, says Fresco.