Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

Envisioning a Sustainable Future

The Situation

The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania is an incubator for energy policy innovation. The Center focuses on creating opportunities for students, researchers, and professionals to debate viewpoints, explore options, and develop agendas for decision and action regarding energy policy.

Operating under a lean startup mentality to launch the center into public view, the original Kleinman team reactively cobbled together a suite of brand assets when a need surfaced. Without a cohesive brand strategy to effectively communicate its message and set the tone for the work it was doing, the team quickly realized the need for clarity, refinement, and a big-picture plan. Our challenge was to develop a smart and modern identity that would resonate with policy wonks, academics and students alike, while also leveraging the power of the Penn brand.

Our Approach

By conducting a thorough brand assessment with various strategy and research sessions, we developed a unified suite of materials created to help The Kleinman Center consistently engage its audience. The resulting system is clean, modern, and energetic while remaining Penn-focused and easy to manage for its internal communications team. The new visual language was adapted to Kleinman's first annual report, then extended to the rest of the suite, including stationery.

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Photography & Color

Specifically selected pieces of abstract photography help to reflect energy in a modern, abstract way. The photos are shown with a gradient blue-green-yellow color palette to signify slow, steady change in a progressive society. Having a specific brand color palette is an important aspect of every identity, but it becomes even more important to carefully select colors when you’re planning to pass the design off to an internal team. We needed to make sure the colors and gradients we chose were representative of Kleinman’s persona as an energy policy leader (bright blues, golds, greens) and that the entire array of colors worked harmoniously.

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A Modular System

We made the choice to design the Kleinman identity within a Swiss aesthetic where simplicity, legibility, and objectivity are paramount. This approach equipped their team with a modular template system built on a flexible grid for internal control over print collateral into the future. With a few alterations, the Kleinman team could easily create fresh pieces on demand that fit within its brand identity without needing to spend lots of time rethinking the design.

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Position as Experts

Once a solid visual identity is established, additional communications pieces easily follow to bring cohesion and recognition to the Center. A “Directory of Experts” was designed and mailed to media professionals to position Kleinman’s faculty fellows, professors and research professionals as leaders in the energy field. This piece is a crucial resource for media professionals to tap into and reference.

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Samahon Lindsey Headshot

The Untuck team keeps me grounded. They consistently meet deadlines and deliver amazing products—making my work life easier. They combine excellent communication with gorgeous design and keen attention to detail. The creative process is important to us, and theirs is the top of the line.

— Lindsey Samahon, Director of Communications, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

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