Nile Project Case Study
In 2012, Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer- songwriter Meklit Hadero asked Wolff Olins to help crystalize their idea for the Nile Project -- an initiative aimed to bring communities around the Nile River together, to tackle the cultural and environmental issues surrounding the region. With cross-cultural musical collaborations and educational programs as the inspirational gateway, the Nile Project needed a flexible and ownable brand to help them work with organizations across multiple cultural contexts and national borders.
Wolff Olins helped bring the Nile Project to life, providing a brand that is completely unique, yet accessible, at the same time. We collaborated closely with Sadek Bazaraa of GHAVA, who is himself part Egyptian, to help develop the Nile Project identity. The identity draws from multiple aesthetic influences in the region. Establishing a versatile set of brand elements including symbols, color, pattern and typography style, the identity is adaptable in any environment and resilient in keeping with the Nile Project brand, regardless of where it is used or by whom. The result is a brand that is itself a celebration of all the peoples and cultures of the Nile region.
The Nile Project officially launched in January 2013 with its first inaugural Nile Gathering in Aswan, Egypt, kicking off a series of music residencies, workshops and conversations to lay the foundation for future programs.
Prior to launch, the initiative garnered important partnerships with a number of international cultural, social and entrepreneurial organizations aimed at positive social change. Partners include social entrepreneurship programs like Nahdet El Mahrousa and Ashoka, as well as social and cultural organizations like San Francisco-based Zambaleta, Dayma, Fekra and the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute. Co-founder Meklit Hadero, a 2009 TED Global Fellow, also draws from a rich network to support the Nile Project, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. We look forward to the impact that will be made as the Nile Project continues to grow its network of intelligence and creativity.