The SCAN-Unit is an internationally-renowned research team embedded within the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Psychology, aiming to discover the neural underpinnings of empathy, a domain in which they have made pionieering contributions to the scientific landscape.


Having been informed about the institute requiring a logo to better represent digitally, I decided to take the initiative and conceptualize a visual identity as well as marketing material after contacting its head researcher.

One of their known pain points was the successful conduct of psychological and medical studies to help further research efforts. Potential participants would often have aversions to taking part in experiments. My proposition to counter this intrinsic problem revolves around building a more approachable and contemporary public image. What I have gathered from past promotional work for one of the faculty’s affiliates is that, by utilizing such an approach, measurable improvements in participation numbers can be achieved.

The biggest challenge, and ultimately why this concept was not chosen for adaptation after review by the SCAN-Unit’s staff, was staying within the formal restraints of the university’s brand while still being engaging enough to draw the attention of their target audience. The project encapsulated a brand- and wordmark, stationery, a 3D-animated promotion video, sound design, and a promotion poster.

The PV consists of both procedural animation and keyframing to visualize neuroimaging. Sound production was inspired by the works of Steve Reich. Sparse and undeveloped, the harmony only suggests its mode of D-Dorian, which is said to have humane-sounding qualities, centrally layering the subdominant and dominant degrees expressed as Fmaj7-Gmaj7 to the beat of a heart-rate monitor.

The mark, as main identifier of the brand and its image, is a visual portmanteau of the brain and heart. It can further be construed as a butterfly, the Ancient Greek symbol and etymological root of today’s psyche. It is effortlessly friendly and lends itself to all possible printing applications, yet remains distinct in reflecting the institute’s body of work and their field’s history.

Austria in Space

Austria in Space is an exercise in science-fiction and the application of augmented reality.


© Kenneth Itamah

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