Launched this past September by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “Turkey: Discover the Potential” is a new business-, investment-, and export-oriented brand for the country providing support, credibility, and gravitas to products made in Turkey and exported to the world. The effort comes from the Turkish Exporters Assembly, an organization established in 1993 that represents over 60,000 active exporters. The identity for this new initiative has been designed by Saffron.
The resulting ability Turks have to accomodate foreign cultures and the need for flexibility in their products and services is highly differentiating. The visual solution is an expression of the many industries in which this brand idea is brought to life by Turkish companies. The slogan that Saffron developed, “Discover the potential” is the customer-facing translation of the brand idea. It invites potential investors to engage with Turkey and see for themselves what a difference Turkey can make to their business.
Given the nature of the recent Brand New Conference identity you would be right in your assumption that I am going to like this because I do. There is a great texture to the wordmark that makes it feel instantly Mediterranean but with a slight technological twist to it — it’s easy to see some QR codes in those patterns. Some letters are more successful than others: the “T” and “u” are nearly perfect with a great balance of big and small patterns, while the “e” is all small patterns lacking contrast and the “k” not feeling quite resolved. But nitpicks aside, this is a very interesting take on patterns and their integration in a wordmark.
The big problem is scalability. Going large is no problem, going small is impossible. Well… it’s possible but reproduced really small it starts to look like a Grunge typeface. Assuming some of these 60,000 exporters would want to add the logo to their product somehow, somewhere without sacrificing much real estate, this logo doesn’t quite work so well, so perhaps there could be a shorthand version for using as a seal of approval.
These two applications, while they make sense, feel too clinical against the others and even the logo, which are successful because of the density of the patterns as opposed to the highlighting of individual tiles. I rarely do the “this-looks-like” critique but these posters and bag are very similar in concept and execution to the Bologna identity presented earlier this year. This is a more restrained and feasible approach than Bologna, but I dunno… a little too close.
The supporting sans serif doesn’t quite convince me; I think a strong serif would have helped make this feel less like a start-up and more like a country with centuries of tradition and although the applications are all mostly mock-ups and prototypes you can see potential in the pattern and logo when used with the right print processes on the right materials. Perhaps the best compliment I could give is that this could easily work as Turkey’s own country brand.
Thanks to Fatih Bektas for the tip.