Established in 1986, XL Group is a “global insurance and reinsurance company providing property, casualty and specialty products to industrial, commercial and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises throughout the world.” Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, XL has 4,000 employees across 60 locations in 20 countries and as of December 2010 had $45 billion in total assets and $10.6 billion in total revenues. This week, XL introduced a new campaign, “Make Your World Go”, and a new identity designed by London-based Venturethree.
“There is no progress without risk,” Mr. McGavick added. “And in an environment where change is accelerating, risks are multiplying and businesses are increasingly complex, companies need strong, innovative partners to help manage their risk. Our brand clearly sets XL apart as the strong, innovative partner needed in today’s market.”
— Press Release
When I first saw the new logo I have to admit that I thought “WTF is that?” An annoyingly disproportionate and wonky “X” and a weird-hanging “L” but the more I looked at it the more I liked it. It looks different from most logos we’ve seen lately. Built out of three equal chevrons, it’s almost uncomfortable, as if the whole thing is going to topple over. It also has sharp, angled, angry corners. They are not soft and rounded. And, gasp, it’s black. Pitch effin’ black. This logo means business. The attitude it portrays is what we’ve been missing from corporate design these past five years, by avoiding the “let’s be friends” approach and embracing the “we are a corporation, we wear suits, and we want your money more than our competition does” approach. Unexpectedly refreshing.
The applications match the boldness and simplicity of the logo, especially the black and white trade ads. The colorful brochures feel slightly like a departure, but I guess there needs to be some color somewhere. Overall, as you can tell, I think this is a great redesign that helps XL establish a tough standard in the otherwise visually weak insurance market.