In a cutting-edge exploration of collaboration in design, the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia, has partnered with Snøhetta to create a new visual identity for its global organization. United by a common belief in humanity, generosity and knowledge, Snøhetta and the Wikimedia Foundation will explore how strategic branding and digital design can generate engagement and promote knowledge sharing across cultures and geographies. The aim is to create a brand identity system that supports Wikimedia’s international commitment to “setting knowledge free”.
Since 2001, the Wikimedia Foundation‘s open source platform Wikipedia has grown into the internet’s public encyclopedia. The content is accessed by more than 1.5 billion unique devices each month, making Wikipedia one of the world’s most popular sites. Articles are constantly added and updated by more than 250,000 volunteers around the world. As a collaborative knowledge platform that anyone can edit, Wikipedia today has more than 50 million articles – all free to read, use, and modify – available in roughly 300 languages. As a non-profit organization, the Wikimedia Foundation is committed to developing and maintaining open source knowledge – wikis – that are available for free to everyone. In service to its continued commitment to knowledge equity, the Wikimedia Foundation has chosen Snøhetta as its strategic design partner to better communicate its mission through a renewed visual identity. The goal is to design a new visual identity system that represents Wikipedia and the Wikimedia mission as part of the essential infrastructure of free knowledge in the digital age.
“Snøhetta has a long-standing commitment to developing socially sustainable design solutions that promote a sense of collective ownership and engagement with civic life. We chose Snøhetta as our strategic design partner for their demonstrated ability to develop strong, visual brand identities that transcend geographical boarders and bring people together. Snøhetta’s commitment to working creatively, openly, and together was the perfect fit for the project, and we’re thrilled to be working with them”, states Heather Walls, Chief Creative Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation.
From the ancient treasures of the Great Library of Alexandria in Egypt, to modern digital encyclopedias, knowledge sharing has been at the heart of human progress for centuries. It emancipates minds, reconciles differences, and breathes life into imagination. With a conviction that great design is rooted in deep knowledge of its users and human interaction, Snøhetta has had the opportunity to develop the design of Norway’s new banknotes and the wayfinding and visual identity for Norway’s National Parks. Its broad portfolio of working with knowledge institutions includes the revival of the Library of Alexandria in Egypt.
“Looking at today’s media, political and democratic landscape, Wikimedia’s commitment to ‘set knowledge free‘ is of great importance. The commitment to democratize knowledge is a core value to us and we believe in promoting these values across our projects and through our collaborations with great institutions and people. Our collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation allows us to explore and expand our understanding of co-creation in the digital sphere, and we are very excited for the opportunity to work closely with Wikimedia and its community to achieve this”, states strategic advisor Sanda Zahirovic of Snøhetta. The process will be documented and shared through a community-wide brand network that will guide the design process