Contributed by Vietnam-based graphic designer Scott Lambert.
OUCRU was established in 1991 with support from the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the Health Services of HCMC and the Wellcome Trust. OUCRU also now works with it’s partners in many places including: Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal.
The unit’s strategic aim is to have a positive and significant impact on global health and, in particular, the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. This is being achieved via an integrated long-term research programme, contributions to training, the scientific literature, national and international meetings and membership of national and international committees.
This brand identity project was commissioned by OUCRU and remunerated through the University of Oxford. One of the most important parts of the brief was creating a unified identity for OUCRU that respects the brand guidelines of Wellcome Trust and University of Oxford.
The coded sequence
Purposely ambiguous, these coloured shapes feel scientific. They can be viewed as a sequence of chromosomes, a course of medical treatment, or a group of bacteria, even people. They may simply be a colorful respite in a sterile environment.
The sequence represents the process of searching for answers – making sense out of something that at first has none. It represents problem solving and offers rewards to those that do. Very simply – each shape represents a letter of the alphabet.
The identity was unveiled last month in front of OUCRU’s 100 strong team.
The whole project took 10 months, involved internal research, brand strategy, design development, and then brand guidelines. It was a pleasure to work with OUCRU’s senior team, none of whom are brand managers or marketeers, which made their insights and feedback incredibly honest and even more relevant. They were never interested in the ‘safe’ options, their work in science often involves innovation and discovery, and that is what they wanted to convey. It was incredibly refreshing working with people who have respect for diligence and yet trust their own intincts.
“We are delighted with the results and are looking forward to implementing it fully over the course of the next 6-8 months.”
— SARAH BARTON, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, OUCRU