Pentagram identity for AI platform Cohere uses visual language of cells

Partners Jody Hudson-Powell and Luke Powell implement a pattern found throughout nature to suggest a blend of the synthetic and organic.

4 April 2023

Natural Language Processing or NLP, a branch of AI which enables computers to understand, organise and generate text, is at the centre of numerous discussions right now. The technology appears in multiple forms; Chat GPT is one example, as are its competitors Google Bard and Bing Chat. This week, Italy banned Chat GPT over privacy concerns, as a report showed the potential impact AI will have on jobs, particularly in the legal sector. At the same time, AI focused on text-generation is experiencing a huge growth, with many brands looking at how the technology can be used to streamline internal processes at companies. Now, with a recent project from Pentagram, we’re also seeing how design agencies might visualise this growing field.

Pentagram partners Jody Hudson-Powell and Luke Powell have launched a new identity for Cohere, a language AI platform built specifically for businesses. Its potential uses vary, but a release from Pentagram offers some examples for how companies can use the platform, including “law firms that need to find specific information in hundreds of court documents”, or “online communities that need to find hate speech quickly, amongst millions of posts”. So far the platform has powered multiple use cases for clients like Spotify.

With the Cohere identity, Pentagram aims to subvert imagery currently surrounding tech in this field. This includes the Corporate Memphis look – think 2D, geometric illustrations, often used in the design of tech startups, as well as obscure, sci-fi-heavy design tropes. Instead, the work endeavours to focus on the usability of the product.

Symbols sourced from the natural world make up the basis of the new design. In particular, the team draws inspiration from biology, looking at the visual language of cells. The cell form is then “augmented” by the mathematical concept of Voronoi diagrams, a pattern found throughout nature and architecture, in a giraffe’s coat and honeycomb. With this system, Pentagram partitions an infinite number of cells into an infinite number of plains.

It’s not the simplest of concepts to wrap your head around. But at its core, the design is built to merge the organic and the artificial, which is also how you could describe the NLP model of AI.

The new Cohere logo features a symbol and wordmark based around the concept of the cell, along with a custom typeface, bespoke colour palette, icons and pictograms.

GalleryPentagram: Cohere (Copyright © Pentagram, 2023)

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Pentagram: Cohere (Copyright © Pentagram, 2023)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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