Society of the Query is a project initiated by the Institute of Network Cultures located in Amsterdam. Society of the Query focuses on online search engines and online information retrieval, and the sociological influences they have in and on our society. Google, for example, is in western civilizations the most used search engine dominating about 90% of search engine usage. The influence it has on knowledge retrieval and transfer is therefore immense. In addition to this, all results and linked information displayed after a search are determined by algorithms. This results in strongly affected and influenced world views, as well as little requirement and usage of the human ability to associate and evaluate – which is in our opinion the start of where knowledge becomes meaningful in the first place.
Studio Inherent was asked to design the visual identity for the two-day international conference. Bringing together researchers from different disciplines, artists, programmers and designers, Society of the Query aims to give new energy to the discussion on search and search engines. The identity consists of a logo, animated blog header, poster, flyer, program booklet, conference badges, and a book cover for the Society of the Query Reader. Important for the design was to create a distinct connection to online search and Google, without the design being about or mentioning Google directly.
To create a reference to Google we made use of Google’s distinguishable colour palette. By linking these colours to a systematic visual language consisting of swatches we could focus on the human act of collecting, organizing and naming. Whilst designing the communication items of the conference, we played with the expansion and replacement of these Google colours. In the design ’Society of the Query’ is visualized as the empty paper, the carrier, the blank canvas. It serves as a reference to the platform on which the discussion on the values of knowledge production and distribution takes place. The search bar is an iconic reference to the ’start’ of collecting knowledge.
To determine an alternative colour palette, we felt it was important to link to our physical reality. Through this, the design plays with the awareness that knowledge and information, despite our digital age, still derives from the tangible world that we live in. For this reason the alternative colours are ’colour picked’ from a random photograph of a street scene. From a distance the arrangement of the alternative colour swatches form a glimpse of the photograph.
- Creative Directors –
- Art Directors Dennis van Gaalen, Eline Wieriks
- Designers Dennis van Gaalen, Eline Wieriks
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