New Work: AkzoNobel
Angus Hyland and his team at Pentagram have created a brand identity that will help to consolidate AkzoNobel’s position as one of the world’s leading industrial companies. AkzoNobel is the world’s No.1 in coatings and decorative paints and also a global leader in specialty chemicals. The commission came as a response to a strategic transformation in the company, most notably marked by the divestment of its Pharma activities followed by the acquisition of ICI, whose brands included household names such as Dulux, Glidden and Polycel. The visual branding will be applied throughout the global organisation and across 80 countries over the next eighteen months.
According to John McLaren, Director of Corporate Communications, the new brand identity is important as a statement of unity and strength of purpose, “Our new positioning symbolises the transformation of AkzoNobel and our ambitions for the future. Our new brand, and its execution, will be crucial in focusing the company on those values which will make the most significant difference to our competitiveness.”
The visual identity has been developed to express the company’s brand proposition: Tomorrow’s Answers Today. At the centre of the new brand architecture is a redesigned version of a symbol originally based on a Greek bas-relief from 450 BC; the figure has been through a series of iterations to arrive at its present form. With the logo work by Saffron and the roll-out refinement by Pentagram, the new symbol is more forward looking, energetic and powerful.
The other elements of Pentagram’s visual identity establish a confident, contemporary tone of voice for the company, laying down principles for the use of colour, photography, imagery and layout as well as copy. A palette of graduated colours provides the anchor point for the design solutions, appropriate to a company that is all about colour and its infinite variation.
Pentagram will continue to act as global brand guardians through the implementation, a process facilitated by their all-encompassing guidelines manual. The guidelines legislate for the visual identity’s application across every aspect of the company’s operations, from internal communications to above and below the line media, the website, signage and product endorsement.