Swisscom gets Moving Brands treatment

London-based Moving Brands’ rebrand of Swiss telecom company Swisscom includes a three-dimensional graphic mark as well as a re-drawn wordmark…

Swisscom logo

London-based Moving Brands’ rebrand of Swiss telecom company Swisscom includes a three-dimensional graphic mark as well as a re-drawn wordmark.

‘With the many Swisscom businesses aligning under one service spanning from telecoms to entertainment, the brand needs a broader meaning,” suggests Moving Brands’ CEO and creative director Ben Wolstenholme. “The brand needs to stand for more than just ‘Swisscom-munication’, it needs to stand for ‘Swisscom-munity’. Building on this ‘community’ thought, the identity system is inclusive and flexible: the identity evolves around one central axis, as does the business. Take the new photographic style as an example; Swisscom has its own media portal and now understands the value of embracing user-generated photography rather than contriving it. This is a new approach to brand identity.”

Studio
Ben and David
Mark shot

print test
Above: work in progress. A corner of the Moving Brands studio is taken over by print tests…

Ad-shells

smart car livery
Above, mock ups of how the new identity will translate to Ad-shels and also the livery on a Smart car

Moving Brands revealed to us that whilst working on the project, they set up an internal blogsite that documented the whole creative process and allowed all those working on it to exchange ideas in real time. “With Swisscom being such an important project for Moving Brands, not just in its scale but also with its potential learnings, it was agreed that we should document every stage of the process,” explains Wolstenholme. “In creating the blog, we discovered that it worked not only as a documentation tool, but due to its ongoing, real-time nature, and that democratic nature of it – every team member could contribute freely – it also worked as a platform for thoughts and discussion, problem solving, and feedback. It also worked well both as a briefing tool for new team members, and also as a key case study for future projects.



The blog has subsequently been used as a briefing tool internally at MB. A journey film made using content from the blog then enabled the Swisscom brand team to share their identity creation journey – and thereby engage the whole organisation with the new identity.” Here it is:



”We hope to continue documenting our larger projects in this way, with simpler case study documents more appropriate resource-wise for smaller, more bespoke jobs,” adds Wolstenholme.

type

Moving Brands enlisted the typo­graphic expertise of Swiss-born Bruno Maag at Dalton Maag to work with it on the project. Maag not only provided invaluable Swiss perspective but redrew the Swisscom wordmark and set out rules for use of the corporate typeface, Thesis, of which there is a sans and a serif style.

“I was able to provide MB with some thoughts as to how the Swiss would possibly react to some of the changes proposed,” explains Maag. “This was particularly valuable in the initial concept stage, when discussing how colour, symbol and typography should evolve. However, our input was more pragmatic when we were asked to develop the wordmark. The original was set out of Thesis (the sans style). We reworked the lettering of the word­mark considerably to reflect some of the dynamic movements apparent in the symbol. Except for the humanist feel there is very little resemblance to the original wordmark. We also created two sizes as we felt that the numerous uses could not be covered by a single size.”
logotype with big mark

  • “The brand needs to stand for more than just ‘Swisscom-munication’, it needs to stand for ‘Swisscom-munity’

    Spoken like a true marketeer’s marionette.

    Image 1 : Meaningless gradiated swirl with generic type. Hark yonder! half a rounded swiss cross.

    Image 2 : “Look, we’ve done work”

    Image 3 : “I modelled this pose on Gordon Gecko — and I’ll take another frappa-crapp-commu-cino”

    Image 4,5: Redundant reiteratons of already seen logo.

    These photos and the superfluous PR-ocess video merely compliment the myth-building tone of what amounts to a press release. The marque is handsome derivative. The type is simple, functional, and also current: a few little rounded shapes to tie it into the wider web of ‘soft’ and ‘friendly’ logo sludge.

    In creating the blog, we discovered that it worked not only as a documentation tool, but due to its ongoing, real-time nature, and that democratic nature of it – every team member could contribute freely – it also worked as a platform for thoughts and discussion, problem solving, and feedback.

    So heirarchies were flattened? Garbage. This ‘tool’ is not a new idea by any means: it’s an intranet or a work management system, or to scoled your incessant masturbatory parlance: a pin-board.

  • 10 trends that will define logo design in 2008
    http://www.logoorange.com/logo-design-08.php

    I must say I love moving brand’s own identity. Biblioteque did a great job.

  • Hume

    ‘or to scold your incessant masturbatory parlance: a pin-board’
    Haha, best line I’ve read in a while!

    There is something quite beautiful about the marque, at first I felt it is too simple. However, seeing how the graphics can be used to unite different products under the Swisscom banner I do like the way it has been thought out. Perhaps a simple design but being used in a rather sophisticated way.

  • Hume

    Although I don’t think it is coincidence that the colours and the over lapping, organic nature of the marque is so reminiscent of British Telecoms.

  • I’d love to see the work of these naysayers.

    They’re never brave enough to put their portfolio where their mouth is. Same goes for the Sagmeister post a few weeks back.

  • Hume: what sophisiticated precedant is being set? North have been making work in this spirit for a long time. As far as flexible systems, Patrick Burgoyne pointed out today that Gert Dumbar has been doing this a long time (amongst others) despite the current vogue for ultra variety.

    Miiike: I suppose you’re one of these unimaginative, threatened souls who thinks Rick Poynor has no right to critique because he is not a graphic designer. This is exactly what is needed to slay the beast of aloof cool and vanity that epitomises current conservative design: an outsider looking in.

    My first impression of the shape / flower / abstract-post-rationalised-object, was that it was quite attractive. I now feel it looks regretfully complex and disparate to the type.

  • But Rick Poyner isn’t petty or unconstructive, I don;t think he’d write this:

    “I modelled this pose on Gordon Gecko — and I’ll take another frappa-crapp-commu-cino”

    Maybe I’m wrong but it all smacks of jealousy to me.

  • Tedious.

    The Angel of Death couldn’t but snigger at the BrassEye-like language being employed — before mercifully slashing the logo in half despite orders from God, who since broadband was installed in heaven, is now represented by a swirling-cloud-vortex of soft greys, blues and universally inoffensive lettering that fared well in consumer-testing and functions effortlessly across mutiple platforms. The whole process was documented.

    Let me be clear: A mediocre design is launched to a glorious parade of editorial back-patting and quote-confetti. This is what is truly outrageous — not the design. This is a subtext.

  • Probably paying the whole lot, seeing al these sketches and the whole process and all.. Damn… Is this the way we’re heading??

  • andeth

    ummm… not really sure what to say about this
    its attractive and trendy etc. but if you really
    need all this fluffy nonsense to explain how
    an identity works then i think MB might have
    just gone off on an a self indulgent tangent when
    coming up with this mark. initialy it seems
    superfluous and designed just for the pat on the
    back of other ‘cool’ designers instead of communicating
    anything relevant about swisscom whatsoever…

  • Oli

    I’m a graphic designer from basel, switzerland. going through the epicenter of swiss design at the basel school of design, i must say that i appreciate the insight into the evolving process of the logo. i just don’t like the whole marketing brabbeling around it to promote the whole thing. i also don’t like the swirly stuff too much. i therefore can see, that probably most of the clientele will love the logo (as far as i can hear the voices on the street). i don’t have too much to say about the logotype, i think it’s solid work and a good «redesign» of the old thesis-one they had.

  • smokeonit

    the new logo has more of a maritime feel to it than telecommunications…

    but i guess that’s just me..

  • I can confirm the new Swisscom Logo… In Zurich there already some Ads hang out with the new 3 D logo, near airport…

  • willi

    The new swisscom logo is crap, it looks like the sign at the “dreiländereck” in basel, sorry swisscom this is a no go logo!

    all those millions in the sand….in a country like switzerland, who have so many great graphic designer is it very funny that a london brand office could get create the new logo for the brand swisscom!

  • Tom Millard

    Smokeonit,

    I agree, when I saw the logo for the first time I thought of cross channel ferries.

    Tom.

  • Holidaytim

    One word: Marbles

  • static brands were yesterday.

  • MiniPrince

    It doesn’t feel swiss at all.

  • david f

    I like it. It looks great, modern but with ties to the past. The style looks art deco-ish.

  • simone

    please show the b/w version
    in high contrast

  • Markus

    I am no Marketing pro, but from seeing the logo the first time, I realized that this is not a great logo, but a quite aweful one indeed, as it misses the most important points of a logo:

    1. Simple cut, reduced to a minimum, simple to remember.
    (do ask people to draw your logo and you will find that most people cannot remember what that was)
    2. Association with brand or company: What has this funny organic strange looking thing to do with Swisscom? The connection is very vague. The apple is there and the Swiss cross (which stand for Swissness, and that for Swisscom, agreed), but that is it.
    If you conduct a survey after 1 or 2 years and ask people if they know which company this logo pertains to, you will find that most people will have a hard time to remember which company it is.
    3. Good things stay good, change can be a bad thing in Marketing, since it destroys brand recognition. I have wondered for some time what companies are thinking when they rebrand and throw away millions of euros that they spent to bring a brand (or logo) into the mind of people to then change it and wipe it all out. People like depedable, stable, non-changing things in a wierd world where so much change is happening that you don’t know if something that was good yesterday is going to be good tomorrow.
    New management usually wants to show that they are innovative, creative in changing a logo or rebranding, but it is misguided and harms more than it helps. The only reason for rebranding is when a brand is not running good and has attracted a bad image or association.

  • dree

    Swisscom research – 46% of population recognise this symbol as Swisscom without the wordmark in 2 months…

  • 46% out of a population of 7,591,400 people is ok though… or?……

  • David Shields

    ‘Hi,

    We need a large, colourful, amorphous, generic shape we can blow up and make our posters look more interesting, oh, and a bit of smart type please. Something like Ono, BT…you know.’

    ‘Sure, we’ll have done it by tomorrow, but you can have it in 6 months’

    ‘Thanks’

  • Mark Splinter

    it’s the photo with the beard and the coffee that really makes me laugh… so fake, it looks like stock photography.