OpenAI, the research and deployment company working in artificial general intelligence, approached AREA 17 in 2021 to help imagine and discover a new design system and website. OpenAI was on the verge of major releases and had outgrown their existing visual identity. The company was at a cross roads, they had gained the attention of the general public, and needed to broaden their communications from beyond a scholarly audience and towards and everyday person. They wanted to better express the ways in which they had grown and planned to continue to grow in the future. The project team at AREA 17 included: Mike Lee, Jassica Bouvier, Brendan Lam, Florrie Sharp, Patrick Vézina, Quentin Renard, Tom Rattigan, and Marius Roosendaal. Special thanks to Paul DeCotiis, Justin Wang, Thomas Degry, Maddie Simens, Chester Cho, and Ruby Chen.
Tasked with creating a visual identity for OpenAI, we were inspired by the sense of magic and wonder we experienced when using their products for the first time. Our goal was to find ways of intertwining a sense of playfulness into the visual communication to encourage curiosity as the general public discovers this nascent and important technology. A quote from the team at OpenAI went something like, "when our competition zigs, we zag. we don't want to look like other technology companies out there." Together we selected a new typographic system comprised of Klim's Signifier and Söhne. Created 30 unique color themes to be pair with context specific assets. And art directed a photography style that could be used for new their new created imagery. All images used throughout the site and case study are done by Jake Stangel.