IBM Watson

Brand identity evolution

Design that scales at the speed of artificial intelligence.


Simplicity and consistency build connection.

Understanding AI is a skill. Explaining AI is an even greater skill. While the IBM Watson name was recognised, the brand was in need of more consistent messaging and a clearer identity. With a domain as complex as AI, communications have to be simple and consistent to ensure messages breakthrough.


A memorable identity that makes the complex, simple.

The goal is to establish global consistency through a unified design language across data visualisation, motion graphics, photography, product interfaces, illustration, and print. Using the overarching IBM design language as a basis to build from, the design evokes the feeling of energy and positivity, mimicking the characteristics of the Watson mark.

Abstract concepts associated with AI were defined visually, empowering a consistent representation of complex subject matters with data represented by a dot and intelligence represented by a colour. The system provides structure but has the flexibility to scale at the speed of AI.

IBM Branding-thumb


A unified system expressed globally.

The guidelines, inspiration and assets are housed in a centralised Brand Experience Guide created by AKQA. The tool empowers more than 2,000 global designers, marketers and agencies to create effective work that strengthens the brand with each communication. The online nature of the tool allows for constant evolution and is the consistent source of truth for the brand strategy and expression.

The success of the tool has resulted in the creation of similar Brand Experience Guides for IBM Brand Center, IBM Cloud, IBM Developer and IBM Red Hat Synergy.