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Corporate identity package supports the next wave of nanotechnology research

Additional Information

When the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) came to Sanda for a logo and corporate identity, the institute members knew the acronym ONAMI means “wave” in Japanese. So they wanted their corporate identity to have a Japanese feel. ONAMI studies nanoscience and commercial applications for microtechnologies. And since nanotechnologies exist in a microscopic environment, ONAMI also wanted its logo to include a wave inside a small world.

At the same time, Sanda had to balance the viewpoints of ONAMI’s educational and industrial partners. These include Oregon State University, Portland State University, the University of Oregon, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the state of Oregon. ONAMI also has industry support from Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Electro Scientific Industries, Pixelworks and other Silicon Forest companies.

Traditional Japanese art provides inspiration

To begin, Sanda's designers researched several Japanese paintings depicting waves as well as Kamon, the traditional Japanese crest. Combining the idea of the “wave” inspired by ONAMI’s name and several Kamon crests, Sanda developed a simplified wave design, reversing the waves so they were incorporated inside the sphere. Sanda created three-dimensional logos with bevels and shadows for color and grayscale applications, as well as a simplified basic black-and-white version. The typography continues the visual theme. After researching roughly 1,500 different fonts, Sanda's designers chose Flareserif 821 BT for its curved serifs that suggest the Japanese style of calligraphy.

Immediate, unanimous approval

When Sanda presented the logo design, it immediately won ONAMI's unanimous approval. The only debate turned out to be over colors. To resolve the issue, Sanda presented several options so no one color scheme could be readily identified with the University of Oregon, Oregon State University or Portland State University.

ONAMI had its corporate identity in time to incorporate it into invitations, signs and other materials for its grand opening. With a large number of industry and government VIPs attending, the logo helped ONAMI establish credibility in the minds of people who influence funding and other decisions concerning the institute's work.