Oxford SDG Impact Lab


Oxford, England

In this project we delivered

Brand & Print

Bridging the gap between academic research and real-world problem solving

The Oxford SDG Impact Lab is anything but ordinary. Founded in 2021 and housed within the prestigious Oxford University’s Department of International Development (ODID), the Lab’s mission is to create a positive, authentic, and hopeful impact on a global scale. But how do you encapsulate the essence of such a complex and inspiring organization in a concise brand identity?

Friends were brought in  to collaborate with the Lab’s stakeholders, crafted an impactful and prestigious brand identity that truly reflects its core values and vision.

Designing a brand for the Oxford SDG Impact Lab presented both creative opportunities and constraints. The new identity needed to work seamlessly alongside both the University of Oxford and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals logos. Additionally, the Lab’s association with easyJet Holidays demanded incorporating their bold orange color into the palette. Moreover, the brand needed to be easily understood by a wide range of stakeholders without feeling overly corporate.

The result is a brand identity built around a flexible radiating mark, combining the Oxford O’ (inner) with the UN’s SDG wheel logo (outer). This design symbolizes the Lab’s fusion of academic expertise and real-world impact. It also pays homage to the idea of a laboratory, a space for exploration, research, and problem-solving. The radiate mark also resembles an actual lens, signifying the Lab’s insightful and forward-looking approach.

The core wordmark utilizes bold uppercase sans serif forms, softened at the edges to avoid a rigid and corporate appearance. Some characters have been altered to add a touch of personality, ensuring a unique and impactful wordmark that exudes energy.

The combination of a bold core palette centered around Oxford navy and a secondary palette featuring exciting and memorable shades, including easyJet Holidays’ iconic orange, offers flexibility while maintaining a strong and cohesive identity.

Crafting a brand with vibrance and energy for an organisation with real global reach was a challenge we wholeheartedly embraced

The UN Sustainable Development Goals provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future.

To enhance the brand’s connection to the world of academia and the sense of positive action, a series of stickers, arrows, and squiggles were incorporated. These elements symbolize progress, direction, and the pursuit of knowledge.

The Oxford SDG Impact Lab’s new brand identity has gained momentum and community support in its second year. The Lab proudly continues its partnership with easyJet Holidays and has forged new alliances, including collaborations with BMW Group (UK) and Nico Rosberg Philanthropies. These partnerships further amplify the Lab’s global reach and contribute to its awe-inspiring mission of advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Lab’s impact extends beyond the walls of Oxford University. With its global perspective, the organization has gained recognition for its pioneering approach to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The brand identity had to resonate with international audiences and convey the Lab’s commitment to a united, inclusive, and interconnected world.

The Lab’s mission: to create a positive, authentic, and hopeful impact on a global scale.

As a brand project that dared to push boundaries, we embraced change and celebrated the Lab’s commitment to being on the cusp of something new. This ethos led us to incorporate gradients, symbolizing the rising sun over the ocean, evoking feelings of hope and a fresh start. The dynamic nature of the brand identity signifies the Lab’s ever-evolving approach to solving complex global challenges.

Crafting a brand identity for the Oxford SDG Impact Lab was no small feat. It required a delicate balance between communicating its serious global endeavors and infusing vibrance and energy into the brand. By embracing its core values of authenticity, hope, inclusivity, and being at the cusp of something new, the Lab’s brand now embodies its essence—global, awe-inspiring, and insightful.

The journey of the Oxford SDG Impact Lab continues, leaving a positive and lasting impact on our world, one step at a time.

A brand identity to reflect the Lab’s commitment to forging a brighter future and a new dawn of hope

Friends have a real knack for elevating brands and businesses to the next level and their eye for detail is meticulous. Darren and Kelly are incredibly perceptive in finding the core essence of the organisation and their processes are thorough, logical and intuitive. Working with Friends was a fantastic experience.

Merolyn Whitaker, COO