Snøhetta to rebrand Wikipedia, guided by its community of volunteers

The new identity will aim to better communicate its mission to “set knowledge free,” with the design process shared and inspired by its network.

Date
23 January 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read

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The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia, has announced it has enlisted global design and architecture studio Snøhetta in its rebrand. The organisation will undergo a visual identity overhaul, the creative process documented and shared with its global community of volunteers every step of the way, and the design guided by feedback from the network. You can watch the process unfold here.

The announcement follows a year of brand research, strategic planning and community consultations, and invites “members of the Wikimedia movement” to collaborate on its new identity. This decision was made in the spirit of the Wikimedia Foundation, whose mission is to “set knowledge free.”

In a statement, Snøhetta says the two companies were “united by a common belief in humanity, generosity and knowledge,” and will explore “how strategic branding and digital design can generate engagement and promote knowledge sharing across cultures and geographies”. The goal, it says, is to design a new visual identity system that represents Wikipedia and the Wikimedia mission, “as part of the essential infrastructure of free knowledge in the digital age.”

Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has grown to one of the world’s most popular websites, featuring 50 million articles in 300 languages, accessed by over 1.5 billion unique devices every month. Articles are added and updated by more than 250,000 volunteers around the world.

The Wikipedia Foundation runs Wikipedia as well as sister platforms Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity, Wikidata, and Wikivoyage.

Snøhetta has ten international offices working across architecture, landscape design, interiors, product and brand design. Previous projects include Europe’s first underwater restaurant, new banknote designs for Norway, the rebrand of Norway’s State Railway, and the revival of Egypt’s Library of Alexandria.

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Courtesy of Snøhetta and Wikipedia

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on news@itsnicethat.com.

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