The Global Goals Design


The visual communication system for the Global Goals, created by Trollbäck + Company in collaboration with Project Everyone is universally adopted and used all over the world today. So how can we create the same enthusiasm for the 169 targets connected to the Goals?


In order to create a better understanding of the targets, we decided to apply the same approach as we did for the 17 main Goals. To make sure that the work would be well anchored and widely used, we initiated conversations with the United Nations and Project Everyone.


Our work is a substantial contribution to enhance global partnerships for the Goals, it is available at We have created a common language which visually tells the story of the Global Goals and how we can work together to reach them.

The 17 goals

The story of the Global Goals begun in the fall of 2014 with Richard Curtis, film director and founder of Project Everyone, meeting with Jakob Trollbäck, founder of creative studio Trollbäck + Company in New York to discuss how to best make the agenda famous. Jakob took on the task and transformed the somewhat cumbersome ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ to what they are known as today: ‘The Global Goals’. Invaluable insights from UN ambassadors and NGOs along the journey pushed Jakob and his team to develop icons that could be universally understood.

The designs and palette carefully consider cross-cultural relevance and symbolism. The circular logotype for the master brand is an expression of unity using the full palette from the icon system. The result is a communication system, sign-off by all 193 member nations. It is today universally adopted and used - a hopeful language of change to inspire everyone, everywhere to act.

"Creating the beautiful icons for the Sustainable Development Goals was a simple idea that has delivered enormous impact. Without the icons and Trollbäck + Company’s tremendous work on visually telling the story of the Sustainable Development Goals, we simply would not be where we are today."

Cathy Calvin

President and CEO of the UNF

"Trollbäck took the epic, technical, impersonal detailed complexity of the Sustainable Development Goals and made them clear, passionate & accessible. A crucial, life-saving, game-changing, history-making piece of work. You can’t fight for your fights if you don’t understand."

Richard Curtis

Screenwriter, film director and philanthropist

"The genius of the work that Trollbäck did was to create for the Sustainable Development Goals a visual language which communicates with the greatest simplicity the plan for the planet. The beauty of the design belies the brilliance of the intelligence behind every choice of favellas, catwalks to conference rooms."

Corinne Woods

Director of Communications at World Food Programme

The 169 Targets

Inspired by his work with the Global Goals, Jakob founded The New Division in Stockholm in 2017, a strategic communication agency focusing solely on projects that make the world better. In 2018, The New Division took Jakob's work with the Global Goals to the next level.

Assigned by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, The New Division completed the visual communication system for the Global Goals by creating logos and short names for the 169 targets. The complete system was officially launched at the UN in July 2018 and made available on among other channels.

The Global Goals Website

Once the communication system was finalized, it was launched on a new version of, created by our digital partner code and conspire.

The Global Goals website is not only attractive, informative and extremely fast, it is also accessible in every possible scenario, even offline, for a global audience. And it’s all open source.

The Global Goals Store

To make the Global Goals even more tangible and accessible, The New Division has created various Global Goals related educational material and workshop tools.

Posters, The Target Finder and the iconic Global Goals pin are all available at production cost in the The New Division online store.

Visit the online store

Leave No One Behind

When Agenda 2030 and the Global Goals were adopted, it included an important promise: that in the work towards a more sustainable world, no one should be left behind. That means reaching the most vulnerable and excluded first.

Commissioned by Concord, we designed an icon and created a manifest for the Leave No One Behind commitment. With this icon, we want to show the importance of working towards equality at different levels of society - from the local to the global.

The Logo was officially launched in September 2019 and made available through us, Concord, its 68 member organizations, numerous other organizations and at the Global Goals website.


Through the Global Goals, we promised to build a better future not just for most, but for all. A future where everyone has equal rights and opportunities to live prosperous and fulfilling lives. To build that future, all goals must be achieved together and for everyone. Only when no one is left behind have we truly reached the Global Goals.

"The icon demonstrate inclusion and that the Global Goals are about people. It has a simple and clean design that does not exclude or discriminate. We all have a head and a heart. But we are also different, and the colours symbolise those differences. The round wheel stands for unity and that we all need to be involved to achieve change. We all have the same rights."

Sofia Svarfvar

Project lead and Policy Coordinator at CONCORD Sweden

"As the awareness of the agenda increases, it is important to remember that it is about people’s lives, which is the agenda’s driving force. Our icon reinforces this human commitment and reminds us that we must not forget anyone, that everyone must have a voice in development."

Jakob Trollbäck

The New Division

"By designing an icon for the commitment to Leave No One Behind, we want to emphasize the importance of working towards equality at different levels of society – from the local to the global. The commitment is about making active and strategic choices to reach groups in communities that are discriminated against and are disadvantaged due to structural inequalities in our societies."

Micah Grzywnowicz

International Advocacy Advisor for RFSL

Global Goals Ambassadors

In partnership with Project Everyone and Numbers in Action, we developed the language of the Global Goals system for print and motion. The infographics show projected outcomes for the Goals through 2030, communicating our progress towards eradicating poverty, reversing climate change, and achieving gender equality.

Our branding has been adapted for installations, events, conferences and social media around the world since the Fall 2015 launch. Nearly every event designed to propagate the message uses our design system in some capacity. Content has included Fifty Nine Productions’ building projections at the UN building; print and motion for the project Icons to Outcomes, as well as famous celebrities lending their support, voice, and image to their favorite causes.