Founded in 1835, The British Geological Survey (BGS) is the publicly-funded body responsible for advising the UK government on all aspects of geoscience. Today, BGS employs over 650 staff across the UK, works with more than 150 private sector organisations, has close links to 40 universities and sponsors about 100 PhD students each year.
A visual identity to support a new era of earth scienceClient: The British Geological Survey (BGS)
Following the launch of a five-year science strategy ‘Gateway to Earth’, BGS needed a modern brand and visual identity to reflect and support its vision for a safer, more sustainable environmental future.
With a rich history, the brand’s evolution required a deep understanding and careful execution; we created a dynamic new BGS brand to mark a new era while paying homage to their past.
It’s been brilliant – I’ve loved it – and I’m so happy with the end result.
Referencing brand marks that were established in the 1900s, the updated logo has been reworked to add impact and clarity across a wide range of media.
The logo design explained
A unique ‘Strata’ element represents the surface and subsurface of the Earth and is designed to draw focus.
The new brand draws on 185 years of heritage to solidify BGS’ position as a world-class subject leader.
A clearer, more legible font was selected to reflect the need for straightforward, impartial information.
The colour palette features earthy tones derived from the natural world as BGS advances our understanding of the environment.
Inspired by the Earth
When we set about bringing the brand to life, we knew we wanted the Earth to play a fundamental role in the brand identity. Every design element revolved around the world’s natural beauty, showcasing dramatic landscapes and natural images. To underpin the concept, we created a linear grid derived from core samples taken from Earth. A circular device within the logo represents the surface and sub-surface, and the harmonious colour palette was directly influenced by the natural world. Every decision was carefully validated.
We wanted to understand every detail about their role, culture and activities. To immerse ourself, we ran a series of stakeholder workshops and connected with employees through surveys and interviews – it was important for everyone to have a voice.
A complete identity
As a large organisation, BGS has a significant number of brand touchpoints. We considered how the new BGS brand would be applied in a wide range of formats and media, including mobile apps, presentations, animations, signage, and publications, to name just a few.
I’m delighted to present a fresh identity for BGS that illustrates our passion, capability, and commitment to delivering world-class, independent geoscientific data and expertise. Our new look respects our heritage and history whilst reinforcing our position as an internationally respected organisation, and a trusted provider of high-quality independent geoscientific knowledge and information.