World Health Organization Logo & Identity
Logo Redesign & Creative Direction
The Design Group at FCB Chicago
BRIEFA hypothetical rebrand of World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. Currently with the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO is on the radar, but their visual identity has not changed since 1948. The aim became to build on their current trustworthy and credible image while positioning it as a still relevant agency post-pandemic. The challenge was to excite and engage the younger audience while empowering the older audience, keeping in mind the challenge was hypothetical and had room for creative freedom.
SOLUTIONThe visual system aims to simplify and unify the current complex logo, while making its voice confident and impactful. I did not want to stray too far from the current logo as it is what most people recognize, but still wanted to give it a modern take.
World Health Organization’s vision is a world in which all peoples attain the highest possible level of health, and its mission is to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. The new logo highlights cooperation between the six continents (WHO set goals for six of the seven continents), working in unity and cooperation to achieve the highest possible level of health. The spaces between signifies limitless efforts to defend everyone’s right to good health, while the snake in the middle is to maintain a part of the original logo. It is a lot more modernized but still very significant in the health sector.
The abbreviated logos reflect on how the six bars from the main logo can be rearranged and flexible to create a larger visual system. The very left logo experiments with the idea of a ripple-like effect, how WHO’s research and data affects the world and the people it reaches.
The new World Health Organization color story is still focused on blue, which generally means trust. Looking deeper, I realized different shades of blue had different meanings as well: navy blue symbolized power and important, light blue was tranquility, and so on. Within the primary colors, I created a hierarchy for distinction and uniformity. The colors white and black are not used at all in the entire identity, as they created visual inconsistencies— they are replaced by shades of blue as well.
All fonts used in the new identity are different styles of Univers by Adrian Frutiger. He is the type designer who also founded the main typeface still used by the WHO today, Frutiger.