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Brand reinvigoration of Abu Dhabi’s state-of-the-art robotics challenge
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Reflecting the technological globalisation of the past decades, The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge - MBZIRC - has become a pinnacle of global competition in autonomous technology. To reflect its high-profile status and long-term ambitions, the Abu Dhabi-based organisation sought a new brand identity to give it a sharper, more impactful presence.
Several key aspects of the project needed to be fully understood to exceed expectations. We needed to create a brand identity that would stand alongside the giants of global technological competitions.
The brand needed to be both modern and yet easily identifiable, granting it a timeless quality MBZIRC needed a contemporary website capable of showcasing MBZIRC events to a global audience. With so many cultures and languages in play, the visual language would need to traverse all domains.
We needed to capture the stories of stakeholders and to translate that across the evolving visual language.
MBZIRC is a global competition that showcases the state-of-the-art in robotics to bridge the gap between the current capabilities and future demands of an increasingly automated world. We began by understanding the event, the audience and the feeling we wanted to project.
MBZIRC attracts some of the most creative and forward-thinking minds from around the globe: tech-savvy engineers who display a mixture of boldness and confidence to create wonder about what the future holds. It searches for the next generation of engineering pioneers and stimulates spectacular advances that stretch the boundaries of possibilities.
We considered the competition’s participants and their passions: some of the most brilliant minds who come together to break all the rules and create the impossible.
To capture this essence, we described them as:
The challenge of benchmarking was to establish the right direction for our project.
We assembled a diverse collection of global technological and innovation brands and assessed their commonalities and differences to determine the optimal direction for MBZIRC.
While some of the brands represented creative ideas, others lacked the values of innovation that MBZIRC sought to portray. By establishing some key benchmarks from the process, we developed three core values:
Brand colour gap analysis
Assembling MBZIRC’s competitors on a colour spectrum, we sought to avoid any colour combination already in use.
Discovering many colour areas to work with, we created a range of different designs for the team at MBZIRC.
From this analysis, we found many unique colour areas for MBZIRC. We discovered that none of MBZIRC’s competitors used colour gradients in their brands.
Tone of voice
With so many bright minds in one place, it can be challenging to create a voice free of arrogance and boastfulness. Instead, we sought to create a voice that encapsulates the energy of collaboration and optimism.
Choosing British English and excluding any local metaphors that may not translate to MBZIRC’s eclectic group of cultures and backgrounds, we worked to ensure a welcoming, global tonality.
To encapsulate MBZIRC’s pioneering attitude, we took an active approach to language, using strong inspirational headlines to explain what we do and the difference we make together.
We chose a tone of voice that was:
Creating brand collateral
With the final brand elements in place, we developed a set of brand guidelines and a full range of collateral, from business cards and websites to exhibition booths and T-shirts. This enabled MBZIRC to see the final vision in context - and how their new brand will reflect their business and capture their message. We also put the new MBZIRC brand next to the brands used in our benchmarking process to demonstrate its genuine stand-out quality.
Here's a little preview of the new brand language.