Brand of the Day: Graphcore

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With Graphcore, brilliant tech meets brilliant design. The U.K.-based startup launched in 2016 with the goal of taking AI to the next level, and Graphcore has recently taken major strides toward that with the launch of its Microsoft Azure cloud preview.

As Wired details, “Unlike most chips used for AI, Graphcore’s processors were designed from scratch to support the calculations that help machines to recognize faces, understand speech, parse language, drive cars and train robots. Graphcore expects it will appeal to companies running business-critical operations on AI, such as self-driving-car startups, trading firms and operations that process large quantities of video and audio. Those working on next-generation AI algorithms may also be keen to explore the platform’s advantages.”

Pentagram created the brand’s visual identity, dynamic typeface and pattern generator. One of their top goals was to combat negative perceptions of AI, as well as the gender bias in tech branding toward the hypermasculine. As a result, “the Graphcore brand combines hard type and patterns with a soft color palette and delicate illustrations. In addition, the brand utilizes an optimistic and conversational tone of voice that embodies the complexity of advanced technology without becoming too opaque to understand.”

Pentagram also partnered with Map on the design of Graphcore’s intelligent processing unit.

As Pentagram writes, “The design language of powerful computer systems is typically anonymous, living in cold dark boxes in even colder darkened rooms. Eschewing this, the industrial design team decided to focus on a design that represents individuality, and the potential for change. They did this by bringing the Graphcore visual identity to life in the physical world.”

Map developed a panel system involving more than 50 different tiles, which together create in excess of 1,000 combinations, truly giving each unit its own look.

On the whole, it’s refreshing to see a startup with design as sharp as its ambitious product.

Images via Pentagram