Despite being a small organization, we proudly design our brand in-house.
A tesseract is a four-dimensional analog to a cube. We chose the name partly as a reference to the fact that, at the time of our founding, we had four topic areas as well as four themes (creativity, computation, community, and collaboration) that informed our direction, and partly because we felt that a reference to geometry was appropriate given its use in a variety of fields, a parallel to our own cross-disciplinary focus.
From there, we identified key values to design our brand around:
- Multidimensionality - bringing together diverse disciplines, backgrounds, and identities and having everyone walk away with mutual respect and increased appreciation for each other's perspectives and skills
- Directionality - guiding, inspiring, and empowering others towards exploring new opportunities and pursuing new directions in their lives
- Humanity, via playfulness - designing events that encourage curiosity, discovery, and playfulness; are accessible to everyone; and from which come work within which everyone's perspectives are represented, respected, and incorporated
With our logo, we decided to stay away from typical representations of tesseracts to establish a distinct identity. Instead, we designed an abstract shape inspired by corners of cubes, portions of tesseracts, and flexagons. Multidimensionality is depicted through having the shape be subtly three-dimensional. Directionality is represented by the three arrows pointing towards each other to suggest combination and intersection, with no arrow further ahead than the others to reflect the importance of succeeding together and reaching effective compromises that we believe in; the three arrows converge on a fourth, final arrow that points towards you in 3D space, emerging out of the shape and thus echoing the possibilities we hope will emerge out of the intersections of different disciplines, backgrounds, and identities. Finally, playfulness is incorporated through the slightly rounded corners as well, and also informed our decision to use a rounded, approachable font for our wordmark.
We wanted an overall look that was futuristic, yet counterbalanced by splashes of bright, happy, and inviting color to contrast with the sterile, industrial look of many tech-centered organizations and to tie into our theme of human playfulness. With that in mind, we selected a four-color palette derived from the CMYK color model - with the black swapped with purple to ensure the palette could be utilized on dark backgrounds - not only for its striking appearance, but also both to reinforce our motif of four dimensions or directions, and to represent our hope that, much as CMYK forms the basis for the printing of a whole variety of works, our work can serve as the basis for others to do greater things as well.
Branding development is led by media team member & student designer Anna Shaposhnik and founder Clayton Ou, working with input and feedback from the rest of the team and the board of directors.