Established in 2007 as a subsidiary of VolkerWessels, a major European construction-services business, and originally named VSMC (Visser & Smit Marine Contracting), VBMS (VolkerWessels Boskalis Marine Solutions) specializes in subsea power cable installation for offshore grids, onshore and in shallow and deep water. The name change was was the result of Boskalis, a company that provides services relating to the construction and maintenance of maritime infrastructure, becoming 50% owner with VolkerWessels. The new identity has been designed by Rotterdam-based Studio Dumbar.
We worked with the client to create a new name that reflects the evolution of their company. VBMS (VolkerWessels Boskalis Marine Solutions) retains some of the company’s hard-earned equity while stepping away from its heritage and into the future. The wordmark is clear, solid and contemporary, with its distinctive ‘M’ dipping beneath the baseline to suggest grid-to-grid connectivity.
The previous logo was fine, focusing on the alternative energy source angle by showing an abstraction of a wind mill/turbine but the typography was as bland as it gets and the lock-up was unexpected, in the wrong way. The new logo is a custom wordmark with a subsea-level-dipping “M” that commands all the attention. Although the quoted text plays up the concept of connectivity (which the logo does convey) it also communicates going under the surface and not taking any shortcuts to do so with the long, winding slant downwards. Visually, it’s disconcerting at first, but it makes a for a great and strong wordmark. I especially like how the “V” and the “M” are constructed from the same angles. Perhaps unintended, the wordmark looks like the side view of a ship with the “V” serving as the prow.
We explored this theme further, creating a series of slogans to convey the new brand proposition and support the VBMS strap-line, We Connect. Supported by a strong, sophisticated colour palette of black and silver (supported by brighter accent colours) and an improved approach to photography, the identity has been applied to everything from print and digital, to uniforms and vessels.
In application, the identity couldn’t be any simpler. Laid on a limited palette of grays, the logo is used large and with enough confidence to sink a battleship. No fuss, no decorations, just type and a perfect layout balance in every instance. A particular detail I enjoyed was on the guideline document where the elongated “M” wraps around the spine of the cover, creating a striking diagonal when viewed on a shelf. Overall, a memorable and adventurous corporate wordmark that isn’t shy about being authoritative.