The following is a case study for the rebrand creation of Hans Svenning.
Hans Svenning owns a company that works with lumber for construction, trusses and large structures.
The company was founded in 2003, under the name of its own founder. It was a small company and did not have any type of visual identification or brand image.
About 3 years later, and with the growth of the company, the client decided that he needed a company logo design. To that end, he hired a local design agency specialized in logo design for business.
The result was the logo that we can see below, which was used for almost 15 years.
With further growth and the need to reach new markets, the company hired a marketing consultant in Zurich. This consulting firm designed a marketing strategy for the company’s products.
In addition, he recommended an urgent change in the company’s brand image, considering it anachronistic.
Starting the brand creation process
Based on references from another client, Hans contacted us personally. He explained his needs very clearly to us, which we could basically summarize as “logo design for business”.
But when he saw the diverse range of services that we could provide to him and his company, he asked us if we could evaluate a more complete brand image. Not just a logo, but to do a complete rebranding process, to which we agreed.
We analyzed Hans’s “superficial” needs (that is, what was asked of us at a basic level). Both in terms of visual identity and brand creation (or rather, rebranding, since the brand existed). After this, we were able to formulate a brief in greater depth of detail.
Based on that brief, the responses from Hans and his team were very interesting and helpful. In this brief we identified 2 very prominent issues: Hans’ need to be a brand for itself, which is what is known as personal branding. And on the other hand, we noticed the need to transmit certain values of the company and of Hans himself.
To give an example: Hans is German, of Swedish parents, with a company in Switzerland. It was of fundamental importance to him to be recognized as a member of the community in which he lives, not as a foreigner. There was a psychological need for a very strong sense of belonging, which we had to transmit.
But at the same time, for him the roots, the honesty, being who he is was almost as important as being recognized as belonging to that new community.
In psychological terms, and even personal adaptation to new contexts, the case was and is very common. And it also undoubtedly explained the need for that personal branding, because it is the most expeditious way to convey that type of message.
The problem was to achieve all that with just a company logo design or a mere rebrand process …
From “logo design for business” to rebrand
The problem with all this is that these strategies are complex, and different elements are used to achieve the desired results. Although a brand logo can convey certain values, this does not happen in all cases. Nor is it necessary at all. In fact, the vast majority of logos do not convey any particular value or reference, that is the responsibility of the brand image.
In any case, all the elements that make up a brand are of great importance and none is left to chance in branding design. On the contrary, an effort is made to achieve strong, consistent brand images that resist the passage of time and with a visual identity recognizable to the naked eye. If there are sub-texts or meta-information or different layers of meaning, then much better. But again: it is not necessary, and nothing happens if we do not have it.
Having said that, let’s move on to the solution we found for Hans Svenning and his brand image.
Company logo design
As we saw previously, the requirements for this branding design or rebrand were very specific and related to personal branding. Therefore, there was never the slightest doubt that we were going to keep the name. Even when we were authorized to do a Naming process.
Regarding the construction of the logo, we always based it on this naming, or on the initials of the name. However, the options we came up with were more than acceptable (and some of them would surely be approved), but we felt that something was missing.
Finally, reviewing the options we had, we arrived at one that with slight modifications could generate very good results. And from that point, everything became obvious. And all the strength and potential of the brand emerged almost automatically.
The new visual identification we had arrived at was still playing with the initials H and S, only in a more subtle way, and with many layers of meaning.
First, we used the official red color of the Swiss flag as the background for the logo. Then we created a letter S turned 90 degrees counterclockwise representing the roads that lead from their family origins in Sweden. Then the central area in Germany, to end in Switzerland.
Of course, the shape of the road does not match the real positions of the countries in the map of Europe. However, it is a symbolism of “start north, then center and end south”. Above the letter S we created an H letter in negative space, which in the context of the color suggests the cross of the Swiss flag. Finally, we placed the pictorial mark at the top left. This was made as a reference to the Swedish cross, but also to generate tension and a sense of “place to move forward”
Wordmark Logo Typography
One of the things Hans mentioned was his need to maintain his personality and who he was, but inserted in a new context. In other words, be honest with himself and with his origins. For this reason, in addition to the pictorial brand that we mentioned in the previous section, we made a small game of signifiers with the typography. For this purpose, we use the VAG Rounded font. This typeface was created in 1979 for Volkswagen AG, and 1979 is the year of birth of Hans Svenning. And Volkswagen, as we all know, it is the German “people’s car”.
Of course, we didn’t know what year the font was created or that it was Hans’s birth year, but it’s a great coincidence that deserves to be mentioned!
Finally, a small “trick” with regards to naming: we said earlier that we would not change the name. But in fact we did it. We removed the tag line “Holzprodukte” (wood products) to be able to internationalize the brand regardless of the customers’ language .
Rebrand elements and visual identity
Branding design is just the beginning
Hans Svenning’s project gave us a lot of satisfaction. With this new visual identity, communications have become simpler, and brand recognition achieved almost immediate positioning. Just imagine seeing such a visual identity in the middle of more basic ones. Now we’re working on the web design for the firm, so something great is coming!
On the other hand, the consulting firm that originated this project continues to work on the development of a new marketing strategy. And more important for us: on new projects that include our collaboration and fill us with pride!