Brand Evolution • Autumn 2019

FEMS Branding


Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) is made up of an active and diverse network of around 30,000 professionals who are committed to advancing microbiology. Set up in 1974, today they are a growing coalition of more than 50 member societies. Their original logo dates back to 1977, when the first issue of FEMS Microbiology Letters rolled off the press. This branding project was a case of ‘evolution not revolution’ and the new logo needed to embody the client’s complex demands.


Federation of European Microbiological Societies


Branding microbiology community


Represent the vastness and diversity of the microbiology community.

logo solution

As a shape, the ‘pentagon’ is found widely across nature. It represents a blend of the smallest aspects of microbiology. The dynamic outer particles of the logo structure can represent many things, from an abstract group of colonies growing on agar at a macroscopic level, or a single cell, and all the way down to protein structures. The grouping of many smaller pentagons into a larger pentagon also represents the function of FEMS, bringing many microbiologists, in many diverse societies, into a type of order and structure. The pentagon also highlights their five key pillars of Engagement, Education, Business, Research, Policy.

Original logo

Old FEMS Logo FEMS New Logo

New logo design


Museo is a contemporary semi-slab serif font family designed by Jos Buivenga. His love for the uppercase letter U inspired this unique set of fonts. “Museo, it all started with my love for ‘U’. This uppercase letter U came to me as an image in a daydream with both stems bend into semi-slab serifs.” Museo is a remarkable semi-serif family with simple, open forms and highly original details.

Droid Sans is a humanist sans serif typeface designed by Steve Matteson, Type Director of Ascender Corp. Droid Sans was designed to provide optimal quality and legibility. It features upright stress, open forms and a neutral appearance. Droid Sans was optimized for user interfaces and to be comfortable for reading on mobile devices and on web browsers.

Logo Green
Pantone 355
Evolution Lime
Pantone 375 
Slate Grey
Pantone Cool Grey 10
Rich Black
Pantone Black
Branding microbiology community
FEMS Concepts Animation

Selection of initial logo concepts presented.

Animated version of the logo for the launch. 

Branding microbiology community

social media assets

Sharing knowledge on social media.

FEMS mission is to advance the visibility and reputation of microbiology by helping to connect people and share knowledge, without borders or barriers. We utilised Instagram Stories to communicate their strategic ‘five pillars’ to a wider audience than would be reached through a traditional annual report.

FEMS Social Media

“Garlic really got to grips with the organisation’s identity and objectives and conducted a rebrand for us that hit all of our requirements”

journal covers

Inspired by Rothko’s fields paintings

The FEMS colour palettes were sampled from a selection of Mark Rothko paintings. His expressionistic ‘fields of colour’ artworks provided a scientifically based spectrum for each of the seven Journal covers. Interestingly, the artist’s daughter worked in the scientific field, as a doctor specializing in clinical pathology.

FEMS Journal Covers
FEMS Journal Covers
FEMS Microbiology infographic
FEMS Microbiology infographic
FEMS Microbiology posters

Related projects​

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