The Meaning of Our Logo

Peaceful Science

A brand, in its simplest form, is a promise. It’s a promise from an organization to its audience about what they can expect. A brand identity communicates those same values to the public.

In all things, Peaceful Science aspires to receive questions with courage, curiosity, and empathy. We want to make space for differences with humility, tolerance, and patience. We want to engage questions with honesty and rigor. In putting these virtues into practice, we want explore the grand question: what does it mean to be human? Together, we are approaching this question from several angles, including ancestry, artificial intelligence, and art

One challenge is that the mission and vision of Peaceful Science is open ended. We are oriented around common virtues and a grand question, but we approach it from different directions. Our brand identity needs to be equally open ended and flexible, but also consistent across several different content areas. How could this tension be constancy and diversity be navigated by a logo?

To solve this problem, we decided to use a typographic logo, with only our name. This typographic logo is meant to be composed with images corresponding to different content areas, but also conveying our mission and identity.

We choose the typeface Alverata, a font designed in 2014 by Dutch typographer Gerard Unger. He wanted to create a typeface, with all the functionality of modern type design, that referenced styles from the Romanesque period in Europe.  

The legendary designer Gerard Unger designed Alverata in his PhD thesis. Here, he poses with the distinctive “f” from the Alverata font.

Peaceful Science brings ancient questions into conversation with modern science. Alverata, in the same way, is a modern typeface, but it takes visuals cues from inscriptions from 1,000 years ago. 

Alverata is based on handcrafted inscriptions, like this, from a 1,000 years ago. Notice the beautiful variability in characters.

Peaceful Science values scholarly work engaged with the public. In the same way, Alverata may be the only font constructed as part of a PhD thesis. Unger studied the typography of Romanesque inscriptions with the rigor of an academic. He could have stopped here, with an insightful academic treatise. Instead, he went on to codify his scholarly work into a beautiful font.

The Alverata Irregular variant includes multiple versions of each letter, and mimics the artisanal variability of inscriptional text.

Peaceful Science is driven by dialogue and collaborations. The contributions of many different scholars can form a cohesive whole with countless variations. In the same way, the romanesque inscriptions, on which Alverata is based, are distinctive for the wide variety of stylistic details. Each specimen was inscribed in stone or drawn in ink by a different artist. In hindsight, we can group many works from the period into one larger style that shares common characteristics, but the creativity that guided each hand is what makes Romanesque type special. The Alverata font itself includes several variations, each surprising in their complexity and creativity.  

Peaceful Science values openness and kindness. The font embodies this by bringing archaic type to us with large, open shapes and gentle curves. The type carries a friendly, approachable tone. 

Open, easy to read, and inviting. Although based on ancient text, Alverata is a modern font, bridging between two styles, halfway between a serif and a san-serif font.

Once we had the typeface selected the next question was color. As with the design, we knew that the brand color palette needed to be simple and broad so that it could flex to fit many other visual styles. The obvious, timeless choice was black and white with a visual bridge of grey tones between the contrasting colors. 

This font and color scheme is the anchor point for the Peaceful Science brand identity, rich with meaning and tied closely to our mission and values. This is just the starting point, and we look forward to showing you how we will grow our story from here. 

Peaceful Science

Our logo is bold, inviting, and rich with meaning. Support us by making use of it. Our shop is open now, offering the first of many items to come. Celebrate our logo by buying a tote, a coffee mug, or a T-shirt.

At the next conference or event you attend, help grow the Peaceful Science community. Use our logo to open a conversation about a new way forward. Let’s find that better way together.

 

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