A year on, Banda’s vanishing Chornobyl identity is more urgent than ever

Discussing why the site needed a logo to begin with, Alexandra explains that it is crucial that we keep track of exactly when the nuclear reactions stop and the danger disappears completely. The creative director continues: “One day our agency went on a tour to the Exclusion Zone. The disappearing cities made such a strong impression on us, that we wanted to tell everyone about them and make more people go and see everything with their own eyes. So, we started negotiations with the representatives of the Zone, and it turned out that they wanted to update the image of Chornobyl too.”
Needing branding that would communicate the urgency of the situation led to a powerful solution for Banda: a disappearing logo. “A static icon simply cannot contain such an important message,” the agency explains in a release. The vanishing logo is based on the shape of the fourth reactor, where the disaster at Chornobyl began; every year the logo erodes, until its complete disappearance in 2064. “This way we close this cycle of history and open some space for a new one,” Banda continues. “And this new cycle will require other visual solutions.” Alexandra adds: “Our vanishing logo is an annual reminder – every year we have an occasion to go back to the branding, discover the current situation in Chornobyl, raise awareness about Zone. It is extremely effective and memorable.”
For the renewal of the identity this year, Banda has released a further element of the project. A series of books dedicated to the history of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone have been produced, featuring a design that draws attention to their historic Soviet censorship. The dust jacket of the book performs the function of censorship; by removing it, the reader can find out the events of the disaster, through first-hand stories. The Chornobyl identity also comprises a website, produced with Other Land Studio and Orient Web Development, offering further information about the zone to continue to build wider awareness. “We hope people come back to Chornobyl to keep learning, exploring, and helping,” says Alexandra.
The creative director concludes: “This year it is clearer than ever that the events of one country can affect the whole world. They affect people far beyond its borders. It is a main lesson that we have to learn and remember forever.”

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