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The Companio: The Publication by Pentagram That Aims to Articulate Machine Learning

Pentagram partners Jody Hudson-Powell, Luke Powell and Naresh Ramchandani have collaborated with semiconductor company Graphcore to design this new publication which aims to communicate the core values behind machine learning. 

Inspired by the Latin word for ‘company’ – derived from the words ‘bread’ and together’ – The Companio is an 80-page book written by the Pentagram team. Divided into chapters that cover Graphcore’s story, brand, mission, tools and behaviours, The Companio is a shining example of making a brand-friendly and approachable while also staying confident and professional. Through a considerate use of design, it reflects the founder’s determination to “deliver the world’s best computing technology for machine intelligence that will allow innovators to expand human potential.”


Pentagram has grown from a startup with 40 workers working on one floor to a sprawling, global team, so if anybody knows about core values its these guys. This publication is a way for the agency to revisit its mission statement.

The core of the process is designed around three behaviours that define the Graphcore spirit: tackling hard problems together, speaking up, and taking responsibility. “Our behaviours can’t be simplistic lines printed on mugs and coasters and then forgotten,” The Companio explains. “They are a practice and discipline that need to be lived daily in order to help us do better work.”

As for Pentagram’s killer design involvement, the publication features a modular pattern embossed cover, which is embellished by a die-cut window that reveals the Graphcore logo, the publication translates the company’s tools and working practises into visuals that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all.

In regards to colour, the open-stitched book is split into sections of contrasting hues with a double-spread, central fold-out showcasing Graphcore’s own intricate and colourful ‘Poplar’ AI visualisations. White space is used carefully to underline Graphcore’s bold, geometric pattern-based identity, and an asymmetric combination of shapes and images helps to make this pop even more.

A custom typeface has even been designed by Pentagram and based on Caslon’s Egyptian, called Graphcore Quantized, features heavily in The Companio to give it a unique look.

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