Established in 1994, Mobiltel, more commonly known as M-Tel (now just Mtel), is the largest telecommunications mobile company in Bulgaria. It now offers internet, cable, and home phone services to complement its mobile dominance and landscape ubiquity with 180 stores across the country. Earlier this month Mtel introduced a new identity designed by London-based Saffron.
Based around the idea ‘More. Me’, the brand celebrates the variety and diversity of Mtel’s customers and recognises the different needs and aspirations they each have. […] By aspiring to give customers infinite possibilities, the brand’s new identity is a combination of Mtel’s previous prominent M and the infinity symbol. The colour red that Mtel owns in Bulgaria was extended with fresh tones of orange, purple and yellow. Based on these basic elements, we developed a visual system of typography, photographic and illustration style for the broad range of product brands offered by Mtel, as well as marketing communications and own brand store design.
— Saffron Case Study
The previous logo was strange with its swooshy, oversize “M” and, judging from one photo of its current store design, the identity looked more like a pharmacy than an iPhone-selling store. The new logo is an acquired taste. When I first saw it I wasn’t convinced by the icon — too fuzzy, too tightly wound up, too big — or the typography. I’m still not convinced by the latter, as (1) it clashes too much in line style and thickness with the icon and (2) there is a kind of toy-fulness to it that doesn’t feel quite grown up. But the icon… I am really liking the icon, especially as it moves away from being a static, “flat” — in quotes because it’s not really flat at all — logo and into dimensional applications where the looping effect comes alive (see image directly above) and I also like the extension into making it interact with subjects in the photography. Lastly, even in one of the most old-school moves in identity design, the logo works great when blown-up huge in relation to its canvas, i.e., the cars. Overall, the redesign is extremely effective in bringing the brand up to date and making it feel vibrant.