Established in 1996, ModeLabs is a wholesaler of mobile phones and accessories based in Paris and is also a manufacturer of phones, creating, if I understand it correctly, custom phones for telecommunications clients. Based on their experience in making phones for others, they created a phone of their own, named Echo, an entry-level smartphones. This June, the company introduced four new models of Echo along with a new identity designed by Paris-based Brand Brothers.
In connection with the team, we have overhauled the project’s foundations to achieve central conclusions : the brand must present itself with simplicity, honesty and strength. It must get out of low-cost codes. It must reflect uncompromised quality standards while making them accessible to all. It demystifies the possession of quality technological objects. […] The logo is the backbone of this new promise : this original type design tells the echo and resonance, and opens a creative territory without boundaries that deploys on the whole universe of the brand.
The old logo was straight outta the Playstation/Spiderman style that only works if you are Playstation or any of the number of reboots and sequels of the Spiderman franchise. Beyond that, the main problem with the old logo was that it was too thin to have any significant presence and it looked like a futuristic cliché without delivering an other-worldly phone. The new logo falls in line with the geometric sans approach but at least offers a clever concept and play on the name with the edges of the wordmark transforming into sound waves (echo signals) that also happen to help build the letters “e” and “o”. This is a case where the geometric sans makes sense to support the abstract echo signals and its simplicity allows the concept to come through. Having said all those nice things about the use and choice of a geometric sans I don’t know why that “h” is so weird. It doesn’t stand out horribly but once I noticed it — and its staunch shortness — I can’t help but focus on it. Still, a nice a logo with a simple idea behind it that capitalizes on the name.
The echo signals obviously make a strong appearance in the identity to frame product shots and as a pattern (which, other than the pattern file, is nowhere to be seen). The business card in particular is clever, with the echo signals on the front completing the logo that bleeds off on the back.
The prototype packaging looks fun. Ambitious but fun. The one thing I don’t like is repeating the echo signal directly underneath the logo; it feels redundant and clashing. I’m actually more impressed by the less glamorous photos of the logo as it appears on the plug, manual, and label in a single color along with all other kinds of technical data. It stands out, it’s consistent, and it comes across as a solid retail brand.