February 14, 2020
At its core, Cross Labs is about connection: connecting ideas, connecting people and connecting technologies, and we wanted our new logo to represent this. Using the idea of six elements to represent our six core areas of focus: machine, human, brain, complex, and social intelligence, we built upon the ideas of repetition and symmetry to communicate the interdependent nature of science and its community. One element building upon another.
Being a Japanese Institute, we drew inspiration from Mizuhiki, (水引) the traditional bow used in gift giving to signify "something that may be repeated time and time again". In modern times, Mizuhiki have increasingly come to signify the "ties between people." We loved this idea, and how perfectly it aligns with our daily processes, and our broader mission of connection. Connection between timeless and contemporary, East and West, tangible and intangible, academia and industry. The result is a mark as comfortable in Japanese academia as it is in Silicon Valley tech.
We completely redesigned our visual language to feel timeless, academic and approachable. An identity that welcomes all and one that creates space for ideas and focuses on people.
A sense of space is central to our identity. This space is for pause, for thinking, and for ideas to take hold. We've combined this sense of space with large, crisp typography and clean, supporting visual elements that let ideas take the focus. For typography, we've selected Playfair, as our primary font. Designed Claus Eggers Sørensen, a type designer centered in Amsterdam, it is evocative of European enlightenment, when human knowledge made some of its greatest progress. We've paired this with Barlow. An open-source, slightly rounded, low-contrast, grotesk font superfamily designed by Jeremy Tribby. This combination offers the classic contemporary ideals at the center of our philosophy.
The muted color palette has been chosen to feel comfortable and classic. Something like an Eames chair in your study. We took inspiration from both research papers and traditional Japanese color history, rich in its meaning and precision. We were able to find the perfect primary palette in Aonibi Blue (青鈍 – あおにび), and Haijiru Tan (灰白 – はいじろ) tan. And like an Eames chair, we invite you to get comfortable, read, think, and enjoy.
We've barely scratched the surface of where this new identity might take us, but through it, we're excited to explore both the rigor and eccentricity of science and create a hub where we can grow these exciting fields together.
We hope you love it as much as we do.