• Transform magazine
  • August 12, 2020


ICS rebrand shapes the future of shipping

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Founded in 1921, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) represents the interests of the global shipping industry and its stakeholders. It also promotes international cooperation between its affiliated organisations. A recent rebrand reinforces the chamber’s historic credentials while optimising the organisation for the challenges facing modern international trade and shipping.

Global brand agency Brand Union led the ICS rebrand, taking the organisation’s leading, iconic visual and modernising it to reflect the chamber’s future-focused ambitions. Although retaining the ship silhouette which has for so long been the chamber’s signifier, Brand Union simplified the ICS logo while paying homage to its unique, global identity.

A new design, in which the ship’s hull is that of a modern cargo vessel and the sails those of a traditional East Indiaman merchant ship, portrays the chamber’s global reach and origins. The ship’s orientation has also rotated, with the change from profile to portrait at once reflecting the proud nature of the shipping industry, and the brand’s front-facing outlook. A new colour palette signals a break from the traditional, perhaps cliched, blue tones inherent to brands in the maritime industry.

Terry Tyrrell, chairman of Brand Union, says, “Working on this project gave us the opportunity to modernise and future-proof a well-established and respected heritage brand that plays a leading role in shaping the future of a vital global industry, moving the essentials of life to every corner of the world.”

It was also imperative that Brand Union create a brand for the ICS which reflects the transformative yet oft-forgotten role shipping plays in the world’s economy. And, representing over 80% of the world's merchant tonnage, the International Chamber of Shipping is not only pivotal in ensuring the smooth distribution of goods, services and products across global waterways. Its technical, legal, employment affairs and policy issue expertise also ensures global trade remains functional among all sectors and industries, as well as intergovernmental bodies.

Peter Hinchliffe, secretary general of the ICS says, “Our modernised visual identity provides a strong signal of ICS’ future-focus, and our determination to continue to play a globally leading role to shape the future of shipping for many years to come.” In creating a brand which indicates transparency and modernity, Brand Union has ensured the International Chamber of Shipping’s image remains as relevant as the organisation’s historic reputation.

The identity was unveiled at International Chamber of Shipping’s annual conference on 13 September at the British Library, London. Speaking at the brand launch, ICS chairman, Esben Poulsson says, “Over the next 30 years, new technologies and environmental challenges will completely transform shipping – a vital industry that moves the essentials of life and around 90% of global trade. Together with our member national associations, we are working to help shape a vision for the future, in which shipping will become ever more efficient and environmentally sustainable.”

“Our contemporary new brand seeks to reflect what we do with a refreshed and vibrant colour palette, appropriate to a modern global trade association that represents one of the world’s most dynamic industries.”

The chamber has 36 members and 11 associate members, including the UK Chamber of Shipping. The ICS acts as a consultative body to the UN International Maritime Organisation.


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International Chamber of Shipping old logo