An open sandbox for the world to build a better future at a human scale
 

Newropa is a safe haven for cultural richness and diversity – not only of race or caste, but also thought and opinion.

We want to celebrate that diversity, and the individuals who come together to build a better future.

 
 
 

You are welcome to add what you identify with to this infinite gallery of identities.

 

 
 
 

Most people know the European Flag – a blue background with 12 perfectly identical yellow stars. Some might say – Classy. We say – Boring. While we love the claim of Europe "United by diversity", we think the flag doesn't do justice to this idea at all. Quite the opposite – the 12 identical stars that form a perfect circle should represent the idea of completeness and perfection as we have 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 greek gods, 12 months and hours. We think Newropa should be constantly changing and ever evolving. Moreover, we feel that only having 2 colours and being named after an old greek goddess feels too backward looking and static. So let‘s stir things up bit.

 
 

1.

From Solid Backdrop to Open frame

THE FRAME

We believe that Newropa is radically welcoming and distinctly diverse. Therefore we want to reflect the Neuropeans nomadic nature and open things up. We call it ‘the frame‘ – it is an iconic replacement for the solid blue background of the flag. It just loosely gives the content a context and invites for transgression. It can serve as a supergraphic in various formats and usage scenarios.

 

2.

From Simple Stars to Changing Content

THE ASTERISK

Instead of 12 generic stars we reduced everything down to a * which serves as a placeholder for any content that people want to put into the frame. In some cases it can be our logotype ‘Newropa‘ in others it can be word that represents the idea or feeling associated with Newropa.

 

3.

From Standardized Font to Stencil-proof Type

 

THE DIN

The logotyped is based off the DIN font, a font that originates from a typeface that has been generated around the norms and is widely used in german traffic and technology. We thought it is nice to use a rather standard, established and neutral font and spice it up by making it look a bit more playful and slightly radical by giving it the look of a stencil. Like that it can be easy reproduced and spread by every Newropean.

 
 

We also like the idea, that the word "Newropa" includes the idea of novelty as well as Europe and most importantly embodies as well the slightly utopian nature of this endeavor.

 
 

We also played around with a morphing and ever-changing font, but decided against, as we think the logotype should keep some simplicity and stability. But we knew we want to add lots of dynamism and evolution to the logo, so we continued looking for other ways to create it.

 

4.

From Rigid Icon to Refreshing Breeze

 

THE BREEZE

To compensate for the initial abstraction of the flag, we want to bring back the behaviours of a flag in the animation of the logotype. It is a subtle yet human breeze that is ever so slightly breaking up the rigidness and formality of the Newropa logotype.

 
 
 
 

5.

FROM QUALITY FONT TO QUIRKY FUN

 

THE BREE Serif

The typeface ‘Bree Serif‘ is a really quirky and very special font. It almost feels like a combination of a handwritten scriptfont, a modern sans serif and a traditional serif font. Therefore we feel it embodies nicely the diversity and cultural richness of Newropa. It is forward-looking and distinct. It doesn't take itself too serious and has character and a sense of play.

 
 

6.

From Single-minded to Light-hearted

02.jpg

A DIVERSE COLLECTIVE

When it comes to the people of Newropa – the Newropeans – we think that the most important aspect is to highlight the lovely vivid diversity in language, race, gender and culture. This diversity should be amplified and the vibrancy of Newropa embraced. Therefore we took a very colorful and expressive visual spin on the visuals of Newropa.

INVITINGLY IMPERFECT

Neither the imagery nor the personality of Newropa should ever strive to be perfect. Because we believe the one idea of ‘perfection‘ doen‘t feel human. We‘d rather embrace all the little human imperfections which create an approachable authenticity. We are united in diversity and radically welcoming in order to be truly Newropean.

7.

From Countries to Connections

 

THE DIVERSIKON

While we feel very strong about the New logotype and the New Flag, we were missing some texture. Something, that is visualizing the buzzing cultures, the incredible diversity and changing nature of Newropa. So we explored different ways to create a visual Mnemonic, which we call ‘The Diversikon‘. We felt very strong that the diversicon should be as well animated and evolutionary be changing all the time. 

 
 
 

BE THE STAR

The first exploration, centered around the idea of bringing the stars back and ultimately making everybody in Newropa a potential star of its flag. So we created a spider diagram, that would allow the Newropeans to analyze their personality and thereby generate an individual star. The star would than be randomly placed inside our Flag and take the color accordingly to the position your are viewing from. It would simply tap into image sources such as google and flickr and analyze the color-scheme related to the place you are currently in and would use it for the stars. And while we liked the generative nature of this programmed logo we thought it was taking a step back towards the old logo, so we moved on.

 

 
 

LITTLE STARDUST

The second exploration, circled around the idea of Newropa being a sandbox for the world to explore its future on a human scale. This led to the idea of using three-dimensional shapes that resembled either zoomed in grains of sand or zoomed out planets. Overall the look was nice but we felt this version of the "Diversikon" was trying to hard and will be to hard to reproduce by anyone.

 
 

MICROSCOPIC FLOCKS

This design direction started with the idea of Newropa being a micro-organism of people that constantly move around. The very liquid like animation gave the logo a very dynamic and realistic character, but it also felt very claustrophobic and zoomed in with a very limited perspective . So we moved on.

 
 

RELATEDNESS

While we liked the idea of particles representing people we got even more excited when we started to think about the connections between them. The feeling of belonging and relatedness has lots to do with the people we are connected with. So we started an approach that started off thinking again about the 12 stars as starting positions and drew the connections between them, than we scaled it up to the actual 47 countries (48 if you count Cyprus in). But everything felt to static and to orderly. So we went back and stirred things up a bit.

We thought about different types of relatedness e.g. spacial relatedness, genetic relatedness, language relatedness, political relatedness or content relatedness. The example you see above is using spacial relatedness and defines 5 circles of relatedness around every Newropean. It starts out with your neighbourhood, scales up to your city and country and extends towards Europe and the World. It taps into the location of the people you are connected with (e.g. via social networks etc.) and maps out the geographic orientation that they are in relation to your position. The more people are in this direction, the thicker the line and the further they are away, the longer the line. To give the whole visualization a bit more of a human-touch we distorted the lines a bit to give them a scribble-like look. Of course this is only a start and there are lots of other modes of relatedness and ways to map things, but we are pretty happy with the visual outcome and will use it for now as our "Diversikon". We love that it feels individual, looks human and shows the ever emerging nature of Newropa.

 
 

VARIATIONS

Of course you can't always use the full-color version. Feel free to use only the logotype wherever it works better, or use one of the logos above that have a reduced colorspectrum and therefore have a better contrast and are a bit easier to use. As already said, this is no corporate identity, this is an open framework for exploration. So go and play with it.

 

 
 

PUTTING THINGS TOGETHER

Here are a couple of examples we put together to inspire you on how the visual language of Newropa could look like. It is all in early stages and we are heavily counting on all of you to make it better and different. This is meant to be a conversation starter for an ongoing dialogue, not a monologue about a solution. 

What you can see is that we used a big outline to frame the designs. The cool thing about it is that it is iconic and can be easily reproduced and even used in space e.g. with simple colored duck tape. Moreover you can see that we used our [ ] to highlight parts of the picture and make the typography interact with perspective and elements in space. Last but not least, the examples show how the logo can either be used free-standing or as a vignette that ‘crawls in‘ from the edges. We really like that it looks like color splatters and can already imagine water-balloons filled with colors to recreate new versions of the logo in an analogue non-data driven way. Last but not least we added a ‘hand-written‘ and ‘hand-drawn‘ layer to the compositions. This might be the most important one, as it allows everybody to just write and scribble on the designs. We also included a couple of invitingly imperfect patterns, that draw from some of the patterns we find in our cities and that can add a cultural nuance to the designs.

 

8.

From Ode to Joy to Modes of Joy

 

THE NEW ANTHEM

While we love Ludwig van Beethoven‘s ‘Ode to Joy‘ it feels very backwards-looking. It is very cultured and beautiful, but it also feels very elitist and inapproachable. We would like the new anthem to be more forward-looking and a bit more casual. Think more about something like a song by the Hives that a whole stadium spontaneously could chime into or little kids would hum while playing. And most importantly something that can be interpreted, sampled and adopt endless different individual and cultural spins. So we want to move from the passive ‘Ode of Joy‘ to participatory ‘Modes of Joy‘ and from good old ingenious ‘Beethoven‘ to inviting people to get their ‘Beats movin‘.

 
 

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

So we took the main melodic hook of modes and joy and underlay it the most common chords in pop music – the classic 1, 5, 6-minor, 4 scheme. It is easy to remember and played with the simplest chords by anybody. We set out to play it at 120 bpm, which – you might have guessed it – the tempo seconds go by and therefore almost a universal beat that we are attuned to. This anthem isn't written and will never be. There will be no official version only interpretations of it. It also doesn't have lyrics, but if you feel like you want to write some for your version feel free to write about ‘joy‘ in your own words and language. So now go, and compose and sample the sh** out of this.