The visual identity design for the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University was designed by the Brooklyn graphic design studio, FAY.

Wu Tsai Institute | Yale University

Identity, website and collateral

The Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University is an ambitious and multidisciplinary initiative focused on the study of human cognition. Established thanks to a generous gift from Joseph C. Tsai, Esq., ’86, ’90 J.D. and Clara Wu Tsai, the institute unites leading researchers at Yale and beyond, connecting scientific breakthroughs via computation, while also fueling advances using machine learning. The goal of the institute is to expand our knowledge of human cognition, allowing individuals—and societies—to reach their fullest potential.

The institute is comprised of three research pillars: the Center for Neurodevelopment and Plasticity, the Center for Neurocognition and Behavior and the Center for Neurocomputation and Machine Intelligence. They work across multiple scales of inquiry, ranging from cell biology to brain research, psychology to data science.

Through close collaboration and strategic engagement with the institute, FAY was commissioned to design a visual identity system that communicates the multidisciplinary, collaborative nature of their work. A simple dot motif captures a multitude of research across different scales of inquiry, departments and subject matters. Taken together, they present a fuller view of human cognition.

For the project, FAY also developed a web-based generative illustration application to enable the quick creation of stylized vector illustration assets. By inputting a source image and selecting from a pre-determined set of output variables, the institute’s teams can easily produce their own branded assets—abounding with clusters of dots.

Researchers collaborate under one roof, working across disciplines toward a common goal

Scan of human subject.

To know, together

We are an interdisciplinary research endeavor at Yale University connecting neuroscience and data science to accelerate breakthroughs in understanding human cognition

Wordmark for the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University designed by FAY.

The institute’s wordmark uses the university’s sans serif typeface, Mallory

Yale University’s official blues combine with purples and pinks to form the color palette and communicate the institute’s personality: simultaneously serious, curious and optimistic

Wu Tsai Institute Scales of Inquiry graphic.

The graphic motif represents the many scales of inquiry pursued by the institute, from cell biology to brain research, psychology and data science. This simple visual forms the basis of the brand and a robust illustration style

The ‘Dot App,’ a custom-built web-based illustration tool, enables the institute to generate images in their illustration style by simply inputting a photograph. Designers and non-designers alike can use this tool to create imagery for a range of internal and external communications

Dot App designed by FAY, renders the Yale University wordmark in dots.

Illustration generated via the ‘Dot App,’ using an image of Yale University’s wordmark as the input

Mallory typography.

Mallory by Tobias Frère-Jones Frère-Jones is Yale University’s sans serif typeface. Its round, geometric form renders it a suitable companion for the Institute’s graphic motif

Typography, color and a simple graphic toolkit offer endless opportunities to describe the institute and its activities

Researchers in a wet lab at the Yale Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University.

The social media icon represents the three closely related, multidisciplinary
academic centers that make up the institute; posts use a simple layout system, photography and illustration

WTI Dot Graphic.
Twitter graphics designed for the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University by FAY.
Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University booklet designed by FAY.
Cover of booklet designed for the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University by FAY.

A booklet carries key information to new audiences at the Society for Neuroscience conference

Interior of booklet designed for the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University by FAY.
Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University tri-fold interior.
Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University looking up the side of the building.
Variable business card printing for the Yale Schwarzman Center, designed by FAY.

Variable business cards were printed, utilizing the dot motif on the backs

Posters designed by FAY, showing a graphic of the brain, generated with the Dot App.

Large-format posters show off illustrations generated via the ‘Dot App’

Researchers at the Wu Tsai Institute Yale University viewing neuroscience data.
Posters for the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University designed by graphic design and creative technology studio, FAY.
Enamel pins for the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University.
A flexible e-newsletter design for the Yale Wu Tsai Institute, designed by FAY.

An expansive email newsletter template delivers Director’s announcements, institutional announcements, news and more

Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University's visual identity guidelines designed by FAY.

Project team

Aron Fay
Will Ferguson
Guillermo Montecinos

Client team

Nick Turk-Browne
Kelley Remole
Vanessa Vidacs

Campus photography

Ian Christmann