A New Brand Design For Namics.
Of all the companies I worked for, Namics is likely the one with the highest amount of self confidence. At the time I was a consultant at Namics, they were roughly 280 people in two countries, Switzerland and Germany. I was never part of a company that took more pride on their culture, their identity as a collective of intelligent people doing great work.
While I think this self confidence a great asset, something that strengthens your company from the inside, it also bears the danger of being self centered and too focussed on keeping the status quo of what you consider your identity and work style. I experienced the leadership of Namics to continue preaching change, evolution and the importance of the individual and the collective as a whole. But in the end it was this very culture that clashed with my contributions, which were often innovative and unorthodox.
- Brand Strategy
- Concept Development
I loved being part of Namics. The people I worked with were great, and I kept meeting new great people through the branches of the company in Switzerland and Germany. There is a great creative and constructive potential when you put intelligent people in one space. On the other hand, I also experienced the struggle and issues with what Namics needed and what it wanted. It struggled with its perception in the market (my take is this has improved since 2009) and I often witnessed conflicts inside the company about what Namics was and should be. I think a lot of agencies and development companies are going through similar processes at some point.
Identity or Design?
In 2008, my first year at the company, Namics decided to get a new corporate design. Following their typical working culture, they were a bit nerdy in how they approached this task. Strong minds were clashing with their strong opinions about design, logos, identities and brands.
After an initial attempt to work it out internally, they realized they needed support from the outside. So Namics hired a consulting team to go through a branding process and then invited several design companies to create proposals for a brand redesign.
I had a couple of ideas of my own, so I simply asked the project lead if it was ok if I made a contribution too. Namics being Namics, they had a hard time with that. They couldn’t find a good reason why it shouldn’t be possible, so they let me compete with the five chosen design companies.
More Than One
My proposal was quite radical (given the rather conservative background of the former corporate design), it followed a modern approach, making change a firm part fo the concept. It was built on three ideas:
- We are more than the sum of our parts
- Like molecules, we form a whole
- We live through change and the ability to shift our shape
It is important to understand that these three ideas were not born in a vacuum. They were actually true assessments of the Namics culture. If you talked to people at Namics, they often referred to it as the DNA, reflecting pride and identification, a strong feeling of belonging.
My concept was called “More Than One” and presented in July 2008. It was never presented to the entire company, even though the commission for this project made the selection process a half democratic one. They selected a couple of proposals and Namics as a company could vote for their preferred solution.
The concept involved a view of the mission of Namics, connecting people and it introduced a few radical changes. The new design included ideas like using Arial as a corporate font and a set changing colors. I also proposed to change the lowercase name to a “grown up” version of upper case. These three parts were most likely inspiring the project team, because they were realized in the current corporate design of Namics, which was introduced in June 2009.
My contribution was rejected by the project team and excluded from the voting, being tagged as “off the target and not conclusive”. Unfortunately, I don’t have an English version of the presentation clip, but I think it tells its story well even just with image and sound. Note: The video clip contains the track “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” by Radiohead, which was not officially authorized.
A brand that lives.
It is leading in its field.
It isn’t very much known.
What is namics doing?
We are Namics.
We are not just one.
We are many things.
We have a bond.
Namics is in all of us.
We have the Namics atom.
The astonishing part?
It’s not only in ourselves.
We have grown up.
We are setting signals.
It’s not just one.
It has many sides.
It’s a system.
A lot can grow out of it.
It plays together.