AKQA has been my second home for the past two years, and I was really pleased to be invited to work on the main identity for their brand new project which consists of an Online Learning platform with all the courses that will take place at AKQA, allowing anyone that works there to also teach, and therefore functioning like a school.
Initially, it was supposed to be named "AKQA U" as a reference to University due to its educational component, but a slight change in the name ended up changing the whole project but this is still in my heart as one of the most exciting brands I designed.u00a0
After a few exciting attempts in creating something that could at the same time be Bold enough to stand on it´s own, simple enough to not take away all the focus from the main AKQA logo and also be a window to multiple artistic expressions I decided to rewind and go back to simplicity and looked at the AKQA logo for a while. I started to play with it and turn it around and then I looked to all my U´s spread on a huge Illustrator file and decided to find what was common between that logo and a simple U. I was able to cut the U in a way that would fit within the mirrored logo´s structure, giving me the perfect guidelines to shape the U into a strong bold and original symbol.
The circle used in the main grid of the logo allows us to create a unique space that is stable, constant and where we can basically find a common link between all the variants of the sublogos. In this way, we do not destroy the essence of the main logo and create a "safe area" within this brand. The circle represents continuity, stability and closure.
The whole team was quite pleased with the result and that was the fuel I needed to go a further with the creative explorations under Pedro-Vilas Boas creative direction. Splashes of ink and dust would unveil this U in a subttle way showing how we can be creative and original without being too obvious.
The stationery follows the main guidelines set in the beginning and I also created a template where the symbol separates the information about a specific event or workshop from the main subject or asset on the left side, creating two different sections. There was plenty of space for exploration and flexibility to create whatever we wanted as long as there was readability and legibility of the letter "U".