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American-German Institute

AGI is a think-tank focused on the partnership of Germany and the United States. The institute’s expertise facilitates and leads conversations related to political, economic, and security issues. Their work needed a clear, unified, and durable logo and brand system to convey their mission, and a well-organized website to engage and equip their audience with various content types cataloged by areas of focus.

AGi web and print material designed by ob9

Annual Fundraising Gala Design

Since 2011, openbox9 has partnered with AGI to promote their annual Global Leadership Award Dinner (GLAD). The event honors a leader in the US-German relationship and raises vital support to further AGI’s mission. openbox9 designs each year’s theme, aligning the tone of the event with the chosen honoree and their industry. The visual design system is then applied to specific deliverables of invitations, sponsorship forms, event programs, email templates, website graphics, stage design, and powerpoint presentations to create an elegant and celebratory experience for supporters.

Design of 2022 GLAD event.
Stage design from 2022 GLAD event.
Printed program design from 2022 GLAD event

Contemporary Brand Management for a Think Tank

In 2011 and again in 2023, openbox9 redesigned AGI’s logo and brand, modernizing the organization’s look and feel. The first redesign focused on creating a more contemporary, vibrant color palette, a crisper and more mobile-friendly logo, and updated patterns and textures to give the Institute a trustworthy image. As part of the branding process, we also brought emails and social media graphics in line for a unified brand experience. More recently, the institute renamed itself from AICGS to AGI. While the name change warranted a new logo, the mission and direction of AGI remained so openbox9 recommended a continuation of the visual brand system with modest refreshes to build on the equity and brand recognition built over the last ten years. New… but not.

Female council member smiling during meeting
Logo sketches for OB9's redesign / rebranding for AGI

Why the Logo Works

One aspect of AICGS is how they are not only involved with building a strong relationship between two nations but how those two nations are global leaders— their partnership benefits the world. This exchange of ideas within a global theme comes through in the new design with the circular motion of partnership with AICGS in the middle of it. The logo has strength and confidence in a balanced solution which also includes the brand colors of their partner, John Hopkins University. The new name continues this theme of exchanges while also noting the bond between the nations.

Before and after comparison of the AGI logo after ob9's rebrand
Set of falling business cards
Cover design for AICGS policy paper

“You all at openbox9 have amazed us with your professionalism, speed, talent, and good humor. It has been a pleasure working on this project with you and we look forward to many more!”

Lynn Van Norstrand
AICGS corporate brochure cover design and interior spread.

Visualizing a Library

openbox9 redesigned AGI’s main communication tool, their website. At the core of the redesign was an overhaul of the website taxonomy. openbox9 designed a database for an extensive content library, defining the logic that powers an intuitive filtering system so specific topic areas are easy to find, and gathering various content types across the site into a curated presentation to the user.

The organization of the database on the back-end has a corresponding visual system on the front-end, providing easy to follow cues to orient and guide the user as they engage deeper with the ideas of AGI. The structural and visual system allows the user to find all of AGI’s analysis and expertise related to a topic that matters to them. It also equips the internal team with an efficient workflow to manage their website long-term, being able to quickly promote relevant content in a timely manner and add and organize new content– whether publications, op-eds, events, reports, videos, or podcasts.

The updated homepage on AGI website
Mobile view of taxonomy and event post on the AGI website