Nansen logo

I was asked by Chicago based agency Nansen to take an old brand and bring it back to life. I took inspiration from their office and the old brand and created something forward-looking.


Nansen v1 existed 2010–2014, then it got aquired and became Making Waves. After a few years the staff at the Chicago office decided to buy out their part and relaunch it as Nansen. They wanted the new brand to pay homage to the old.


Most of the people working at the new Nansen worked at the old one as well. Many of them remembers the culture, atmosphere and all the good and bad things from back then.

What once wasnow

Means moving backwards, looking back, rstanding still, reverse.

So bringing the old brand back to life could not be about nostalgica, it could not be about trying to bring back what once was.

It had to be about starting from today and focusing on the future, what can be built from here forward.

Nowwhat will be

Means respect, reminisce, building for the future, forward.

That became the beacon for the concept. Don't try to bring the old back to life, build something new upon the old.

The brand

Since the concept was "Now and forward" I took a lot of inspiration from their current office, especially the lounge furniture at the front of the office. I just love the color of it.

Office interiors from the Nansen Chicago office - lounge chair
Office interiors from the Nansen Chicago office - sofa
Office interiors from the Nansen Chicago office - lounge area

A formal visual language

The new Nansen was about a new way of work so I tried to find a formal visual tone of voice that could be used in client meetings, presentations and all things you see below.

The brand - the logotype
The brand - colors
The brand - typography
The brand - headlines
The businesscards
Design examples for stats and facts
After a couple of hours of discussing and wireframing.
The Nansen merchandise - stickers and goodibag
Concept sketches for stickers, note books and battery packs
The Nansen merchandise - totebags
Goodie bags for new employees and events
The Nansen merchandise - hoodie with orange logo
Hoodie and t-shirts
The Nansen merchandise - black t-shirt with white logo on the chest
The reception desk has Richardo peeking in from the floor
Reception desk with Richardo peeking in (see below).
Plexi glass sign with the logo at the front entrance
Street entrance
Entrance door in the hallway with logo and Richardo peeking in saying Hi!
Entrance in the hallway
Developers at the hackathon wearing merch
David and Chris at the Epi Innovation Challenge

… and a casual visual language

Since I’ve spent a lot of time at the Nansen office and know their personalitys I know we needed an informal voice that could be used at meetups, after works and more casual situations. Enter the office mascot Richardo.


Whenever you visit the Nansen office you will meet Richardo Fuentes Bergström. He is the cosiest, friendliest and most loyal of all Nansen people.

Richardo chilling in the sofa

Richardo has always been at Nansen, he is constantly working over time, beeing lazy and hungover.

Employees always turns to him and sets him up for pair-coding, butt-xeroxing, binge-drinking, busking or child care. Everyone loves Richardo.

So I drew a Richardo carachter that could be used as a visual ice-breaker on the site, at the office or events.

Step by step drawing the Richardo avatar

Final design for the Richardo avatar

The site

Instead of designing the full site I provided a set of template drafts. That way they could work internally on the full site.

Wireframe – homepage
Wireframe – case page
Wireframe – Our Culture page
Wireframe – article page
Wireframe – lists