Established in 1853, Aetna is one the biggest health insurance companies in the United States offering medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans to approximately 36.3 million people. In a move to continue “its evolution from an insurance carrier to a health solutions company” and establish themselves as a more consumer-focused brand, Aetna has introduced a new identity, designed by New York-based Siegel+Gale. To get things started, you can watch a launch video here.
Aetna’s new logo celebrates the equity and tradition of the Aetna name in a way that is both contemporary and optimistic. Aetna is symbolically reinforcing its 160-year history, its dedication to building relationships with its members, customers and providers and its brand promise of a connected health care experience through the inclusion of a connected “a” and “e.” Known as a ligature, the connection of the two letters was used in the Aetna logo for 151 years, before being retired in 2001. It returns today as a unique symbol of Aetna’s brand and its heritage.
— Press Release
The personality differences between the old and new logo are quite immediate: The old one looked like something a Human Resources person would put in a folder with, like, a hundred pages for you to read through and select one of thirty overly confusing health plans from a boring provider that might as well also be pushing big pharma products. The new one, pulling many of today’s tricks to appear more friendly and personable — all lowercase, chunkiness, bright colors, soft letterforms — is instantly more approachable and looks more like something you would find on a quick online form with a simple question, “Do you want to not pay as much when you go to a doctor?” with radio buttons for “Yes” and “No”. Of course, the reality is not that at all. Getting health insurance, especially when you are going straight to the source as is the trend now, is an aggravating process but the insurer might as well look good doing. And Aetna does.
I really like that this is not just another geometric sans serif with perfect circles and super rounded corners — which are fine a la Blip and Belkin, but a little change of pace is good. With a more Optima-esque construction the wordmark still manages to look like a serious business for a big ass company that wants your money but it’s doing so with a smile and a colorful ensemble. The logo looks best small, when the counterspace in the “ae” ligature looks more closed and more similar to the tracking of the other letters — when blown up big it looks just a tad clunky. I also appreciate that “e” is not just a flipped “a”, which is a common lazy approach. The every-color-in-the-rainbow approach also helps soften the look and take Aetna away from the corporate blue feel.
The rest of the identity and applications are relatively straightforward and tied together by simple sans serif typography, big photos, and bright colors. Overall, a great change of direction and very well suited for becoming a business-to-consumer brand instead of just business-to-business.