• Transform magazine
  • April 30, 2017

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#TransformTuesday: 4 August

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Every week, Transform examines recent rebrands and updated visual identities. This week's picks are below. For more from #TransformTuesday, follow @Transformsays

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In the UK, everyone things they know Breville, but it seems the brand is so much more than toasted cheese sandwich makers. A quick image search on Google brings up more gleaming chrome than you’d find in the trendiest coffee shop in Williamsburg or Dalston. That’s the rub; Jarden Consumer Solutions, which own Breville in Europe, wants to reposition the 80 year-old brand to face a more upmarket and affluent demographic. However, the name still evokes an image of one of the chaviest cooking utensils in the kitchen. Jarden called in London-based design house Fishburn. The initial research showed that the brand lacked personality. Fishburn created a new positioning with the tagline, ‘Turn on your creativity.’ It’s quite neatly done too, with the dot on the i literally becoming the on switch.

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The Finance Brokers Association of Australia is the national association representing finance and mortgage loan writers throughout Australia. The FBAA, as it is normally known, has seen its membership widen and needed to reach out to a younger audience. Its old visual identity took, as its inspiration, a map of Australia and increasingly, if the internet has taught the world anything, is that stakeholders tend to know where they are from without a map-based logo popping up every five minutes.

Out with the map and in with some rather lovely whooshy go-faster arrows to remind you that your trade body is going places. On the whole it works well, but it’s a shame there isn’t a greater sense of brand consistency on its website.

 

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There’s something quite ugly about portmanteau words, Grexit sounds like a salami and Brangelina always sounded far uglier when expressed as the sum of its constituent parts. If portmanteau words are bad enough, though, surely a sight far more hideous is the portmanteau logo – or the portmanogo (see how contagious it becomes). You normally see the portmanogo following a merger when the weaker company hasn’t had a big enough senior management cull. At this point there are too many egos wondering aimlessly around the duplicated head offices and if the new company can’t cull superfluous management then it definitely can’t make the decision to cull a redundant visual identity. As our lawyers are away for the bulk of August I am certain that this probably isn’t the case with KraftHeinz, a company that has taken two separate word marks out of their frames and pushed them somewhat inelegantly together. It would actually be nice to think that it was because there were not enough senior managers around to make a sensible decision about the portmanogo, but somehow that seems unlikely.

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There’s something deeply reassuring about a Möbius strip. It isn’t just its perpetuity, there’s something about its curves that, though soft, have a calming solidity; which is what you want in an insurance company. Particularly an insurance company aimed at picking up the waifs and strays of the insurance audience. MAIF, also known as the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund, was just that; an insurance company trying to encourage the 400,000 uninsured (and, with anyone else, uninsurable) motorists to take out policies. The problem with its old visual identity was that with its jokey, scripty typeface it didn’t look like it took the problem seriously. And if it didn’t, then who would. The new identity doesn’t quite complete the Möbius strip but it feels like it was the inspiration. The new brand also extends beyond the visual identity – MAIF has been renamed to Maryland Auto Insurance and next launches a new marketing campaign to let Maryland citizens know that everyone with a licence can get insurance.

Have a tip for next week’s #TransformTuesday? Send your suggestions here.

@transformsays

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