Logo Design Love

on logos and brand identity design

IDA and Pentagram recreate Pangaea

The International Design Alliance (IDA) has unveiled a new visual identity for its biennial IDA Congress, “the primary event for dialogue between designers and stakeholders of design in a summit format.”

IDA Congress logo

“Designed and developed by Pentagram, the new look focuses on an artistic restructuring of Pangaea, a theory of Greek origin meaning “all lands” in support of the idea that at one time, all of the earth’s continents were once a single landmass. Pentagram’s solution for a permanent identity for the IDA Congress is a seemingly abstract shape that is ultimately composed of the silhouettes of all continents. At small scale, its shape is ambiguous. Enlarged, the geographic details come into view.”

Quoted from the ICSID website.

IDA Congress logo

“Each Congress host, selected on a biennial basis, will be able to customise the identity within a system developed by Pentagram, showcasing the unique attributes and culture of the host city.”

IDA Congress logo

And because you’ll obviously want to know, the single enormous ocean that surrounded Pangaea, Pangæa, or Pangea (from Ancient Greek pan ‘entire’, and Gaia ‘Earth’, Latinized as Gæa), was accordingly named Panthalassa (meaning ‘all sea’).

Pangaea image via Wikipedia

Note the speed at which India moved toward Asia around the 60 million years mark in this Pangaea animation (embedded above) — the counter in the lower-left signifies each million years in the past, counting toward the present. The collision formed (and continues to form) the Himalayas.

But it’s all hyperbole. The earth was actually created in the early hours of October 23rd, 4004 BC.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

13 appreciated comments

  1. Martín

    As usual… the United States look bigger than they actually are…

  2. Hi David!

    I like the concept but the execution is a bit weird. Most people are used to the standard map so showing the continents fused together as Pangaea would have probably been abstract enough as it’s not something that we see very often. However, Pangaea plus random clustering of continents seems like a bit much. Granted, I’m a bit biased as I’m not big on abstract stuff.

  3. Alwyn Leedham

    Hmmmmm, from a distance I would probably think it was just an ink splat or something. lol

  4. I agree with Natasha, good idea but it looks strange and clumsy.

  5. Rafael

    South America and Africa are smaller than they actually are.

  6. Lana

    At first glance I thought it was some sort of environmental, oil spill campaign.

    Oopsy. My apologies.

  7. rek

    Martin: And, as usual, Canada is virtually ignored. The most visually striking part of the continent – all those northern islands, Hudson Bay, and the east coast – buried Asia.

    (Australia didn’t fare any better.)

    It’s an interesting idea, but I don’t think it was done well.

  8. Alex Christian

    Spare a thought for New Zealand, rammed into Uruguay for some reason.

  9. Dan

    Where is the design? The emotion? The flair? The practicality? The human element in all of this?

    This isn’t design, it’s clip art.

  10. Derren Lee Poole

    Anyone else see a Rorschach ink blot test? ;)

    Like the idea though, but the abstract nature behind the concept will be lost on most people. Unless of course you’re into Greek mythology, geographical history or the music of Miles Davis :)

  11. Fabiano Bueno

    Is it discrimination or lack of geological and geographical knopwledge? The most natural fit between the continents is that of South America and Africa. And it was simply ignored.

  12. At least The Netherlands (and Western Europe) are clearly visible (which I like ;)). What is New Guinea doing above Norway / Sweden / Finland?

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