ETH Zurich, Department of Computer Science
A visual code for the leading science of the 21st century
ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ranks among the best universities in the world to study, teach or research in the field of computer science. 1400 students, more than 30 professors from over 10 countries and some 300 PhD students, research assistants, postdocs and senior scientists are engaged in the various aspects of computer science.
The Department of Computer Science asked us to develop a specific visual language that provides a coherent and characteristic visual identity as well as a perfect fit into the overall corporate design of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Thus, Computer Science presents itself as a unique and ambitious department and a proud part of ETH Zurich at the same time.
Today, computer science affects us more than any other science. Digital transformation is reshaping industries and permeates our everyday lives. Yet for most people the science behind all this is something highly abstract and hard to grasp. Its perception remains oddly virtual and distant.
We aim to break down this barrier and we do this with bold and surprising imagery. We take ordinary objects of everyday life and turn them into metaphors for the more abstract tasks and terms of computer science such as transfer, memory, system, code, data, sorting, deciding, access or protection.
We portray real students and professors as they are. Thus, we counter the stereotype of the lone male nerd and show the wide variety of types, interests and careers that make up the diverse teams at the ETH Department of Computer Science.
The simple photo style with monochrome color backgrounds corresponds with the object stills but light and colors are adapted to delicate skin tones and individual expression. This portrait stile is typical for the Department of Computer Science and can easily be reproduced with very little effort.
The characteristic visual language is experienced across all media: From static publications such as brochures, study guides or flyers to interactive channels such as websites or social media. In addition we build an extensive image pool that keeps growing over time.
“The visual concept is both strong and variable. This helps a lot to communicate consistently across all channels.”
Sandra Herkle, Head of Communication & Marketing, Department of Computer Science, ETH Zurich
Visual language | Department brochure | Masters brochures | Study guides | Photographer briefing | Picture editing | Image pool