The United Nations Global Goals

Brand Identity + Campaigns

Context

Design a universal messaging system for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that is recognizable and accessible to everyone around the world.

Strategy

Bring together teams from the UN’s 193 member nations to help distill a simple, sustainable communication system that transcends regional, cultural, and linguistic barriers.

Solution

Unique icons and a translatable messaging framework raise awareness and communicate progress for “The Global Goals” in affecting social and sustainable change by 2030.

Services

+ Visual Identity + Brand Strategy + Brand Architecture + Naming + Logo Design + Animation + Graphic Design + Icon Design + Experiential Design + Web Design + Data Visualization + Print Design + Copywriting + Illustration + Editing + Brand Guidelines + Toolkits

A Shared Roadmap

How do you engage the entire planet with an opaque geo-political document?

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals promise a more just and sustainable planet for everyone. In 2010, all 193 U.N. member nations agreed to this unique roadmap for a better future. But, for the plan to succeed, we needed everybody to be engaged. To do this, we created a logical communication system and designed a colorful visual language that is now understood and loved across the planet.

Icons to Outcomes

Our main objective was to make the goals easy to communicate across continents and cultures.

We started the process by giving the SDGs a more compelling name,  transforming the somewhat cumbersome ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ into  simply ‘The Global Goals.’

 

We then gave each of the 17 goals a concise name that makes them easy to talk about and remember. Every goal has its own colorful icon with bold typography and bright colors to express the determination and optimism of the effort. We also designed an official logo for the initiative – a bright circle made up of the colors of the 17 individual goals to remind us that they all have to be solved together.

Universal Messaging

Creating an evocative narrative around our icons.

Next, we made the language of the SDGs resolution more approachable by simplifying the positioning and crafting a powerful manifesto to inspire global action. By linking seemingly disparate issues like climate action, economic growth, and gender equality into an inspiring, actionable vision for the future, the Global Goals manifesto further iterates there is no hierarchy and every goal is connected when it comes to building a better world.

Sustainable Action

Since launching in 2015, our work has become the de-facto design system for sustainability messaging around the world.

Nearly every event designed to propagate the Global Goals message uses our design system in some capacity from local events to global conferences. Experiential content has included building projections at the UN building; branded pavilions for the World Economic Forum in Davos and Habitat III in Quito; and a fleet of SDG sailboats welcoming Greta Thunberg’s arrival to the UN’s 2019 Climate Action Summit. Our branding has also been taken up by grassroots organizers and like-minded advocates everywhere––showing up everywhere from new, sustainable clothing lines to protest signs to classrooms around the world.

The New Division

Our sister agency, The New Division continues this work today.

The Global Goals brand inspired the launch of The New Division: a communications agency dedicated to civic-minded and sustainable messaging. Based in Stockholm, The New Division seeks to educate and guide companies towards future-positive messages that can be understood by everyone. Learn more at www.thenewdivision.world.