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Pro Bono Bonobos

Just outside Des Moines is a world-class research facility where scientists are working to unlock the secrets of primate development (like language) by interacting with Great Apes — specifically bonobos. The Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative (ACCI), formerly known as The Great ApeTrust, sits on 230 acres of pristine Iowa hardwood forest and has 20 acres of ape-accessible outdoor space.

With a focus on science, conservation and civic engagement, ACCI is uniquely positioned to emerge as a leader in a new era in great ape cognition and conservation research. After a recent change in management and leadership, ACCI went in search of a new brand, a new look, and a new introduction to the world. And they found Red Dot.

As a pro bono partner, Red Dot is helping the facility transition to ACCI and developing their new brand and marketing materials — starting with their logo.

Not only does the new logo match the new name, but Kanzi — ACCI’s star bonobo— is the focal point of the identity system, and has been carried throughout brochures and other marketing materials.

Our aim was to create a visual style that emphasized the importance ACCI places on research. So we focused on the concept of cognition (rather than conservation) by using a palette of primary color derivatives and avoiding greens and other earth tones. Rectilinear shapes and typography represent spatial awareness and higher-level thinking.

By interacting with these great apes (using lexigrams, a symbol vocabulary), ACCI scientists are learning about humanity’s evolution, about how primates learn, and are developing insight into ways to prevent and treat human disease. It’s an incredibly exciting endeavor, and we’re proud to be part of it.

Want to learn more about the Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative? Visit apeinitiative.org.

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