Nivea rebrand

Nivea has just had their brand redesigned by Yves Behar, from logo to the soft forms of their product packaging. I couldn’t say that I would have noticed the change at first glance since much of the original styling is in place, including the blue colour and logotype – what they have brought to the brand is a consistent look and new approach to the bottle look, drawing inspiration from the very first, and only, Nivea product – Nivea Cream in a round tin.

From their press release:

The blue tin has embodied NIVEA’s brand values since 1925. It is the brand “face” that consumers around the world associate with trust, closeness and expertise. Now Beiersdorf AG has introduced a new global design language based on the iconic blue tin. The new design consistently translates the successful NIVEA brand’s values into a product that consumers can see and feel, thereby making products in all categories immediately recognizable. Beiersdorf has consistently developed the NIVEA brand with a focus on its global core values. The gradual introduction of the new design for the entire NIVEA skin and body care portfolio will commence in more than 200 countries in January 2013.

This video reeks of a sales pitch but is a good insight into the thinking and process of rebranding an already well known and trusted product.

Tourism Australia’s new logo

Tourism Australia has just launched their new logo – designed “to stay relevant and reflect the organisation’s changing culture and identity” says Tourism Australia. The logo is a stylised, simplified and colourised version of the predecessor – the designer says “There’s a lot about the existing logo that we wanted to keep. It has real vibrancy and a sense of movement. But some of the elements are unnecessarily complex and difficult to reproduce”. The logo took 6 months to develop and cost Tourism Australia $200,000.

Tourism Australia logo

Sochi 2014 Reveals its Pictograms

Is it too soon? Let’s not let go of the olympic hype – Sochi 2014 winter olympics are just around the corner and new pictograms have already been revealed. The pressure for each country to create their own unique style every time must be overwhelming, considering how many great pictograms have been created in the past – but I love this approach – fun, playful, colourful and child-like as though it was an event for the kiddies – it’s all about playing and doing silly things in the snow – so it fits!

After 25 years Microsoft has decided to update its logo to connect more strongly with it’s product. Quite a significant move for a company, especially one with so much influence. The design is clean and simple and unlikely to upset the critics and the dedicated, though 4 coloured squares unsympathetically juxtaposed to the logotype leaves little to be inspired by.

Microsoft new logo

And the rationale from Microsoft’s blog:

The Microsoft brand is about much more than logos or product names. We are lucky to play a role in the lives of more than a billion people every day. The ways people experience our products are our most important “brand impressions.” That’s why the new Microsoft logo takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand values, fonts and colors.

The logo has two components: the logotype and the symbol. For the logotype, we are using the Segoe font which is the same font we use in our products as well as our marketing communications. The symbol is important in a world of digital motion. The symbol’s squares of color are intended to express the company’s diverse portfolio of products.

As often happens these days, an undynamic logo can be brought to life with the magic of motion graphics, all of a sudden the logo makes sense:

Mexico 68

I’m guilty of re-blogging these images from the 1968 Mexico Olympics, perhaps it’s all this Olympic hype at the moment, but I couldn’t resist it as it’s such an impressive example of integrating design into the Olympics – the graphics reflect the psychedelic culture of the times while referencing Aztecs stylings in areas and the inspiring integration with the environment of the games.

The Art of Logo Design

Logos, or trademarks, are like faces that we see each day – that we project our feelings on to based on our relationship with it – they have personalities of their own and say so much about a business with nothing more than shapes and type! Here’s an insightful doco on the design of logos.

Logos surround us in digital and physical space, but we rarely examine the thought and artistic thinking that goes into the design of these symbols. Utilizing a silent vocabulary of colors, shapes, and typography, logo designers give a visual identity to companies and organizations of all types. From cave painters to modern designers, artists throughout history have been reducing the complex down to simple ideas that communicate with the world.


London Olympics

Well before London Olympics came to life with the eye gaping opening ceremony and strained faces of athletes there was plenty of talk about the graphics for the London Olympics beginning with the logo, then the sport symbols, and now the ‘Headline’ typeface that appears on every single free space of TV viewing – receiving social media comments like “Maybe it will grow on me, but I’m not a huge fan of the “London 2012″ look” and “I’ll admit the olympic font is truly terrible… But everything else had been great so far..”.

This has been the most remarkable Olympics for graphics, perhaps the first time in history that we’ve experienced such a strong dislike to it, while on the other hand we are all trying to find a space in our hearts to accept it – it demonstrates the importance of design in today’s culture and our relationship with it.

I’m in 2 minds about the design – on the positives: I do commend the attempt to break away from tradition (a huge leap forward from their 1948 logo!), it wears the expression ‘quirky’ well. The colours are vibrant and modern, the shapes are boxy yet dynamic. The typeface leans towards being awkward, tumbling, uncertain – italic or falling over? it teases us by suggesting it’s failed yet somehow it works! The logo is equally crazy and says so little about the olympics and more about a surreal rock formation, and I swear that 0 is in the shape of Australia! The negatives – how can we mention negatives? – I just love it when design, particularly graphic, challenges people’s expectations and has them talking and questioning the influence design can have – be that positive or negative.

Read what the designer was thinking when he designed the Headline typeface here.

Recent Olympic logos.

Bring on the organic forms of the Rio Olympics 2016 – those entangled rubber-men! – let the critics begin ;-)

The gap in branding

Here’s a slide show presentation by Marty Neumieir, based on his book – The Brand Gap, that helps to explain branding and to clarify some misconceptions about what branding is – not a logo, not an identity – it’s all in the gut of the individual …