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Branding and creating a visual identity are important for RIs. They help RI to deliver its key messages more effectively as target audiences can instantly recognize RI and associate it to the correct content. It can confirm credibility, connects to target audiences emotionally, motivates and facilitates the building of trust among the target audience. Good to remember that bad visualisation can be on the way to understand the message.

The visual identity should contain at least a logo, a colour scheme, fonts, visual guidelines, and a graphic design. The visual identity should be applied throughout all RI communication including e.g. website, newsletters, printed materials, posters, PowerPoint slides, reports, seasonal greetings. The numeric requirements of different medias should be considered. Depending on the resources available, the visual identity can be planned in house our made in collaboration with a private company. One important aspect is to inform and guide RI members on using the branding material. This can be done providing a user manual or guidebook or organize tutorial (teleconference or session in RI’s meeting).

#ICOScapes is an example of unique branding. #ICOScapes is a photo campaign providing a visual tour d’Europe of greenhouse gas measurements (GHG) in 12 ICOS stations. The campaign aims to raise awareness on the ongoing climate change as well as to highlight the importance of reliable, integrated and standardized GHG measurements in tackling the challenges of a warming world. #ICOScapes shows breathtaking photographs of the ICOS stations, their surroundings and their research facilities and personnel, features the famous nature and wilderness. The campaign has been carried out with Finnish photographer Konsta Punkka.

During the campaign, the photographs were published regularly on the ICOS social media channels (Instagram, YouTube and Twitter) as well as on dedicated #ICOScpapes webpage following Konsta’s journey around Europe. The campaign reached its peak in September 2018, when an #ICOScapes Photo Exhibition was presented at the 3rd ICOS Science Conference on greenhouse gases and biochemical cycles in Prague, Czech Republic. From Prague, the exhibition began its travel through the 12 participating ICOS member countries. The #ICOScapes has created a strong visual identity for ICOS and the outcomes (photographs and videos) are actively used in all ICOS materials  (flyers, website, roll ups, newsletter, social media, reports etc.) and in presentations, booths and conferences. Even though the campaign required  extensive resources, ICOS values it. The increase of awareness and interest of general public, decision makers and scientific communities towards  GHG and ICOS due to #ICOScapes has been notable. For example, the amount of ICOS Instagram followers grew exceedingly during #ICOScape partly due to Punkkas over 1 million followers.

The #ICOScapes can be followed on Instagram @icosri, ICOS YouTube channel, and on Twitter @ICOS_RI with the campaign hashtag #ICOScapes, and online on #ICOScapes campaign webpage.

Examples of the #ICOScapes photographs. Photos by Konsta Punkka, copyright ICOS

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