Thursday, March 24, 2016

Landor gives Alcoa and spinoff company Arconic new identities

One of the old giants of American industry, Alcoa (formerly the Aluminum Company of America) is about to be split in two. The Alcoa name will be taken by the upstream material extraction company, while the value-added processing business will be placed in a company with a new name. Last week it was announced that the new company would be called Arconic. At the same time, new visual identities for both Arconic and Alcoa were revealed. Both identities and the Arconic name were created by Landor Associates.

The Arconic name is a combination of 'arc' (for "the arc of progress") and 'iconic' (for the company's iconic products). The new stylised A symbol borrows its shape from the old Alcoa symbol. The lines are interpreted by the eyes as a three-dimensional projection, but it is in fact something of an impossible figure.

The old Alcoa symbol is a Saul Bass-designed classic from 1963, and you don't mess with those. It was given a slight a update in 1999, but has otherwise been unchanged for over fifty years. Landor's update frees the stylised geometric A symbol from the enclosing box. This change represents "a transformed and agile Upstream company characterized by out-of-the-box thinking".

Current logo.

Two dedicated brand pages are available from the following links:

Two videos to introduce the transformed brands can be seen below:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Landor (archive)
Alcoa (archive)


  1. Being in the process of re-branding a client company without "throwing the baby out with the bathwater", I get the overall approach of making minor adjustments to the Alcoa logo.

    What is difficult to get though is the step backwards in design - especially the font. This makes the new logo more retro and the lower-case "L" [l] breaking the cap-height of the "A" makes the name untidy. The use of title-case also makes the name into a 'word' when it clearly is not.

    As for ARCONIC; interesting concept (i.e. Escher) but again visually this is so very retro; it already seems in need of a re-vamp!

  2. gengemoody... Do you also feel that the balance is lost with the change in case of the fonts?