The Wikimedia Foundation selected multidisciplinary firm Snøhetta to develop the new brand identity for Wikipedia, its free open platform. Aiming to create visuals that push forward Wikimedia’s international commitment to “setting knowledge free”, the process will be entirely documented.
The Wikimedia Foundation a nonprofit organization, operates many free knowledge projects, such as the open-source platform Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, and many others. Wikipedia, the internet’s public encyclopedia is “accessed by more than 1.5 billion unique devices each month, making it one of the world’s most popular sites”.
Developing free knowledge for everyone, the foundation aims to have a better representation of its mission through its newly revamped visual identity. In fact, they have chosen to team up with Snøhetta, known for their multidisciplinary work, in order to translate their ideas, stating that “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 borders 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. — Heather Walls, Chief Creative Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Snøhetta, the firm that designed Norway’s new banknotes and the wayfinding and visual identity for Norway’s National Parks, believes that “great design is rooted in deep knowledge of its users and human interaction”. Actually, this partnership will generate a new understanding of how “strategic branding and digital design can [induce] engagement and promote knowledge sharing across cultures and geographies”. For the Wikimedia Foundation, “knowledge sharing has been at the heart of human progress for centuries”, therefore the process will be documented and shared.
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. — Sanda Zahirovic, strategic advisor of Snøhetta.