Established in 1999 after the merger of Thyssen AG and Krupp (but with roots as far back as the early 1800s), thyssenkrupp is a multinational, diversified industrial group that, in essence makes massive, complicated stuff with steel (including steel itself). With 155,000 employees working in 77 countries, ThyssenKrupp is organized in six business areas: Components Technology, Elevator Technology, Industrial Solutions, Materials Services, Steel Europe and Steel Americas. Late last year, the company introduced a new identity,
most likely designed in-house designed by Hamburg, Germany-based Loved*, and insists on being referred to in all lowercase as thyssenkrupp. A very thorough microsite explains the rebranding.
The new signet brings together the Krupp rings and the Thyssen arch. The color remains blue, but it is now more modern and dynamic. We are putting the mission statement and strategy into practice, while becoming more accessible as we seek to be understood by people both young and old around the world.
The claim - “engineering. tomorrow. together.” - places a clear focus on cooperation, while also conveying that we are looking to offer pioneering solutions. In other words, the logo and claim embody our corporate identity.
It may be hard to believe but, yes, the old logo was officially the refrigerator-badge looking thing on the left of the header image. When your logo has two holding shapes inside one holding shape, you know it’s time to redesign. If there was any benefit to the old logo it’s that it hinted at steel with its texture. The new logo maintains the equity of the arch and rings from the original companies but now integrates them in a much more interesting way and they are metaphorically in sync whereas before the arches simple sat over the rings and you could argue it wasn’t a true merger of logos.
The new logo’s minimal approach is fitting for the times, dropping extraneous graphic baggage picked up during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The drawing is simple and to the point, yielding a space-age-like symbol that looks like serious engineering stuff takes place there. The wordmark uses a lighter version (or maybe a custom modification for this use) of its proprietary typeface, TKType, designed by Dalton Maag in 1999. Going to an all lowercase approach doesn’t seem right for such a massive company but I guess it helps signal that this is not a merged company anymore but a unified one and, hey, it looks cool. Bonus points for matching the thickness of the letters and the icon, making it feel connected.
Not much in application. Just swaths of blue and the custom font repeating the tagline, also force-fed in lowercase despite the existence of periods in it. (Side rant: tag lines following the Word-period-Word-period-Word-period structure are as clichéé as swooshes — it’s like no one could figure out how to write a complete sentence and just threw the key words in there.) Overall, this is a very positive redesign, simply because it takes the logo from a trite execution to a possibly timeless one, but ThyssenKru… er, thyssenkrupp went maybe one step too far in making the company feel approachable and friendly, when a good uppercase letter here and there would have helped establish some clarity on who’s the boss when it comes to steelin’.
Thanks to Brian Pennington for the tip.