Established in 1857, Stanley is a well-known and popular product line of hand tools, power tools, and stuff-making accessories for consumer and industrial use. In 2010, Stanley and Black & Decker merged to form, well, Stanley Black & Decker and since then the Stanley brand has grown beyond tools into new industries like security, healthcare, infrastructure, and oilfield services. Looking to communicate the breadth of its offering and establish a unified brand, Stanley introduced last week a new logo and identity designed by Lippincott.
Conversations with Stanley employees and customers around the world reinforced our belief that the brand positioning and its subsequent visual identity must signal the evolution of an agile, unified brand whose business units were connected by a single concept. This cohesion was achieved with “Performance in action,” the new brand essence that focuses on the excellence that is inherent in every Stanley product, employee, and business. This vital new direction was communicated through the new positioning, tagline, brand architecture, and comprehensive messaging guidelines.
— Lippincott case study
The new visual identity is grounded in Stanley’s rich heritage while simultaneously signaling the brand’s new direction. The new logo is more dynamic; it frees the Stanley name from its holding shape, yet maintains the “notch” concept with an angular cut to the letter ‘N’ in the center of the word. The resulting shape is an upward arrow-like triangle that speaks directly to this concept of “action.” Finally, the logo maintains the signature Stanley yellow and black palette that is universally synonymous with the brand.
— Lippincott case study
As ugly as the old logo was with that clunky holding shape, it got the job done — it looked tough, rugged, and no non-sense — but it definitely felt old and tired and with the evolution of the look of the products themselves these deserved a more contemporary logo. The new wordmark is a simple and handsome sans serif that doesn’t try do more than it’s supposed to. It’s about the tools (a lot of tools), not about the tricks the logo or the identity can do. Its one trick, the barely customized “N”, is more than enough to establish a single unique trait about the wordmark to make it memorable and recognizable although, really, all Stanley (and Lippincott) had to do was keep the yellow and black color palette to continue the evolution of this brand. The new logo looks great on the product — freed from its holding shape — and the packaging looks fresh and bold, with the angle of the “N“‘s slice being reinforced whenever possible. This project didn’t need a whizbangpow revolution, just a really good dusting to keep working for the next dozens of years. And that axe? Come to papa.