Friday, November 18, 2011

In detail: Sveriges Radio (2010)


Sveriges Radio is Sweden's public radio company. With four nationwide FM networks funded be a license fee, it dominates radio listening in the country. Last year, it implemented a company-wide rebrand that had its root in the perceived need to enforce one single name for the company.

For many years Sveriges Radio had referred to itself both by its full name and by its initials (SR). After an identity review, it was decided that the company needed one single verbal identity. It could either follow the lead of most other broadcasters and switch to an initialism that is never read out in full, or they would use the full name in all circumstances. They opted for the latter, as the full name differentiates Sveriges Radio in a crowded landscape and communicates that they are a Swedish company that does radio. An an identity overhaul was set in motion.

Naturally, the first action was to send out memos to staff, telling them to always refer to the company in the preferred way. The first major change took place in March 2010, when the company's website was moved from the succinct domain name sr.se to the cumbersome sverigesradio.se.


The next step was a new corporate identity, commissioned from the design agency Happy Forsman & Bodenfors, and unveiled on May 10, 2010. The SR mark used to identify Sveriges Radio was introduced in 1957 and designed by artist Karl-Erik Forsberg, who was also behind the Berling typeface. Originally designed for the launch of television, Sveriges Radio continued using it after the TV activities were spun off. It enjoyed high recognition and replacing it was probably out of the question.

Happy's solution was to meld the lettermark into a wordmark. Under the current guidelines, the SR mark will never be used alone and will always be accompanied by "sverige" and "adio" on it sides.

New logos for the individual channels were presented at the same time. Inspired by the SR mark, Happy created the letter P and numerals using similar shapes. Internally, these are called "guide logos", as the four network brands are considered guides to specific content, not necessarily the individual linear channels. The guide logos take prominence in communication relating to specific channel brands, where the Sveriges Radio logo only acts as a mark of approval.





Although the logos were unveiled in May, work progressed throughout 2010. The new guide logos didn't launch online until December. By then, Happy and Sveriges Radio had developed a full colour palette, basic imagery and typefaces for all networks. Sveriges Radio's corporate typeface is Avenir, and all guide brands have a custom-made variant of that typeface.

Sveriges Radio's corporate logo 1998-2010.

The previous corporate identity for Sveriges Radio was developed in 1998 by a designer named Fredrik Neppelberg. It had a minimalist and economic approach. All logos were created by appending the sub-brand in thin Helvetica to the SR mark. The BBC had launched a similarly economic scheme the year before.





Happy's case study contains this short explanation of the design process:
The words Sveriges radio (Swedish Radio) are self-explanatory. Sveriges Radio is Sweden's public service radio broadcasting company. However, as listening via the Internet and mobile phone increased, the name was reduced to slightly bewildering »sr.se». The fact that the SR symbol was often used a a stand-alone logotype contributed to the confusion.

By integrating the popular SR symbol into the new logotype and by changing the internet URL , clarity was restored. Irrespective of medium, the name is Sveriges Radio. Each of the national channel: P1, P2, P3 and P4 now has its own profile and is a separate, primary transmitter, with Sveriges Radio as the overall guarantor.
The following images were published by Happy F&B and Sveriges Radio.

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Overview of the identities for Sveriges Radio and the four guides.

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Sveriges Radio P1 imagery.


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Sveriges Radio P1 visual toolbox.

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Sveriges Radio P2 imagery.

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Sveriges Radio P2 visual toolbox.

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Sveriges Radio P3 imagery.

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Sveriges Radio P3 visual toolbox.

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Sveriges Radio P4 imagery.

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Sveriges Radio P4 visual toolbox.

Some examples of company-level identity applications:

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As seen above, the logo can be cropped when space is tight.


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This was the first piece of the new identity released to the public in May 2010.

Happy F&B
Resumé

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