Established in 2008 as a joint collaboration between U.S.-based private equity firm The Gores Group and German industrial powerhouse Siemens AG, Siemens Enterprise Communications provides global communications software and enterprise solutions to approximately 75 percent of the Global 500 through 60 different offices in 33 countries around the world. Yesterday through a 2-hour broadcast the company introduced a new name, Unify, and new identity designed by Ottawa-based McMillan.
The Unify logo is the primary visual representation of the new brand. At the center of the logo is a vibrant, single “I,” representing the concept of unification—bringing the many into one. The energy given off by this “I” symbolizes the power of collective energy. The “I” also represents the individual, employee or end user who is empowered by Unify technology.
“Harmonize your enterprise” brings the brand promise to life for external audiences. Unify harmonizes technologies, processes and people. It’s the brand rallying cry. It’s what unites the company and drives us to help customers succeed. It tells everyone that they should demand—and Unify will deliver—a higher standard of enterprise communications.
It’s hard to argue against the old logo, it was simply following brand architecture by using the main Siemens wordmark and some über conservative subsidiary type and lock-up. No question though: you knew exactly what the company did and who owned it. The new name obviously establishes a new identity of its own that foregoes both the benefits and burden of being associated with Siemens — I assume having an existing large client roster makes the change less risky. The name is nice and short and surprisingly amazing that it was available to own as a corporate name in both the U.S. and Germany. The logo is very competently executed and comes with plenty of smart rationale about why it looks the way it looks but it lands somewhere in between the Terminator logo and the 1970s United Airlines logo, which I guess is both a compliment and complaint. I like it but I don’t like it. It works and it doesn’t work. I think what helps it not become the cliché faux-futuristic wordmark is the green “I” that adds a bit of freshness to it and serves as the anchor for the rest of the identity.
Unify is a light-emitting brand, and charcoal provides a dramatic backdrop for light. Green and yellow hues come together to become an illuminated beacon. Charcoal communicates seriousness, precision, and the sleek characteristics of a luxury brand. Unify Green has reflective properties that give an impression of light when set against the dark contrast of Unify Charcoal. It communicates energy, optimism and focus.
In application, the “I” works rather nice as a way to frame content and as a bright visual device to grab people’s attention against the dark gray background. The way it’s used in the brochure is quite clever too. The custom typography plays very well used white on dark backgrounds and also helps bring some contemporary flavor to offset the logo. Overall, it’s a very respectable (r)evolution of a large company that didn’t hold back in fully introducing a new personality.