Established in 2005 as MemoriasUSB (USBMemory) by six engineering students of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, BQ (as it was renamed in 2010) started by importing and selling USB memory sticks, later an e-reader called booq, and now also offers smartphones, tablets, 3D printers, and their accompanying accessories. Looking to expand beyond their market in Spain and compete with the larger electronic companies, BQ recently introduced a new identity designed by Madrid-based Saffron.
Based on its already inherent DNA, we defined BQ’s brand purpose, which is “to help people understand technology, encourage them to use it and inspire them to develop it”. We also spelled out the key features of their personality as honest, challenging, dynamic, reliable and didactic.
All these aspects of BQ’s DNA led us to create a lively and unique visual identity that inspires people to make the most of their ideas through using and understanding technology. It all starts with a digital imprint — in both senses of the word — that ignites the creation process. This symbol, along with a white window that interacts with changing backgrounds, brings BQ’s brand purpose to life.
The previous logo was really bad with a terrible selection of rounded sans serif and an unflattering monogram of the “b” and “q” kissing. It looked like like a logo for cheap knock-offs. The new logo is far more conceptual and sophisticated. At first I just thought, “Oh, great, another tech logo with dots signifying connectivity” but the purple dot indicated something else. It wasn’t until I saw the movie above that I got it. Five dots, five thumbprints. It’s a lovely idea. I wonder how many people will get it without an explanation? Nonetheless, a smart idea with an understated execution. The “bq” typography… someone at Saffron really likes these tight, chopped up stems — see Panda and Apollo. I’m not particularly a fan but some people really liked the typography in Panda so we’ll let the polls decide.
In application, there is a number of things going on: There is the squiggly shapes that emanate from the dots; there is the white X-ray box that reveals working mechanisms and contrasting concepts in photos, and there are additional line-art illustrations. The latter is the only that seems extraneous, they could probably do without it. The X-ray box is a cool device and makes for some interesting layouts (best seen in the posters) and ideas (as in the brochure’s flap) with the five-dot icon placed on the lower corners. Akkurat (Regular and Mono) are always a crowd pleaser and both work well in this identity. The squiggles… I like visually but maybe they clash with the cleanliness of everything else; as shown in the prototype of the packaging, it would be cool if they swelled around on the lock screen of the phone. Overall, this is a groovy update that definitely raises BQ’s visual presence.