Known mostly for two clichés — coffee and drug cartels — Colombia is a rich and diverse country and due to its large geographical size and population it is one of the most active and influential countries in South America. It also benefits from an amazing location at the Northwest point of its continent, with coasts on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, a lush forest, and an epic mountain range in the Andes. Last Friday, before a soccer match between Colombia and Uruguay, the host introduced its new country brand and tagline, “The Answer is Colombia,” created by the joint efforts of Sancho BBDO and BBD for the identity and by JWT, RepGrey, and MEC for the advertising.
Colombia is a country characterized by its megadiversity and that’s precisely what we wanted to embed in the visual expression of the new Colombia country brand. To reinforce and complement it we used a warm and progressive language based on 4 fundamental principles:
Flexible: The logo and its elements allow the creation of innovative and surprising messaging.
Affective: As Colombians we know we are characterized by our warmth and politeness. Because of that, those two elements will always be present in everything we say.
Colorful: We have selected a color palette that represents and expresses the concept of megadiversity. They are colors that project strength, positivity, glimmer and a lot of energy.
Factual: The country brand speaks clearly and directly, with facts and evidence that support everything it promotes.
Promo site (translated by yours truly)
This is a rather conflicting logo. The main version, with its stacked geometric shapes in bright colors with its bulky “CO” — for the country’s top level web domain, .co — looks awfully generic, amateurish, and confusing to read because there are so many circles involved, given all the “c”s and “o”s and actual circles. So that part I hate. But then, if you see the video at the 3:19 mark and the versions above, there is a very amazing use of that awkward shape created by the original logo that can be inhabited by many of the important aspects of Colombia, from its national flower, the orchid, to the frogs in its rainforest, to its harbor. The toucan and the frog achieve near-Paul Rand simplicity and awesomeness and you can almost forgive the odd read of Cocolombia engendered throughout the logos. Overall, this is definitely an interesting approach to a country brand and there are glimmers of excellence in it — it’s just the first impression with the main logo that makes you wish a drug cartel would bury it somewhere.