New: Name, logo and visual system
Launched: April 17, 2008
Story in brief:
This dramatic rebranding
effects Thomson's acquisition of Reuters, expressing it more as
the creation of a new company than as merely a merger of equals.
CEO Tom Glocer made it personal:
" I write to share my excitement over the formation today of
Thomson Reuters. Birthdays are generally joyous occasions, so I
hope you will permit me this celebration. Rare is the offspring
who enters the world as the leading source of intelligent
information for businesses and professionals and traces his
family history to 1851 ... We hope you will see many
positive changes from Thomson Reuters, starting with our new
Rebranding started September 2007, with engagement of Interbrand
for a classic brand research, positioning and design process.
Since Thomson grew from Canada-based family roots to acquire the
more historic (and distinctive) Reuters brand, the name decision was
only to be expected.
Given the name, designer Chris Campbell tells us "we knew early
on that a symbol would be required, at the highest level, to link
together the various businesses. Increasingly they are
web-based, where a mark can stand out more clearly. And a symbol
would help to establish their presence and identity as a brand
new company. So a symbol was necessary, we felt, both for brand
architecture and to build recognition.
"The idea of the spiral, made of dots, leverages the equity of the
Reuters dots. Conceptually each of the dots represents a point of
data, so the story is that Thomson Reuters organizes the data to
give it shape and meaning. Even at rest the shape has a feeling of
being alive and in motion, and supports the notion that 'intelligent
information is alive'."
As for color, "we agreed early on that we would not be another
blue brand (like Thomson and Reuters, both linked to their legacy as
a 20th century company) so we took orange, a more optimistic part of
the Reuters identity, to express our future."
The launch was about as
aggressive as could be; internally, global closed-circuit
broadcasts of the staged event; externally, two or three-page
spreads in major papers plus a Times Square billboard
extravaganza, followed by an impressively sustained campaign..
C.E.O. - Thomas A. Glocer
C.M.O - Gustav Carlson
Identity counsel and design - Interbrand (NY)
Exec. Director of Strategy Tom Zara, Exec. Creative Director
Chris Campbell, Creative Director Jason Brown
Name decision: Completely understandable, probably
the right decision, yet a bit of a letdown (dilution by
addition). 'Reuters' is the distinguisher; putting it second
protects against truncation, but also inhibits constructive
truncation and is thus a mixed blessing.
Design strategy: The symbol is warranted by the
long, duller name, as well as by the desire to visually endorse
Design execution: The overall brand presence is
necessarily lacking in compactness and thus force; it is
nevertheless conceptually engaging (reminds me of those
satellite photos of hurricanes) and visually appealing. And
arguably, in the digital information space its relative delicacy
Reuters' new dots trace back to the punch-tape wordmark
designed by Alan Fletcher (pre-Pentagram) in 1965 or so. In 1996
Enterprise IG weighted up the dots and added the day/night symbol,
to increase on-screen impact. For essentially the same
reason, in 1999 the letterforms were solidified and colors
added, by (TBD; let us know!).
Corporate Brand Matrix ratings:
structural, 50% strategic, 0% functional.
CEO Tom Glocer
1965, 1996, 1999...