A rich history, new ambitions

Revamping ITMís well-known logo to suit todayís needs

February 02, 2017

The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp has been committed to improving health in the South and at home for over 110 years. Today we live in a world where people, goods and health matters go way beyond the national boundaries. Thatís why ITM aims to extend scientific frontiers and translate knowledge into practice. 

The asclepius and the palm tree, symbolising medicine and the tropics, are inseparable from the identity of the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp, Belgium. KAN has developed a new logo that remains true to ITMís rich history, yet respects its future ambitions. 

The oldest logo found in ITMís printed archives dates back to 1933. The universal symbol for medicine and health care, the Staff of Asclepius, has been in use since the very start of the institute. The tropical aspect is implied by the palm trees in the background. 

The logo was first updated in 1959, just before the decolonisation of Congo. This logo was  simplified significantly in 1981: the staff was replaced by the palm tree, aligning both key elements - medical and tropical - into one symbol. This version of the logo was used until 2016. 

Times are changing, and todayís brand identity requirements are much different than before. 

As ITM began to face difficulties with the legibility of their existing logo, KAN was asked to tackle the problem, whilst maintaining its recognition and respecting the instituteís rich heritage. 

The new ITM logo is an evolution rather than a revolution. The asclepius around the palm tree has been refined to become a powerful and recognisable visual symbol. A new typeface has been selected to give the wordmark the best possible readability across different media. 

Together with the new logo, we also revived ITMís brand identity. We defined a brand new and fresh range of colours, created a multimedia grid and selected a more contemporary and academic looking typeface. The corporate blue was transformed from a cold blue into teal blue, a colour that matches their art-deco interior and creates a warmer look and feel. 

ITM also takes advantage of Kadanza to offer their employees all kinds of brand assets, from logo files to a wide range of images. With the help of Kadanzaís smart templates employees with no particular design skills can create all different kinds of marcom materials.