Steeling the show
Investment company Greybull Capital has today completed its purchase agreement of Europe’s second largest steel producer, Tata Steel, and its Long Products business.
In doing so, 4,400 jobs at the Scunthorpe steelworks plant are retained – and the parent company has been rebranded as British Steel.
With this new corporate identity comes a refreshed and updated brand design. Lincoln-based brand and design agency, Ruddocks, was tasked with developing a unique visual identity for British Steel, and its associated architecture.
Intended to highlight the progression and forward-thinking nature of the newly-acquired Scunthorpe site, while paying homage to the industrial past of the British steel industry, the main focus of British Steel’s design is its three components, combined into one emblem.
Distinct but connected, each unit reflects a key British Steel brand touchpoint, and company values – pride, passion and performance.
In a press release, British Steel commercial director, Peter Hogg says, “This is a landmark day for our new business and we are incredibly proud of our new brand. It captures everything we stand for – pride, passion and performance – and we believe it will not only inspire our employees but make us stand out in the market place where British Steel’s name will be known as a world leader in steel production.”
Combining the B and S letterforms, the new logo is rendered in a bright orange, intended to reflect the molten orange of heated steel, and vibrancy inherent to the steel industry.
A navy blue background counterpoises the orange emblem through the cool atmosphere it generates. This lends the business a professional edge, and reflects the quality to be expected from British-made steel – and British Steel in particular.
Similarities have emerged between the agency and client outlooks, also. Paul Banton, managing director at Ruddocks, says, “Like British Steel, Ruddocks has a long heritage dating back to 1884, so there is synergy between our business and theirs.”
Banton continues, “Despite our historic roots we are an innovative, forward-thinking agency with a national client base. We have built up a team of extremely talented designers who have seized the opportunity to work on such a high profile project and created something we are all extremely proud of.”
Doncaster-based creative agency, Moirae, was also commissioned alongside Ruddocks to help develop the marketing and advertising arm of the British Steel brand. As well as the Scunthorpe plant, two mills in Teesside, a Workington-based engineering workshop and a design consultancy in York are included as part of the acquisition.
There is also a mill in northern France under British Steel ownership, where a further 400 workers are employed.
An agency partnership has proven to be an effective approach to the smooth introduction of an identity for British Steel. Ruddock says, “The old British Steel logo was iconic so it’s been an exciting challenge to come up with a new brand that we hope will be just as successful. In the run up to today’s unveiling we’ve held focus groups with the employees at the Scunthorpe site and so far the feedback has all been positive.”
Particularly for a sector which has both influence on the national economy and a loyal workforce, development of a strong brand identity is the first step ensuring British Steel is widely recognised, and appreciated.