Thursday, April 28, 2011

New logo: Milliken

Milliken is a U.S. textile company which creates fabrics for many different uses, as well as chemicals, and is based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. On Tuesday, April 26, it revealed a new logo at a press conference.

The new logo is based on the signature of Dr. Robert Milliken, who lead the company for more than a half-century, and died in December last year. The company considers he logo to be "simple, playful, bold" and signalling "a continuing commitment to excellence, leadership, and ethics".

The previous logo contained a symbol called the "industrial M", which has served the company for decades. American trademark designs (the ultimate reference for American 50s-70s corporate identities) claims it was designed in 1970 by Lefkowith, Inc. That is the only source I've found for this logo's creation, but I have no particular reason to believe it to be inaccurate. It seems the logo has been used without changes from the 1970s until this week.

Previous logo.

SALT Branding from San Francisco aided Milliken in developing the new brand strategy.

On Milliken's website, there is a presentation video which ends with a nice animation of the new logo with blue liquid flowing through glass tubes.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The following news article was published by SALT on their website (re-published here as it isn't possible to permalink to SALT's website):
With over 150 years of history, Milliken a global manufacturer of specialty chemicals, floor covering, and performance materials has unveiled a new brand identity as it continues its focus on innovation problem solving and the development of products and services that add value to people's lives, improve health and safety, and support sustainability.

SALT worked with Milliken over the last year, developing the brand strategy and positioning and ensuring a highly integrated role for the new branding as the company moves into this transformative phase in their evolution.

"Our new identity is an affirmation of who we have always been," said Dr. Joe Salley, President and CEO of Milliken & Company "a community of innovators invigorated by the challenge of finding new and creative way to enhance people's lives"

The new brand identity is based upon the signature of the late Roger Milliken, the company's former chairman and 70-year leader. Roger Milliken was famous internally for his hand-written notes that are often kept by employees for years. The new logo expresses that personal connection that is so important to the company, and the design system even includes a customized script typeface, titled 'Thank-you', that keeps that idea alive. The logo design also reinforces the playful approach the company applies to its problem solving, and is a simple and bold statement that adds a personal touch and accessibility to the business.

The logo will be applied to all marketing and business communations over the coming months ranging from brochures, signs, trucks, and packaging materials, and will be part of a new website and gallery experience scheduled for launch later in the year.

The brand was introduced to its approximately 7,000 associates worldwide.

Milliken press release (archive)
Remarks of Dr. Joe Salley, President and CEO, Milliken & Company (archive)
Daily Reporter
Anderson Independent Mail
Textile World
Old corporate identity guide (archive)


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  2. Am I the only one who thought this logo was meant to evoke a thread, since Milliken is a textiles company, among other things?