An identity based on open data, from Johnson Banks

Johnson Banks has created an identity for the Open Knowledge Foundation, an organisation that promotes the opening up of data from Governments and other entities around the world.

The identity is directly based on one of the Foundation’s landmark projects – the Global Open Data Index. This project looks at how open countries around the world are about sharing data using a series of metrics such as Government budgets or election results.

If a country is ‘open’ in a particular category it gets a green marker and if it is ‘closed’ it gets a red one.

For the foundation identity, Johnson Banks took all these red markers to form an inner ring. The green markers then form and outer ring. Each dataset relates to one of the 72 countries in the original survey.

Johnson Banks creative director Michael Johnson says the scheme was nicknamed “data earth”. He adds: The symbol is designed to work on multiple levels, as an ‘earth’, as an eye, and as an ‘O’ for ‘Open’.”

Johnson says inspiration for the identity is taken from a core piece of “brand narrative”: “A world where knowledge creates power for the many, not the few.A world where data frees us — to make informed choices about how we live, what we buy and who gets our vote. A world where information and insights are accessible — and apparent — to everyone.This is the world we choose.”

The identity is supplied as a “kit of parts” to the organisation’s working groups and global members, according to Johnson. He says that it uses as many open-source elements as possible, including the free typeface Lato, designed by Lukasz Dziedzic for the tyPoland foundry.

The identity’s principle of circularity can be used in different applications, says Johnson. He adds that applications on microsites, case-studies and further projects are set to roll out.

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