Thursday, June 30, 2011

New logo: Akva Kristall

Akva-Kristall (Аква-Кристалл in Russian) is a Russian company which manufactures and sells bottled water. It is headquartered in the city of Yekaterinburg, and its primary distribution area is the region around it. This relatively young company claims it started as a a small soft drink maunfacturer in 1996, with water production not starting until 2003. Today, it is one of the leading bottled water brands in the region.

Late last year, Akva Kristall got a new corporate identity, created by the design agency RA Voshod, also from Yekaterinburg. Their work involved a new logo, and new label designs.

As you may have guessed, the name translates as Aqua Crystal, and the logo includes references to both water, in the form of the drop shape, and crystal, through the "crystal pattern" with four shades of blue.

Previous logo.

A news article about the new logo was published on Akva-Kristall's website on December 1, 2010, and the new look was probably rolled out some time during this year.

The following images were published by Akva-Kristall and RA Voshod.

New logo: Kenya Power

Last week, on June 22, Kenya Power & Lighting Company (KPLC), the Kenyan electricity provider, was rebranded by shortening its name to Kenya Power and introducing a new corporate identity. The rebrand is part of a larger strategy which includes increasing population access to electricity and making the company better in all sorts of ways.

Ogilvy & Mather East Africa, McKinney Rogers Kenya, and SBO Research Kenya are credited with the rebrand work. The new logo combines corporate aesthetics with distinctly Kenyan features.

Previus KPLC logo.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New logo/packaging: Rama, Blue Band and Planta (Unilever margarines)

The multinational consumer products company Unilever was founded in the 1930s as a merger between a soap producer and a margarine company. Although it has expanded into other foodstuffs and hygiene products, margarine is still a central part of the company. Today, Unilever owns dozens of margarine brands around the world, most of which can be fitted into three categories: high fat/cooking, blood cholesterol lowering and low-fat.

Although there are different names in different countries, Unilever often enforces a cohesive International packaging design, where only the name changes. A few months ago, a new common design for the high-fat margarines started appearing. Created by Design Bridge in London, the new packaging features hand-drawn flowers on a sunny meadow with new typography.

The new Rama logo.

Unilever's internal name for this product category happens to be "Family Goodness", and the brand is clearly aimed at families. The brand vision is "Growing Great Kids", suggesting that Unilever wants to stress the importance of high-fat margarine for growing children.
"Our hand-drawn flowers in a sunny meadow present a deceptively simple visual identity that has grown from a strong brand strategy. The new branding talks to all parents using cross-cultural visual language and symbolism. It communicates growth and health in a universally engaging way. It conveys warm, sunny optimism and inspires trust. It is also easily applied to any packaging format and detailed brand guidelines guarantee that promotional items, literature and print conform to a unified visual identity and a common brand positioning – anywhere in the world." - Design Bridge case study

Packaging, before and after. (It seems the South-African Rama packaging has sneaked in here instead of the old German one.)

The new design has been around at least since early April, when it was covered by the German design blog Designtagebuch, and I remember seeing it in stores around then. At that point, the new look had been introduced for Rama in the German-speaking countries, Blue Band in the Netherlands and Planta in Belgium. A quick look around local Unilever websites suggests that the new design hasn't yet been introduced in any other markets.

Previous Rama logo.

Previous Blue Band logo.

Previous Planta logo.
The new look is a major shake-up for the German Rama brand, which has abandoned the "Rama girl" which has been seen on packaging for a long time, and in ads even longer. Blue Band gets to keep a tiny version of its "blue band" symbol for some reason. Planta's previous identity was part of an International generic design from 2006.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New logo: FBTO

Last Monday, June 20, the Dutch insurance company FBTO launched a new brand strategy and a new corporate identity. The logo was revealed in a cermony where a new sign was uncovered on top of FBTO's headquarters in Leeuwarden. Behind the new corporate identity stands Amsterdam branding agency VBAT.

Previous logo.

In the new logo, the O has been coloured in all the colours of the rainbow, which the company's describes as the letter "literally coming to life". It should stand for "your own choice, very close, very direct". The brand positioning talks about living freely and not worrying about risks in one's life.

New logo: Power NI

NIE Energy, the leading local electricity provider in Northern Ireland, is about to change its name. On June 21, it unveiled the new name "Power NI" along with its new logo, which includes a colourful circular symbol. The new name and  logo is scheduled to be rolled out starting July 25, and the two names will be used alongside each other during a transition period.

The NIE Energy logo.

At the moment, NIE Energy and its sister company Northern Ireland Electricity use the same "flying E" symbol and similar names, as they used be part of the same operation. The main reasons behind the rebrand is said to be new EU regulation that says related power suppliers and electricity grids should be branded separately, as well as the fact that NIE Energy's owner sold Northern Ireland Electricity last year.

NIE Energy supplies power to over 700,000 homes, which is 95 percent of all households in Northern Ireland.

NIE Energy - New name (archive)
NIE Energy news article (archive)

Monday, June 27, 2011

New logo: Monsoon

Monsoon is a UK clothing and fashion retailer. This spring it has rolled out a new look, created by New York consultancy Pompei A.D., who, in addition to the visual identity, also redesigned Monsoon's flagship store in London.

Previous logo.

When Monsson was founded in the 1970s, it was mostly selling imported clothes from India, and that heritage is reflected in the new identity. Fundamental in the Monsoon brand is an approach described as a "Modern Ethnic" sensibility. The new look is also "modern" and "ethnic". For example, the logo has been inspired by curves in traditional Indian architecture. Printed materials and store interiors feature henna-like patterns that can be described by using the previously mentioned adjectives.

New logo: Sony Spin and AXN Black

Although perhaps best known as a manufacturer of consumer electronics, the Japanese conglomerate Sony is also an entertainment company which owns music publishers, movie studios and television networks around the world. One of those TV networks is Animax, a channel dedicated to anime, originally launched in Japan in 1998, spreading to other markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America during the next decade.

Animax logo, used since 2010.

As anime fans are well aware, it is hard to sustain commercial interest in the genre outside Japan. The local Animax editions for Latin America and Portugal have been shifting towards Western drama programming for a few years, and last May they dumped the Animax name to take on new identities. Interestingly, rather than launching a new global brand, Sony have launched two separate new brands. In Latin America, Animax was replaced by Sony Spin on May 1, while the Portuguese version became AXN Black on May 9. Both brands are extensions of two existing established brands, Sony Entertaínment Television and AXN.

The contents and target audiences of the two new channels differs a bit, which perhaps explains the different names. While Sony Spin is geared towards something called the "Millenium generation" with several teen series, AXN Black seems to be dedicated to "quality" drama with an international flare. The difference is also manifested in the on-air graphics.

The screencaps below come from launch promos for Sony Spin.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New logo: Habtoor Leighton Group

Al Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) is a Middle Eastern construction company, formed in 2007 from the merger of the UAE company Al Habtoor Engineering and Gulf Leighton, which was Australian construction company Leighton Holdings' arms in the region. Yesterday, June 22, the company launched a new corporate identity, the first since the company was founded. Behind it is the UAE branding agency Brash Brands.

Previous logo.

In a sense, this is the first time the company gets an identity of its own, as the previous logo was essentially just the old Al Habtoor and Leighton logos side by side. One of the objectives of this rebrand was to get rid of the perception of the company as being a temporary joint-venture between two different companies, and not "one, unified, fully-integrated" organisation. That perception was certainly inforced by the old logo.

The new logo focuses on the initials, HLG. The colours green and purple are used in all visual elements and applications. The colours were chosen to stand out among the competition, as research had shown that most competitors used red or blue.

New logo: SDA-ATS

The Swiss news agency SDA/ATS was founded in the late 19th century. The full names behind the abbreviations are Schweizerische Depeschenagentur in German, Agence Télégraphique Suisse in French and Agenzia telegrafica svizzera in Italian. Yesterday, June 22, SDA/ATS unveiled a new corporate identity. It had been created with Zurich design agency Lumina.

Previous logo.

The agency claims its previous logo was introduced in the 1970s, and that certainly sounds believable. Its distinct "retro look" was considered "old-fashioned and boring".

While the old logo combined the German and the French/Italian abbreviations into one wordmark, there will now be separate logos for the three national languages. The logos combine a lowercase wordmark (sda or ats), a red bar and a tagline which means "The News Source". The red bar is used as a link between the wordmark and the tagline, and reinforces the agency's "Swissness" by using the same red colour as the Swiss flag.

There are also new logos for different SDA/ATS divisions (news, sports, IT and sales).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New logo: Ruch

Ruch is a major Polish newspaper distributor and retailer which maintains an extensive network of newspaper kiosks around the country with thousands of outlets. Its brandsis almost universally recognized by Poles. During the Communist era, it held a monopoly on newspaper distribution in the country. It remained a government owned company until last year, when the government sold its majority stake. Yesterday, June 21, the company unveiled a new logo and a new kiosk design.

Previous logo.

The new logo is a restrained redesign og the previous logo. A press release stresses that the solid foundation in the Ruch brand will be maintained and used to build "a new quality of costumer service".

The kiosks used to be green, but the are now grey. Grey was chosen because a neutral color gives better exposure to the products.

The following images were published by Ruch's press service.

New logo: Voyage

Voyage is a French TV channel, the French equivalent of the Travel Channel. Since 2004 it has been owned by News Corporation through its Fox International Channels subsidiary (which also includes National Geographic Channel and Fox-branded channels outside the United States). In early March, the channel launched a new look. According to the French media blog, the new look was created internally at Fox Channels.'s blog post also contains more details and a bunch of video examples of on-screen presentation.

The new logo has an interesting ligature between the Y and the A. That ligature was previously used in the channel's logo from 2000 until 2006 when it was retired and replaced by a simpler design that used an icon with a "greater-than" bracket. In a sense, the new logo is a marriage of the two predecessors in that you can see a bracket in the Y-A ligature.

The 2000 look was created by Aart Design and launched on September 4, 2000. The 2006 look was created by SlooDesign and launched on September 18, 2006.

Logo used 2006-2011.

Logo used until 2006.

France Télévisions Publicité L'offre thématique V20 (archive)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New logos: MTV international

Ever since the original American MTV network permanently altered its logo by chopping of the bottom back in February 2010, it has been anticipated that the altered logo would be rolled out internationally as well. Now that is about to happen. On July 1, altered logos will be rolled out on the international MTV channels.

Current international MTV logo.

The current global look for MTV was launched on July 1, 2009 on most of the main MTV channels outside the United States, replacing many different local graphics packages. This new look was created by MTV World Design Studio Milan and Universal Everything. Unlike previous identities for MTV, where the logo could be twisted and coloured in every way imaginable, the logo would now always be black and put in a white rectangle, which it would never leave. The creative effort was instead poured into the idents, on which the logo was then superimposed.

The second phase of this rebrand started on March 1, 2010, when the genre-specific MTV channels in the UK got new looks with idents commissioned from different motion design studios around Europe.

MTV's international HD channel, MTVNHD, has so far had an identity independent of the other MTV channels. With the rebrand, it will be renamed MTV Live HD and get a logo which fits with the other MTV channels.

The following statement is attributed to a representative of MTV Networks.
Improvements to the current look and feel of our MTV-branded channels aim is to attracting even larger and more broader range of audiences alongside emphasizing brand’s unique values and character. The new design includes a wider MTV logo with a 16:9 ratio, offering a more contemporary expression of the logo while at the same time improving its functionality for all new and emerging platforms. With a new look and feel in place we will be able to connect the content directly to the brand and align with our viewers.
The new look was first leaked at the end of May by a Russian partner of MTV Networks. The new logos that made been revealed so far can bee seen below.

No word yet on whether or not there will be any changes to on-screen presentation not related to logos. It seems like this is mostly an update to incorporate the new MTV logo, and that other aspects of the 2009 branding formula will remain intact.

New logo: Odnoklassniki

Odnoklassniki (Одноклассники in Russian, meaning "Classmates") is a social networking site founded in 2006 which is popular in Russia and adjacent countries. This month it launched a new logo.

The new logo was created in-house. It contains a symbol based on the initials О and К. Those initials have another well-known meaning which applies in Russia as well, and the vertical combination also looks like a little person.

Russian media reported about the logo change around June 9, although it had reportedly been leaked on the site's front page back in April.

Previous logo.

Monday, June 20, 2011

New logo: Rosbank

Rosbank (Росбанк in Russian) is a Russian commercial bank, which is a part of the French financial group Société Générale. It is currently is the process of merging with another Russian subsidiary of the same company, Banque Société Générale Vostok (Банк Сосьете Женераль Восток, BSGV). With this consolidation comes a rebrand. The Rosbank name will be kept, but the new logo take the typeface and red-and-black square symbol used by Société Générale.

While the decision to consolidate Société Générale's assets in Russia was done in February 2010, the new logo was unveiled on April 13, 2011, at a press conference in Moscow. It is yet to be launched on the Rosbank and BSGV web sites. According to a press release, an information campaign has been underway in Rosbank offices since April and May. One can expect that the new symbol will formally replace the old logos when the merger is completed in July. In the autumn, the bank plans to launch an ad campaign and start replacing bank signs, a process which should be completed next year.

The rebrand work has been done in-house and outside professionals and consultants from both France and Russia. It is not uncommon for the Société Générale to be used together with local names, other examples can be found in the Czech Republic, Croatia, Moldova and Greece.

Current Rosbank logo.

Rosbank claims their previous logo was introduced in 2005 as an update of a logo from 1998.

Older Rosbank logo.

BSGV logo.

Russians may already be familiar with the red and black square, as it had been used by BSGV since it was founded. One can note that the BSGV logo was never updated to use the new corporate typeface that Société Générale introduced recently.

The logo of Societe Generale.
The following images were published by Rosbank in different publications:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New logo: Zee Network

The major Indian media conglomerate Zee Enterprises Entertainment Limited, also known as Zee Network, has launched a company-wide rebrand today. The new logo was launched at a 90-minute special event in Mumbai which was simulcast by Zee TV channels around the world.

The plans for the rebrand were unveiled through a press release on May 23. The big reveal was today, June 19, although some glimpses of the new logo could be seen before that.

The new logo is a shiny Z, which was reportedly created by Zee's in-house team.

Previous logo.

The Zee Network's previous on-air look was introduced at the end of March 2005.

"Developed by the in-house team, Zee TV’s aqua blue colour new logo features a stylish font. The new age design with its upward flourish signifies the upward movement of desires and wishes. The abstract form of the ‘Z’ and vibrancy of aqua blue bring in modernity and freshness to the brand. “The unshackling of the ‘Z’ from the box symbolizes today’s woman’s zest for life and confidence to go out in the world beyond her home. The overall design has a progressive feel and reflects the idea of looking into the future with hope and depicts a more dynamic and spirited outlook. The rainbow of hope is a very important element of the new packaging. It is colourful, ethereal and symbolically emphasizes the promise of ‘Umeed Se Saje Zindagi’… celebrating hope and life,” says Goenka." - Press release, (Punit Goenka is managing director and CEO of Zee)
After launching its first TV network in 1992, Zee's portfolio has grown to dozens of different television channels with programs in Hindi, English and many of the other languages spoken in India. It also has an extensive network of TV channels for Indian diasporas around the world. This rebrand follows a relaunch of Zee's competitor Star, whose primary network StarPlus was rebranded almost exactly a year ago.

The table below contains the new and old logos of the different Zee channels. Most of the previous Zee logos were introduced in 2005. The previous logos for the English-language channels Zee Studio and Zee Café were introduced in November last year, but have been updated to include the new Z. So far, there are no new logos for 9X, an entertainment channel aquired last year, and the TEN sports channels.

Friday, June 17, 2011

New logo: Empire Life

The Canadian life insurance company Empire Life unveiled a new visual identity on Thursday, June 16. The new symbol is made up of what is reportedly three waterdrops, representing integrity, care and partnership.

Previous logo.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New logo: Espresso House

New logo.

Espresso House is a Swedish coffehouse chain, with locations in most cities in the southern half of Sweden. Starbucks has long been absent from the Swedish market, and Espresso House has filled much of that void. The first store opened in 1996, and since then it has expanded to at least 95 locations.

Old logo.

The Espresso House concept shares many similarities with Starbucks. The circular Espresso House logo is also suspiciously similar to the old Starbucks logo, but uses a coffee bean instead of a mermaid/siren/whatever.

Now, Espresso House are launching a new look, along with a completely new version of the coffee bean in a circular frame. The Norwegian design studio Holidesign, who have much experince in branding coffee, have taken credit for the new look. The typgraphy in the new logo is more balanced than the previous one. The new colour scheme based on earth tones and the new composition provides a vintage feeling. The vintage theme is then carried on in packaging and in-store graphics.

Even though Holidesign announced their work for Espresso House last year, the new logo is yet to appear on Espresso House's official website, and they don't seem to have made any announcements about it.

The following images were published by Holidesign:

New logo: Autoneum

On April 13, the shareholders of the Swiss manufacturing group Rieter Holding decided that the company's two divisions would be split into separate companies. While its "Textile Systems" division, which create textile machinery, would remain with the first company and retain the Rieter name, what had until then been known as "Rieter Automotive Systems" would be spun of into a new company called Autoneum and distirbuted to the shareholders.

Autoneum's first day of trading was May 13, when they also launched the visual part of the corporate identity. It was created by MetaDesign Zurich.

The Rieter logo.

From MetaDesign's press release:
The brand clearly shows its heritage in the Rieter Group and thereby the values it continues to stand for. But it also communicates the independence it will need on the market to stand up against powerful competitors. The result is a convincing, high-profile look and feel that will be implemented across all brand touchpoints.


Bruno Schmidt, member of the executive board at MetaDesign Zürich, added, “In Autoneum a new industrial brand has been built in a very short time, one that will prove strongly competitive in Switzerland and markets around the world. We are convinced that the new brand’s look and feel will play an important role in the strength and competitiveness of this young company.”
Autoneum press release April 13 (archive)
Autoneum press release April 13 pdf (archive)
Autoneum press release May 13 (archive)
Autoneum press release May 13 pdf (archive)
Financial presentation (archive)
Metadesign (archive)

New logo: Grammis

The Grammis Award is a Swedish music prize which recognizes accomplishments in Swedish music. It is the Swedish equivalent of the Grammy Awards, and the name is clearly inspired by the American prize. It is handed out annually by the Swedish branch of IFPI.

Recently, on June 8, a new logo for the prize was unveiled. It was created by Stockholm design agency WDW Creative, who have worked with the Grammis before.

"We wanted to create a form which unites the breadth of the Grammis Prize. The star has been divided and the parts represent the breadth in the different musical styles, artists and creators that rae acknowledged. At the same time, the different parts remind us of our Swedish provinces." - Jon Bergsman creative director at WDW Creative in a press release
IFPI press release (archive)
WDW Creative press release

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New logo: Fox Soccer

Fox Soccer Channel, the American TV network which only broadcasts soccer, was launched on February 7, 2005, replacing an "international" sports network called Fox Sports World, which also broadcast rugby and cricket in addition to soccer. Yesterday, June 14, it unveiled a new look for the the channel and associated businesses, like its companion channel Fox Soccer Plus and the websites and

The rebrand drops the word "Channel" from the channel's name, and it will now be known as Fox Soccer. The reasoning behind this is that the audience now has access to Fox Soccer content not only through TV screens, but also through other platforms. We've seen this trend before, most recently last week when the Science Channel shortened its name to Science.

The new look will be launched on all platforms on August 13 with a new set of "high-tech" on-air graphics.

Current Fox Soccer Channel logo.
The current Fox Soccer logo has been used since the network was launched in 2005.

The new logo keeps the shield idea, but drops the soccer ball. The press release describes the new typeface as bold, brash and showcasing Fox Soccer's "irreverent FOX heritage".

Fox Soccer has provided images of all the new logos, and they can be seen after the jump.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New logo: Lextran

LexTran is the brand name used for public buses in Lexington, Kentucky. Yesterday morning, June 14, they unveiled seven new buses, two of which used envrionmentally friendly hydrid-electric technology, funded by an earmark from Senator Mitch McConnell. In preparation for this, LexTran has launched a new look. It can also be seen on the new blue-green livery.

Previous logo.