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New Name, Logo, and Identity for NOS by Wolff Olins



Reviewed Jul. 31, 2014 by Armin

Industry / Corporate Tags /

The result of the 2013 merger between two already significant Portuguese companies, ZON and Optimus, NOS, established this May, is a telecommunications and entertainment mega group offering cable television, mobile phone service, internet, and, oh, by the way, it happens to have 30 movie theaters and is the distributor of Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Bros., DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures. With 3.5 million mobile phone, around 1.5 million television, 1.5 fixed telephone and 922 thousand fixed broadband Internet customers, NOS has a giant presence in Portugal. The new name means “We” and “Us” and its new tagline, Há mais em nós, means “There’s more to us”. The new identity was designed by Wolff Olins.

New Name, Logo, and Identity for NOS by Wolff Olins
Old consumer brand logos. The opening image at the very top shows the interim logo between merger and launch of new name.
The new name signals this idea; NOS means ‘we’ in Portuguese. The visual identity is a wheel formed of multicoloured individual spokes, which expresses the concept of unifying people; we are stronger together. Future products will make it easy for groups to connect and share.

Wolff Olins news page

New Name, Logo, and Identity for NOS by Wolff Olins
Logo detail.

I am in no way familiar with the old consumer brands of ZON and Optimus so if they had any significant equity perhaps our Portuguese readers can help us out in the comments. What I do know is that they would be perfect as logos for a rave. They were a tad too expressive but more power to them for going all out.

The new logo seems far more appropriate for a company this size and certainly commands with more seriousness. The radial motif may not seem like the most original idea but I appreciate that it relates to the concept stated in the quote above even if, as usual, it’s a little too poetic to be taken overly seriously. More than spokes unifying people I like how it has a burst-like appearance, as if every time you interact with a NOS product or service it’s a spark of entertainment (or a bill, too, I guess). The logo looks nice small and big, it’s readable, and it’s simple. The animations below add a great level of playfulness to the logo and the colored wheel that becomes the driving element of the identity.

One of many engaging logo animations. See them all here.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for NOS by Wolff Olins
Business cards.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for NOS by Wolff Olins
SIM card.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for NOS by Wolff Olins

The applications literally revolve around the cropped, colored wheel used big and bleeding off of every canvas. It’s a relatively interesting device and, at this point, with the launch of the new brand, its endless repetition is a good way of making sure people associate it with NOS and start to recognize its visual language whether it’s an ad for cable TV or on the side of a movie theater. And, agreed: it gets repetitive. As Fonts in Use points out the sole brand font used through the identity is Azo Sans by — quite appropriately! — Portuguese type designer Rui Abreu, which feels like a pleasant cross of Gotham and Gill Sans with some extra European flair.

New Name, Logo, and Identity for NOS by Wolff Olins
New Name, Logo, and Identity for NOS by Wolff Olins
Building signage. Photos by Rui Abreu via Fonts in Use.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for NOS by Wolff Olins
New Name, Logo, and Identity for NOS by Wolff Olins
Outdoor ads. Photos by Rui Abreu via Fonts in Use.
Filmed in three cities — Bucharest, London and Lisbon — the campaign was designed by the advertising agency Havas, produced by the Ministry of Films and with media planning by Arena. The spot takes us on a journey through the imaginary world of television and cinema, bringing together various scenarios of this and other worlds. The journey ends at the mythical Queen concert at Wembley Stadium at which the main character of the campaign joins Freddy Mercury at the 1986 concert that was part of the Queen’s Magic Tour.

NOS press release (PDF)

2-minute brand video to the probably very costly licensed tune of Queen’s “Don’t stop me now”.

Overall, the logo and identity lack the typical graphic fireworks of Wolff Olins but I think in its more tempered approach and restraint the company is better served by this solid identity that has to stand for a lot of different services and offerings and, at this point, it’s about making sure people know these are all connected. Plus, Queen. Always a winning approach.

Thanks to Tiago Santos for the tip.

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UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Austin, TX.

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