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Honolulu Seawater Cooling

Two companies partner to bring a hometown brand and homegrown technology to life for downtown Honolulu.

An overhead view of a emerald beach within the Hunolulu Seawater Cooling brand icon.

A clean way forward.

The Honolulu Seawater Cooling Project was a moment of two enterprises coming together. Clearway Energy, based on mainland soil in the U.S., wanted to partner with Honolulu Seawater to fully execute the island’s revolutionary seawater cooling technology. They needed to establish a unified presence in the eyes of the public. So, we set about respectfully merging the two entities by creating a refined logo and inspiring brand messaging communicating their progress. We also wanted something authentically Hawaiian that would resonate.


Working with a Hawaiian team we were introduced to new ideas like Pono to guide our strategy. It’s a culture different from our own, but digging in with interviews and insights we learned quickly about cultural differences, sensitivities and proclivities to words, imagery and colors, as we created their verbal and visual identity. We wanted and needed something authentically Hawaiian that would resonate with the people and highlight the progress being made with these two innovative companies working as one.

We set about our task to respectfully merge the two entities of Honolulu Seawater and Clearway Energy, by creating a new identity and messaging that explained the vision of this partnership moving forward. Since the project had been ongoing for 15 years, the world was watching.

Brand Idea

Simply Sustainable


  • Smart
  • Sustainable
  • Simple


The Constructive Idealist

A vision as simple as our way of life


righteousness + balance

During our interviews and discovery process, there were some obvious challenges with bringing two companies together to execute this project. Since this was an assignment for a new identity for the Hawaiian company, and the project was on their soil, they really needed to take the lead visibly.

By tapping into Hawaiian pride and reverence for the earth, Honolulu Seawater Cooling could stay true to their origins while pushing forward with their revolutionary engineering ideas for the downtown. They also had to explain to the public how momentum had been restored thanks to their new alliance with a strong mainland partner known for its ability to execute municipal visions.

How would Hawaiians feel about the partnership? Our task was to not only create a new identity for the Honolulu Seawater Cooling company, but to create rollout messaging for the new partnership.

Strategy sessions uncovered the importance of Hawaiian concepts like Pono, guiding the way they thought and operated. Pono represented a connectedness to the natural world that they would maintain in everything they sought to do—a melding of a sense of righteousness and balance. This was a principle with rich meaning for us as a team, and guided us as we created their visual and verbal identity.

Verbal + Visual Identity

In many ways, the brandmark would act as a jumpstart to the project. It would create presence in the eyes of the eagerly awaiting public, display the cooperation and balance between the two companies, and also reflect the engineering at work in a bold, graphic representation.

The task was to respect the equal weighting of the partnership in the logo design and the verbal communications. So, we set about merging the two entities to create a refined logo and confident, inspiring communications about the new partnership moving forward and making progress. While blue is a color that represents both companies, the new look and feel largely started from scratch.

The mark is an abstract “H” comprised of fluid and precise shapes, arranged to represent motion, flow and the transition of water into air—a simplification of this innovative technology. It's a harmonious symbol that neatly identifies the company name while capturing the spirit of Pono for the community.

Creating the verbal identity for Honolulu Seawater Cooling began with addressing three key themes that the company needed to communicate: Smart, Simple and Sustainable.

Smart gave us the ability to talk about the homegrown technology that made Hawaiians so proud of their engineers. It was about a smarter, cleaner energy too for the city and the state. Simple was a theme that enabled us to talk about the elegant solution for the island and the use of the natural to deliver something truly innovative. Sustainable was the theme that bridged the here and now with the future—sustainable power renewed by the sea for infinity.

With these themes in hand, we worked on messaging statements and narratives that could carry their story out into the world.

  • Smart
  • Simple
  • Sustainable

A shared vision for a
beautiful, sustainable Hawaii.

Brand Narrative

There is always room for new thinking in the energy landscape. We believe it’s time for a change—a sea change—where our most precious resource is also our most powerful conduit for energy transformation.

We are the Honolulu Seawater Cooling Project, an innovative alliance that believes in a cleaner way forward. Combining home-grown technology and large-scale project experience, we believe our solution is transformative and inspirational.

We’ve engineered a way to bring the deep ocean waters to cool downtown and safely return to the sea. A renewable cycle where today’s technology can work in harmony with the island’s natural resources for the benefit of our people, our businesses and our planet.

Simple, sustainable and smart, we see a thriving, energy-resilient future for our city. We invite you to join us in bringing this vision to life.

Homegrown technology.
World-class solution.


Leadership found our process effective in drawing out the true identity of companies and bringing their personality to life. For this Honolulu company, their new identity would help them educate the public about their reason for being—a seawater cooling company ready to provide fresh innovations for a world-class city and a timeless paradise.