Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Kontrapunkt unites the Danish Ministry of Defence

The Danish Ministry of Defence, or Forsvarsministeriet started 2018 by introducing a common visual identity across its activities, including Danish Defence, which includes the army, the navy and the air force. It was designed Kontrapunkt, who've designed plenty of identities for the Danish government over the past two decades. They created a system that allows the individual units to express themselves while also showing them as part of a collective.

The new logo for the ministry is simply a newly designed royal crown, with the name set with lettering designed for the ministry. The crown has been designed to stands for "decisiveness, solidity, security and professionalism". It replaces a more cumbersome conceptual logo.

Danish Defence keeps its previous symbol, but updates it with the new crown and the custom lettering. The other branches are the Home Guard, the Emergency Management Agency and the Defence Intelligence Service. They have been given new symbols built to suit with the new identity programme, while also retaining some ideas and heritage from the symbols that they replace. The new lettering is designed to be both solid and open. It also follows Danish typographic tradition, which Kontrapunkt takes the role of shepherding.

Previous logo.

The old logo for the ministry was also designed by Kontrapunkt, back in 2005. It was a more conceptual interpretation of defence ministry and its mission as part of a network.

New logo for Danish Defence.
Previous logo for Danish Defence, c. 2010.
Ole Søndergaard's original design, c. 2000.

The old logo for Danish Defence is an updated version of design originally created by Ole Søndergaard while he was at 11Danes, probably around the year 2000. The updated version was introduced after about a decade.

"Through extensive workshops and interviews with members of different parts of the organization, it became clear that balancing difference and cohesion was essential. Consequently, we created a new common crown as the central symbol in each logo and combined it with a unique circle for each unit and keeping a flexible colour palette. To optimise the design for digital platforms and screens of different sizes, we also simplified the logos and designed a solid and strong custom typeface for wordmarks created for an easy read on small screens. Built on a monolithic brand architecture decided upon during the process, the result pays homage to its heritage with a modern and professional look." - Kontrapunkt

The new design manual is available online. Some key images from that manual are shown below:

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