RTW Investments

A new identity and digital platform for a transformative biotech and medtech investment firm

RTW are a life sciences investment and innovation business based in New York. Founded in 2009 they are dedicated to solving the most challenging, unmet patient needs not only through the investments they make but also their own scientific research.

The business had grown significantly since 2009 – having refined its offer and expanded its capabilities beyond that of RTW’s original hedge fund roots. Now with the RTW Charitable Foundation, RTW Venture Fund, internal innovation labs, and a growing portfolio of companies from pre-clinical to commercial status, there was a need to craft a refreshed brand to reflect the business' journey and support future-looking aspirations and growth.

View RTW Investments website

A disruptive entrepreneur

RTW is a selective business of smart, humble and dedicated people who take a collaborative approach in all that they do. This comes to life in their core thought ‘Our power of conviction’ and their four key characteristics: Direction, Insight, Unexpected and Precise.

Together these elements communicate RTW as a collective, with confidence and clarity of thought. Their deep research and ability to think differently, to identify and create unique opportunities that others may miss alongside their rigorous and meticulous nature deliver game-changing positive impacts for patients and partners alike.

At the heart of the new identity lies the core thought – a visual representation of the coming together of scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors to identify unique opportunities and create breakthrough therapies that transform the lives of millions.

The shapes used to create the mark are dynamic and organic, whilst the letterforms feel robust and precise. We worked with F37 Foundry to finesse the logo, crafting the forms of the mark and the interplay of the characters.

Logo exploration and inspiration are a key part of the process. For RTW, we looked deep into the world of science – experimenting with shapes and forms found in everything from microscopes to neuroscience.

A flexible graphic language

Central to this is a collective of four elements – a rigorous dot grid, focused circle, robust square and an amorphic, human shape – representing the collaborative nature of RTW as well as celebrating the individuals.

The dot grid symbolises the company’s mathematical, meticulous approach – this forms the foundation of their business and the graphic language, with all shapes and movements stemming from it.

A precise palette

Green is the primary colour of the new brand. As a colour it’s found in nature and science, it often represents growth and innovation. For RTW specifically, it’s used to reflect their unique insights, to highlight the things that others may not see. Used sparingly alongside black and white, we created a focused core colour palette for the brand.

Given the need for scientific diagrams and data visuals, secondary colours were key. Derived from the scientific world it offers a broader, complementary colour palette.

A charismatic new typeface

We selected Founders Grotesk by Klim Type Foundry as the new RTW typeface. It was chosen due to the characterful but considered letterforms. It feels modern, but the unique ink traps and shapes within the characters not only add interest but give the font an established and grown-up feel – reflective of RTW’s professional rigour and progressive outlook.

Capturing the complex

Given RTW’s work in both science and investment, there was a clear need to create an iconographic and illustration style that would not only become a useful tool in the presentation of data but would also help RTW communicate complex content in a visually impactful yet simplistic way.

There was a need for everything from classic icons through to complex scientific illustrations so we developed core characteristics, which can then be flexed in different ways.

Icons and iconographic illustrations are used across the site. They allow us to communicate the complex easily as well as create branded versions of classic scientific symbols such as Gene Therapy and RNA.

The illustration style is defined by its texture and simplified character forms. It is softened by greater use of the blues from the palette – but still utilises the green to represent insight or draw the eye. 

As the illustrations become more scientific we use texture and colour to make them more ownable to RTW, without sacrificing the technical nature of the illustration itself.

Illustrations allow RTW to lean into their more playful and human side, as well as providing a way to tell the stories of topics that are more abstract or complex.

Our people. Our science. Our world.

These three themes represent the key elements from RTW – the people that make up the company, the ground breaking work they do in science and healthcare, and the importance of their impact on the world around them. Overall the photographic style is natural and warm, with space to document the wider scene as well as the finer details of it.

Working with Mark Jaworski Studios (a New York based photographer) we were able to capture a variety of employee portraits all with different backdrops from around the city. Truly encapsulating the personality of the individuals and the business as a whole.

A transformational digital experience

Our first task was to define a new information architecture with a focus on the main ‘storytelling’ sections of the site. This puts the team front and centre, highlighting how different skill sets and expertise come together to rigorously develop solutions in the life sciences sector. A balance of brand application and usability results in an integrated website experience that immerses users in the important work RTW do.

Bringing the brand to life and ensuring its effective application across an extensive digital ecosystem meant taking a concise yet sophisticated approach. Large typography, immersive imagery, and engaging interaction of content were paired with a confident use of the graphic language to make the digital experience both identifiably RTW and as simple to use as possible.

Combining icons and illustrations with content to communicate the RTW story in an engaging way for users.

Bringing a purpose to life

One of the main brand deliverables we needed to create was a short film for use on the website (and beyond) to demonstrate RTW’s purpose in a succinct and engaging way.

Investing for the long term and powering the next generation of breakthroughs in science and medicine to help transform lives. That’s what drives RTW – the greater impact they can help create.

Tailoring the identity for the Charitable Foundation

By adapting the graphic language and utilising more colours from the secondary colour palette, we were able to alter the main RTW brand to fit with the vision and mission of the RTW Charitable Foundation. Focused on rare disease research and humanitarian collaborations, this evolution allows the Foundation (and its standalone website) to feel related to the main business but also unique.

SampsonMay has been a true partner and extension of our team in reimagining the way we present our firm and charitable foundation to the world. Their deep expertise, creative vision, and dedication were apparent every step of the way. Plus, they’re a fun team that is a pleasure to work with!

Josh Baldwin, Head of Communications and Branding at RTW Investments