Monsanto Incubator


Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum

Practice Area


Monsanto Col

Project Vision

The 94-year old Monsanto Company wanted to shed its image as giant chemical maker and re-engineer itself as a kinder, gentler “Life Sciences” start-up. It was the task of the designers to create a thematic scheme that would allow an effective design solution of essential elements such as visibility, legibility, and flexibility, all without compromising creativity. The goal was to create a wayfinding communication system that would give information to others and get people where they want to go while presenting a meaningful interpretation of identity. In the Incubator building, where products are analyzed and tested in company laboratories, this new corporate image is reflected in the use of a whimsical design for the environmental graphics throughout the facility. These graphics and displays cause employees and visitors to “download” a sense of creativity and innovation about Monsanto, thus aligning them with their new “environmental friendly” corporate image.

Project Details
The use of found agricultural items as sign elements seems particularly fresh. The vocabulary brings back warm fuzzy feelings of the farm and civilization. Room signs incorporate end of cornrow markers made of rough exterior galvanized steel.
Juror 1
Design Team

Hal Kantner (Principal in Charge), Hal Kantner, Jeff Ehrlich

Design Firm

Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum