Established in 1930 and originally known as RTT, Belgacom (as it was renamed in 1991) is the largest telecommunications company in Belgium, headquartered in Brussels, who in 1994 launched Proximus, Belgium’s first mobile network. Delivering services under the two separate brand names the parent company, Belgacom, has recently announced its move to a single consumer brand offering mobile and landline phone services, internet, and television subscriptions under the Proximus name. The new identity has been designed by Saffron.
Saffron recommended a one-brand approach. The brand narrative would focus on high quality and convergent services in a single, evolved brand. We facilitated a process during which the decision was made to proceed with Proximus as the younger, more relevant and ‘closer’ brand platform. The brand strategy was based on the brand idea of being ‘instantly close to what matters’ in life. The brand personality focuses on Proximus’ role as the champion for modern communications technology in Belgium, both for business and residential customers.
Our visual work was described as a human translation of technological powers — expressed in a rounded, fluent and connective design. The new brand helps consumers connect with Proximus in a way that’s relevant to them — and encourages them to embrace technology with confidence.
The old logos were pretty much throwaway executions; nothing memorable, interesting, or differentiating about them. Other than what I presume was some brand equity simply for existing as a service for many years, there was nothing to lose or miss. The new logo takes the more youthful (I guess) name of Proximus and its purple color to evolve into a youthful (I guess, again) logo. The main element is a bendable tube that in its final form takes on the shape of an “X” — or a more rave-like Command key icon. In its flat, gradient version, the icon is very unappealing with dented curves and a messy gradient execution. The icon gets sort of interesting in the full 3D render and gets sort of clever when the side view reveals another form altogether — yet it all feels a little too forced. The beating-heart idea in the first video starts to go into creepy territory. The wordmark is unimpressive and bland with boring letterforms that lack any real rhythm among them.
The video above presents some of the images preceding it in a slightly more interesting way but there is no saving this identity. As a fan of Saffron it’s as painful for me to write this as it is to see the identity. From the heavy-handed gradients to the oddly twisted icons, illustrations (those ads!), and lettering, there is no cohesiveness to it or the finesse that Saffron typically brings to their more complex and integrated identities. The “Hello” and “35” on the welcome pack maybe hint at some potential when the elements are reined in. Overall, there is far too much going on in the identity yet none of it manages to stick.