Odooproject is the official Hungarian entry for the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 competition, submitted by the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

Talented students coming from different faculties of the university form the five project teams in the following categories: architecture and design, engineering and energy, smart building, communication and management. They are supported by faculty advisors and the dean of the architecture faculty, Dr. Gabor Becker.

Since 2002, Solar Decathlon is an international contest between universities that has been organized by the U.S. Department of Solar Energy and the Spanish Ministry of Housing. The goal of the contest is to popularise the usage of solar energy in architectural solutions and to call into being the social and market support of green technologies.

More than 60 teams are working to propagate their country and their university at the competiton final in Madrid, fall of 2012, where all the designs will be built in real life.

Our team’s scope was to design a solar-power use house adapted to the Hungarian environment, weather, social situation and needs, which can subsequently succeed in the marketplace.

Hidden Characters created the visual identity for Odooproject — the Hungarian entry.

Our tasks: logo system, brand strategy, visual identity manual, visual language, business cards, promotional posters, brochures, elements of printed and digital communication, elements of online communication, web design, and invitation cards.


The shape of the house was inspired by the emphatic house-court relation, which is a typical attribute of the traditional Hungarian house, where the closed space and the openair court creates the living space. The typical uses within the lot are always changing according to the seasons and the sun’s position on the ecliptic, to which the house can always react.

Odooproject houseVisualization of the house by Márk Szőke.

Identity concept

Our major premise in designing identity for the house has been idea that the alternation of day and night as well as the passing of seasons has an effect on tenants as well. Since we are aiming for an organic relationship between visual identity and submission, our goal is that, much like it effects the house, the sun play a central part forming visual identity as well.

Dynamic identity

Due to the surge of virtual media as well as the lack of challenge their technological implementation would pose, dynamic logos have become quite common, probably even boring. However, our perception is that solutions with substance, which are not mere submission to trend, are becoming more and more rare. What inspired us to create a dynamic logo was the thought of involving solar energy. That is to say, it is the natural dynamics of earth and sun that lead us to construct a dynamically changing logo. A further interesting point is that different carriers of our visual identity will feature different versions of our logo.


Natural dynamic

At the core of our concept lies the recognition that, in projecting the image of the building as shadow, the sun itself does the task of graphic design, highlighting just the parts of the house which are engaged in collecting energy. Thus, the sun is in dynamic interaction with not only the building, but the logo as well.


Revolving around the sun and also rotating around its own axis, earth’s natural movement results in a dynamics of shade and shadow which alters both within the day, and also as the days pass. The result is a rich, almost endless variety of emerging shade-shadow constellations.

Logo variations, visual language, visual identity manual



The logo indicates the date and time of the shadow.

Working on the logo we analyzed a summer and an autumn day in Hungary, ultimately arriving at a set of 11 daytime, and a single nighttime (an inverse) version. These we have have found the most pleasing aesthetically.



Business cards


Printed communication






OdooprojectPhotography by by Balázs Danyi.


Digital communication, web design




Web developer: Gábor Németh
Actionscript developer: András Polgár

The Odooproject website and microsite.

Communication coordinator: Orsolya Nagy
Student team leader: Adrián Auth
Web developer: Gábor Németh
Actionscript developer: András polgár
Visualisation designer: Márk Szőke
Photographers: Balázs Danyi, Ádám Szekér
Graphic design: Hidden Characters

More from Hidden Characters.


March 19, 2012


Great idea with some really nice static and animated results but for me because the shadows are blue and the house is black it led to an initial confusion and didn’t nail the concept immediately in my mind. I understand that it makes a lot more sense this way for the various printed applications (overlays etc) but it almost leans more towards style over concept.

I can’t see the wood for the trees. Looks really great but I’m seeing design not message. Marketing means message, design is the tool. If all I see is the chisel when I should be looking at the beautiful Chippendale cabinet there’s something amiss. Also, it’s a small point but colour is one of those things that can make someone love something or put them off. Looking at this, however nice it is (and it is nice), make my nips hard, I’m getting a chill, it’s cold as ice, houses should be welcoming. I would also hazard a guess, when you put other colours into the cold, hard two tone environment they sick out like a sore thumb? It’s almost like painting yourself into a cleverly designed corner with no way back out. And finally, although the house is minimal, the collateral promoting it feels oddly cluttered. I think building some more space and a flow into the designs would help both reflect the architectural reality of the product and also the readers journey through the information. Sometimes making things simpler is a way of making them better.

It’s clever but I can’t feel it. I’m not sure I would recognize the shadow without the explanation. Instead, I’d see plenty of sharp edges and some sculpture that makes this far more intellectual than it probably is (or at least meant to be). I’d also second @gareth’s remark about a lack of warmth.

The solid formed by the architecture is interesting and distinctive. It’s shadow as a derivative seems to me one step too far in an attempt to avoid the obvious floor plan or front view.

It is, as Gareth says, very cold. They could’ve taken the angular look a bit further with the printed materials, rather than go for a grid layout. But overall, a quite like it.

I really like the idea behind this identity. Reminds me a lot of the Visit Nordkyn concept. I agree with you all in saying it feels a bit too cold and the shadows are hard to read. Wondering if it is just a simple color issue?

I totally agree with Gareth, the colour and feel is cold, clinical and too structured. I mean, structure is great to a point but if the design is all about structure, then the human factor is diminished.

I’m not a fan either of the blue shadow after the black shape, it doesn’t make enough visual sense. In fact, ditch the blue altogether, it’s a completely unnecessary element, especially in the booklet, the blue clutters the area, and just fills up the grid. Less is more! Let the design breathe!

The house is beautifully minimal, but the booklets and other media just look cluttered. You’d expect nicer designs involving a simpler grid, and plenty of whitespace.

Lovely, lovely work.

I also really admire Gareth’s comment above because it is a very well thought out critique. One rarely comes across criticism that is truly constructive. However, I tend to disagree with Gareth.

I think this identity works, and works well. Yes, the blue and black is cold, but cold is just one way to look at it. If I look at the promotional collateral, and even the genius of a dynamic identity, the first thing that comes to my mind is not cold but “Interesting”. It gets me intrigued. That is one press release brochure I would never overlook. I want to pick it up, find out what it is and read it. Once the identity has me in its grip, all it takes is for me to read one sentence describing the philosophy behind the logo and I’m sold. I now not only do find it nice and interesting, I realize it is relevant, effective and intelligent. Now my perspective on the whole thing has changed.

And of course, the dynamic nature of the identity is pure genius. There is so much that one can do with it – some of it can be seen in the collateral and the websites but possibilities are endless.

One point that Gareth made is quite valid though – if the house itself is minimalist, the identity could’ve been minimalist too. The clutter does not sit well with the house itself.

Anyway.. all in all, I feel its a great job!

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