The Brief:
We need a brand identity design for the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS), recently legally established in March 2011 as a regional, independent, non-profit organization headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon. The Council is dedicated to strengthening social science research and research capacity in the Arab world. It aims to promote a strong and vibrant social science community by facilitating and supporting networking and the collaborative production of knowledge between individuals and institutions within the region and beyond. Its structure includes a General Assembly, an elected Board of Trustees and a Secretariat headed by the Director assisted by an Associate Director.

While this institution has been long in the planning and establishment (since 2005), it is an institution whose time has come. The new developments in the Arab region make clear the need for, and importance of, an institution that would bring together the best scholars working in and on the region to engage in collaborative research, capacity building, networking and dissemination.

The Logo
The ACSS logo was chosen through an open competition for Arab designers (in the region and the diaspora). The competition received 236 designs from 31 designers and the winning design was chosen by a sub-committee of the ACSS Board of Trustees and then approved by the entire board.


This logo emerges from within Arab culture inspired by the geometrical patterns that decorate many of the great monuments in the region, but also pointing to a new era and future. The deep red colour symbolizes the richness of the culture from which the ACSS originates. The pattern symbolizes the interconnections of Arab society that branch out in inter-related networks. The square shape suggests a cornerstone or a foundation from where knowledge will rise. It suggests that this cornerstone will herald a new era in which the social sciences will make a difference, especially for the coming generations.
The role of the ACSS is to serve as a solid platform to reflect the social phenomena and interactions of Arab Society. The ACSS makes a breakthrough with its unconventional approach, creating the space that splits the logo and announcing that there is a way to deliver something new, something effective that will leave a mark. At the same time, the symbol has a twist, as the social sciences help us imagine the social world, its past and future, but cannot explain everything or put it all cleanly together.

Brand identity concept and design

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