Sagi Haviv of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv has just finished redesigning the company’s wordmark. He kindly answered a few questions about the four-month project.
What did you feel was lacking with the old Beko design?
We were unhappy with the typography and the lack of balance in the existing wordmark. When you set the word in caps, you inevitably get an unbalanced composition with the very closed B and E on the left and the widely open O on the right.
From a personality standpoint, it seemed to us that the existing design projected the wrong image. The brief we received from the client talked about the primary target audience being between 18 and 35 years of age and described the desired identity characteristics as youthful, dynamic, full of energy and approachable. The design they had with its elongated rigid all-caps lettering was the opposite of that.
The challenge was to do something very simple that didn’t rely on color so it could translate well to the all-important applications on the appliances. Going with all-lower case was a way to bring in a youthful look and approachable attitude and also to balance the word visually. The tilted underline was a simple, almost rudimentary way of injecting energy and dynamism. We also suggested a brighter blue for a more optimistic overall image.
Did you design fully custom letterforms or did you customise an existing typeface?
The letterforms were customized. Some of them grew out of a version of Myriad, but all were redrawn. Especially the ‘b’, as it was important to echo the ‘o’ and also to eliminate the stem, which was interfering with the thrust of the diagonal underline.
Did you create anything else for the client, or was your sole focus the wordmark?
The wordmark was our main focus. It’s going to live in people’s houses on their washing machines, stoves, and TVs, so it is a significant thing for the Beko leadership, who think very strategically. Once the identity was approved, we developed an approach for store signage and designed basic guidelines for the logo’s use, including specifications for a distinctive corporate typeface.
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Related, from the archives:
An interview with Sagi Haviv.