Takeda, a global biopharmaceutical company committed to bringing better health and a brighter future to people worldwide, recently opened its newest building: the Innovation Capability Center (ICC) in Bratislava, Slovakia. Designed to facilitate collaboration and innovation while fostering a new way of work, the ICC will help Takeda become a leading digital revolutionary.
Takeda’s development of innovative technology to serve its patients better. We worked in conjunction with Jacobs and Takeda to develop an approach to the branding, graphics and wayfinding which helped amplify this goal, whilst embodying Takeda’s core values and messaging at the heart of the scheme.
We developed a strategy focused on three core principles which we felt should be present in each and every idea.
We developed an approach to the branding, graphics, and wayfinding of the ICC that would amplify the ICC’s goals while embodying Takeda’s core values and messaging. Working closely with the design team and Takeda, we focused on three core principles – the history and values of the Takeda brand, the local culture of the country and its people, and the history of the ICC site itself – to develop its approach to the creation, curation, and activation of the project.
The bespoke mural art installation is a series of four history and innovation walls that span over 23 sections throughout the ICC. This series illustrates the story of Takeda’s history and its impact on global research and medicine. Drawing from Takeda’s branding and marketing strategies, each of the four walls represents a snapshot of Takeda’s production process, Takeda’s history, Takeda’s innovations and innovators, and Slovakian innovators to link Takeda to its local community.
Art as Storytelling
Bespoke art installation is a series of four history and innovation walls that span over 23 sections throughout the ICC.
Inspired by traditional Japanese designs, the team combined the simplicity of Japanese forms with the authenticity of local Slovak materials to develop the initial wayfinding designs and graphic language. The graphics were translated across various parts of the ICC, including in meeting rooms, where the graphics create a degree of privacy and intimacy while reinforcing the brand’s origins.
To keep its scheme in line with the current interior design, Acrylicize included the same oak-veneered ply used on the lay-by designs and other millwork to create a consistent finish. The final wayfinding signage suite allows users to create an adaptable signage family for any space while staying in line with Takeda’s brand.
An insight into our creative process creating a graphic language for the Takeda wayfinding suite.
Glazed reception feature wall that welcomes every guest that enters the ICC. Inspired by Japanese visuals, prints, and illustrations, the reception wall shows the Tatras Mountain range in Slovakia and synergizes the Takeda brand, the local community, and the site’s history together. Four peaks stand within the mountain range, representing the four Takeda values of integrity, fairness, honesty, and perseverance.
Additionally, Acrylicize worked from a local Slovakian poem, Detvan, which describes these mountains and their mythical link to Slovak culture and design to add an additional layer of interest, texture, and meaning to these graphics.
Acrylicize worked with 12 local artists to instill the new space with local creativity and allow teams to have a connection to the surrounding neighbourhood and the people who helped shape their environment. The building for the new ICC has a rich history, starting as a textile mill and then being redeveloped into an artist's studio during the Soviet period. Inspired by this history, Acrylicize selected artists and artworks to have a subtle nod to this past while also speaking to Takeda’s current work.
Targeting Acrylicize’s three-pronged approach, this curated selection of local artworks brings in a local context while highlighting the building’s history as an artist studio and nodding to Takeda’s future. For example, a series of botanical prints nod to Takeda’s fabrication process and a large sculptural piece made from motherboards and other recycled IT equipment represent the digital and technological innovations the ICC will champion.
Children of the ICC’s employees were asked to respond to a creative brief about what the kids think their parents do at work to help create an exhibition of drawings for one of the key breakout area spaces.
Acrylicize also created a rich brand communications that exceeds the physical space by providing a lasting legacy for the ICC even after the project is completed. The team developed a series of posters, digital plaques for each of the artworks and artists, and a series of talks from the artists about their works to provide current and future employees with functional and informative content around their workplace. These activations depict the journey and process behind the works and their meaning to the space and teams who inhabit the space.