Templo’s identity for the Climate Change Committee purposely avoids the “cliched earth logo trap” of the sector

The rebrand employs an unusual colour scheme, a calm feel and an impactful approach to data visualisation to make the organisation stand out.

9 December 2020


The Climate Change Committee (CCC) is the UK’s independent adviser on tackling climate change. It consults government on emissions targets and reports on the progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, helping the country to prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Despite its importance, its old visual identity was “generic, outdated, obscure and fragmented,” describes Templo’s Pali Palavathanan, so the studio approached the CCC with the intention of changing that, at a crucial time for the organisation.

“This is a radical departure from the old identity which was like every other climate change organisation,” Palavathanan tells It’s Nice That. “The CCC’s research and data are world-class. We were drawn to the mismatch in the quality of their output and their jaded visual language hence why we approached them first.” He adds that as a creative he’s always been “frustrated that everything we do as designers around climate change seems to exist solely on T-Shirts, Instagram and zines”. The Templo team, therefore, aimed to give this influential organisation an identity that drew awareness and respect for its work.

Key to this was “avoiding the clichéd earth logo trap,” Palavathanan explains, and aiming to create a brand that stood out in its sector. One of the main ways it’s done so is through its colour palette, an unusual combination of purple and yellow used with texture, gradient and in block tones, depending on the content. “The bold colour palette makes the CCC an outlier and sticks their necks above the parapet,” the designer says of the colour choice, which is distinctive in a sector which “almost always” uses earthy greens and blues, or “warning” tones of red and orange. The logo sees the palette used to depict temperature change, inspired by global warming heat temperature maps, and applied as a gradient across the three hemispheres that denote the organisation’s initials. “We wanted to use colour to convey the CCC’s role in helping us transition from a warmer, overheated planet to one that is ultimately much cooler,” he adds. Similarly, graphics across the identity use data visualisation in a refreshing and impactful way, hoping to speak to data analysts and the general public alike.

The logo is animated to emulate a sunrise, which adds to the identity’s calm feel. Palavathanan explains there is an “intentional fact-based neutrality to the identity,” due to the climate change sector being so polarised and proliferated by misinformation. “At the extremes, there are perceived leftist tree huggers or right-wing MAGA hat-wearing climate change deniers,” he says. “The CCC presents hard-science data and so we wanted the identity to be based on facts and ultimately the truth.” For example, the three hemispheres are revealed by the orbiting of our planet around the sun, mimicking natural physics. The identity also includes playful 3D imagery of actual man-made structures/machines used to tackle the effects of climate change, such as tetrapods (coastal erosion), wind turbines (clean energy) and diggers (landfill waste). With the same ethos in mind, the identity’s typography “reinforces this sense of honesty and openness, avoiding being too alarmist and dystopian,” the designer adds.

The CCC’s chief executive Chris Stark sums it up nicely, saying the new brand “really lifts us above the noise” and gives it new tools for “compelling communication” on the climate crisis. The new Climate Change Committee identity launches today to coincide with the Sixth Carbon Budget, and rolls out across the organisation’s platforms, from data reports to social media, event materials and signage.

GalleryTemplo: Climate Change Committee identity (Copyright © Climate Change Committee, 2020)

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Templo: Climate Change Committee identity (Copyright © Climate Change Committee, 2020)

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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