We were contacted to update the Emerge85 branding. Emerge85 was established in 2016 as a partnership between The Delma Institute in Abu Dhabi and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. Emerge85 is primarily an online platform, which collaborates with an array of stakeholders to advance innovative, technology-driven solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

The initial two years was spent producing research and analysis about emerging market trends, with a focus on Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where 85% of the world’s population lives.

Emerge85 is now shifting focus not only to cover general trends in various emerging markets, but also to focus on attracting clients that are seeking geopolitical or macroeconomic analysis.


With Emerge85 having a new focus, the branding needed to be updated. The vision was to create a graphic language that is somewhere between a young media company, an established research institute, and consultancy firm.

Their positioning centres on identifying opportunities, convening visionaries, and providing a platform for partners. This forward outlook and strong partner driven focus needed to be conveyed in the brand’s graphic language.


The branding was updated enhancing the forward-thinking ethos of the brand. We created a strong modern logo and a visual identity, including image treatments, a graphic device, iconography, typography, and colour palette. The website was redesigned and developed to echo the new branding.






Website design and development


Brand strategy

Visual identity design

Logo design

Brand guidelines

Website design

Website development

Graphic design

Layout design

Emerge85 branding logo design
brand imagery

The thinking

We explored a set of conceptual directions for the logo, focusing on different key aspects such as infusing inclusivity, advancing equality, being adaptive and progressive, discovering insights and uncovering trends, highlighting the 85%, and forward-leaning in a digital age. The concepts were refined and the end result was a word mark emerging from a forward slash. The execution illustrates advancing, moving forward, for people, places and institutions, with a digital touch – which was an important aspect of the brand’s vision. The forward slash was further developed into the visual identity and used as a graphic device.

branding service strategy
Emerge85 branding
Emerge85 branding
logo design process
Emerge85 branding guidelines

The website

As a major platform for emerge85 to engage their audiences with their content, the website not only needed a facelift, but it also needed to be rebuilt to create a strong foundation for future growth. Content strategy was discussed, wireframes developed, and future plans for roll-outs included so that the build today can serve them for tomorrow. The main content included over 150 articles and reports that had to be transferred from the current site to the new build, including a new category system.

Articles and reports

The website hosts a number of articles and reports. In collaboration with the RAND Corporation, we designed the latest report, for download, desktop and mobile.

layout graphic design report
digital report information design

From the client

Kandi's work has the perfect balance of edgy and sleek. Communicating with Ida and Karl is a pleasure and they are super responsive and patient. I never hesitate to recommend Kandi to others.

Karla Green DanaBrand & Comms. Manager | Emerge85