DIA look to Ada Lovelace and mathematics in their kinetic identity for tech-focused agency ADA
Formerly known as Listen, ADA is a tech-focused marketing agency that partners with the world’s most ambitious visionaries and brands – counting Björk, Brian Eno, Microsoft and the Nobel Prize as some of their clients. With an expansion of their business on the horizon, they turned to New York and Geneva-based design studio DIA for help with their brand; resulting in the new name and a generative design system that can flex to fit any format or medium.
“The project kicked off with a naming exercise where we ultimately landed on ‘ADA,’” DIA’s Creative Director Mitch Paone explains, revealing English mathematician and writer Ada Lovelace as their point of inspiration. “The name allowed us to create an acronym that can house endless words starting with ‘ADA,’” he reveals, giving them endless possibilities – particularly in motion. The modularity and flexibility of the resulting typographic system help it to feel fittingly mathematical. Not only due to the reference to Lovelace, but as Paone puts it – “there was quite a lot of math required” to figure it all out. Furthermore, a line is used throughout the typography as a connector; again relating back to math equations while giving the identity a sense of elasticity.
Grounding the eclectic nature of the animations is DIA’s choice of typeface, for which they selected Office by Chi-Long Trieu. “We looked for a typeface that provides a subtle amount of unique character while staying secondary to highlighted imagery,” Paone tells us, “Office works well in a kinetic context because it is drawn with great precision and is neutral enough to allow for expressive typesetting and motion.”
Similarly, the black and white colour palette was chosen in order to let the animation take centre stage. “The design system needs to support a wide range of visual content,” Paone concludes, “keeping the palette BW allows ADA’s project imagery to take the primary focus.”