It's How We Connect.
In 2010, Telstra introduced a new tagline – 'It's how we connect' as an attempt to inject some humanity into a largely engineering focused organisation. Interbrand and DDB were appointed give the new tagline meaning and revitalise the brand.
The previous brand identity – world of blue – had failed to connect with its broad and diverse audience. Telstra had to connect with everyone including teenagers, families, business, senior citizens and the government, yet they were talking to all of them in the same tone – Blue.
All the colours.
Inspired by Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album artwork, colour became a metaphor for one company (white light) that can split itself into a full spectrum of tones, emotions and needs of its customers.
Colour therefore represents diversity of people, products and services that the Telstra brand touches. It allows for one organisation to flex itself appropriate to who it's talking to and what it's talking about.
The Spectrum device was also inspired by the splitting of light by a prism. It's the Swiss Army Knife of branding devices by being infinitely flexible to open up to 360 degrees or close down to get out of the way.
The Spectrum can contain colour, images and typography and can point to devices, customers and the Telstra logo. It was conceived as a connection device with every line in the spectrum beaming outwards to connect to another touchpoint of the brand.
A six colour system was introduced which encompassed the whole colour spectrum whilst avoiding colour schemes which overtly referenced other telcos in the market. This gave us a spectrum and associated logo for any image we wanted to use. Images were selected with the filter of 'keep it real' so we represented customers' worlds and reflected their colour with the Spectrum.
The Brilliant Connected Future.
In 2013, Telstra introduced their purpose:
To create the brilliant connected future for everyone.
This purpose highlighted Telstra's mission to create the technologically driven future we've all been promised. Interbrand was asked to update the brand identity to reflect this new purpose and give it a visual upgrade which represented the aspirational future they envisioned.
To tackle this brief we returned to first principles by boiling down the existing identity into simple visual principles from which we could rebuild a fresh articulation of the brand. These were: colour, angularity, light and simplicity. From here we sought to define Spectrum as a visual language rather than a graphic device.
From these principles we devised experiments to find a new articulation of the principles which felt familiar yet upgraded for the future. To reflect the new purpose we put particular emphasis on light (brilliance) and created visual experiments with coloured acetates and a light source with the intention of discovering a new motion mechanic for the brand identity.
Each test was videoed and compiled for daily review and discussed as a team to discuss learnings and what the next day's test would be. Eventually we had learned enough to be able to pass these physical tests to a motion designer to further progress the experiments inside the computer and develop the brand's motion mechanics. This motion first approach was then reverse engineered by designers to work in static and printed media.
Digital examples by R/GA Sydney
The new visual language for Spectrum introduced colour gradients to represent the presence of a light source.
What was a 36 colour system became 18 colours arranged around four colour schemes, greatly reducing the complexity of the system.
Designed at Interbrand
Creative Directors: Chris Maclean, Mike Rigby
Design Directors: Andrew Droog, Ami Gainford, Tom Carey, Ben Miles
Designers: Eric Ng, Flicka Williams, Benja Harney, Mike Tosetto, Joao Peres, Ami Gainford, Debra Jason, Claire Theophane, Annah Brocklebank, Briton Smith, Dan Ingham, Ed Hall and so many others (message me if I forgot you)