New logo for this insurance partnership
A use of identity, by a leader
New: New Fortis logo only
Launched: April 1, 1998
Story in brief:
Fortis was created in 1991 as a construct of Dutch and Belgian financial companies, with a straightforward 'wordmark' logo designed by Wolff Olins. In 1998 the two chairmen, one from each parent firm, set out to strengthen the brand. They formed the identity task force which called for the development of a consumer-focused, full spectrum financial services image.
The new symbol was ostensibly derived from an aerial photograph of a European town. The full-page WSJ ad launching the new identity -- complete with the original photograph taken by "our logo designer" -- explained away the skydiver's vantage- point with thin references to "community."
C.E.O. - Chairmen Hans Bartelds and Maurice Lippens
Landor Associates, London
Perhaps it is possible to be too creative. Every year there are a couple of new marks I can only characterize as head-scratchers, and this is one of them.
The Fortis name is strong. Why they felt it necessary to abandon their effective wordmark, and focus instead on a symbol, is beyond me.
And the symbol? It's jolly enough, like confetti. But frankly, the relevance is not immediately obvious. "Community?" - maybe if you see an aerial photo, and know that the town in the original photo was ringed by fortifications... I scratch my head.