for Ontera


ontera dna DIAGNOSTICS

Design / Naming / Branding / Identity / Packaging



The global agriculture industry is a complex mixture of crops from a diverse variety of seeds. Many of these crops are derived from seeds that have selectively enhanced traits to optimize their yield and harvest productivity. But because crops don’t sprout up with an “ingredients label” it’s extremely challenging to trace and verify the origin and genetic composition of these plant-based food sources. What if there were a simple way to quickly identify the genetic makeup of soybeans immediately after they’re harvested to verify their source and ensure seed providers and farmers know exactly what they have before it lands on our plates.


Herbst worked with Ontera to design a device for their nanopore-based DNA testing platform. Unlike traditional methodologies Ontera performs rapid molecular diagnostics closer to the point of need without having to send samples to a distant lab where results can take days and be cost prohibitive.

Ontera required a solution that felt portable, protected and user friendly in diverse environments from an agricultural field office to a more formal diagnostics lab.


With prominent ergonomic handles the weight of the device is evenly distributed for carrying and mobility. With a slightly recessed front face the test apparatus and screen are well protected. And with a simple and bold extruded main-body multiple devices are stackable for an optimized footprint in high-throughput environments and diagnostic labs.

Along with the industrial design Herbst developed a name, logo and brand identity that reflects the natural, human-centered spirit of a meaningful endeavor with a global presence. Ontera is of the earth, a technology with big implications for the health of humans and the planet. The result of our integrated product and brand design approach is a big, bold, approachable experience that reflects the ambitions of a paradigm-shifting company.  


Better biological information for a healthier planet.

Ontera reveals the true genetics of our food sources…onsite and in real time.

A bold brand with a global impact.

Ontera; “Of the earth."