Brookings Institution
An eye looking at Africa’s future

Challenge

The Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative believes that the time is right for Africa to sustainably and inclusively converge with the rest of the world in terms of standards of living, opportunity, and GDP per capita income. Since 2016, this program has been delving into six cross-cutting themes, gathering views on what they perceive to be key areas for intervention to keep Africa on its current rising trajectory into the comprehensive yearly research “Foresight Africa”.

Since 2016 and for four editions in a row, Blossom was asked to develop the creative concept, design and layout for this report.

 

Concept

The “Foresight Africa” report illustrates the paths behind and in front of Africa to help policymakers stay ahead of the trends and developments impacting the continent.

Foresight is the keyword that guided us in developing our creative concept: an eye, looking at a great future for Africa. This is how we visualized the answer the continent is giving to the challenges it’s facing.

In 2016, Africa was at a tipping point. Despite all the success the continent had achieved, certain dangers threatened to derail its progress. The eye we’ve designed sheds a light on the 6 interconnected themes analysed in the report, each identified with a specific colour. The rays of light that come out from the eye identify a broad and clear path to meet and defeat the challenges. The same colours are found throughout the report in the chapter dividers, infographics and other graphic elements to guide the reader across the six themes.

In 2017, the report provided a holistic view of Africa, emphasizing that with each challenge there is a solution. Not all solutions have yet been found: starting from the 2016 creative concept and colour palette, we evolved it in the iris of an eye in which certain blocks still need to be filled in, but plain blocks and their colours can be found where we least expect it – just like the solutions illustrated in the report.

The 2018 report focused on the potential of a more unified Africa to create never-before-seen opportunities for trade and economic prosperity. The 2018 creative concept thus needed to emphasize that Africa’s future lies in its own hands, and that it already has the power to reach its goals. Maintaining consistency with previous year’s creative concept, we developed again an eye, but this time built by overlapping bars that create an introspective movement. The more Africa evolves and adds bars to its progress, the thicker, the stronger it becomes.

In 2019, our creative concept needed to convey the unprecedented dynamism of Africa in creating opportunities for trade and investment, and the growing interest it is drawing from an increasingly diverse group of external partners. The 2019 circle design is made up of the same colours, identifying the recurring six main themes dealt with in the report, but the different geometric shapes composing the circle illustrate the diversity of the continent. The geometric shapes are adjusted to fit into the circle and convey the image of the common threads that bind the continent together: the goal is to create a definitive, plain circle, but items composing it are still adjusting and assembling.

 

Delivery

Blossom developed the design and layout of the Foresight Africa 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions.

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Type of Work