With a new global energy crisis set to worsen in the coming months and debates over the relationship between our energy systems and climate change, how we power our world has never been more relevant. . Many are calling for public ownership of energy grids and greater control over this most basic resource, and organizations are beginning to heed that call.
Environmental activist Greenpeace is one of them, having recently launched Common Power, a new initiative that “aims to divert power from the centralized fossil fuel economy and put it in the hands of local communities.” It marks the start of what will hopefully be a rapid global transition to renewable energy, and has been set up as a means to catalyze this process.
Given the sensitive and complex nature of the issue, Greenpeace was keen to give their new project “global energy democracy” an accessible, inclusive and inspiring image and enlisted London-based design studio Human After All to guide them. Freddie Elcock, director of strategy at the studio, recalls the brief: “[They wanted us to] find a name that works globally and an identity that supports the program they were looking to start. One that brings communities and citizens together to truly own the energy they use.
As the first point of contact for the initiative, the right name was crucial, and the Human After All team felt Common Power was fit for the job. It was simple, universal and reflected Greenpeace’s mission. “‘Common’ is a really nice collective word that’s really at the heart of this thing,” says Elcock. The name could speak to the wide range of individuals and groups that make up Greenpeace’s target audiences, including NGOs, local community groups, investors, policymakers, and more.
In terms of visuals, Human After All was keen to strike a balance between a more traditional militant aesthetic and something cleaner and more direct. As with the name of the initiative, its appearance had to capture the attention of a wide range of audiences. “We wanted to be dynamic, catalytic, reliable and impactful, but also more factual, serious and a bit more direct in terms of visual and verbal themes. We didn’t want to go into a full Extinction Rebellion,” says Elcock.
The result is an identity that takes inspiration from the history of Greenpeace and other lobby groups and combines it with a bolder approach to color and imagery. It forgoes the DIY aesthetic of organizations such as Extinction Rebellion and opts instead for a more polished look and feel, and in doing so, it finds its place between grassroots movements and professional advocacy – building on the power of both to better serve its purpose. .