First released in 1995, Opera is a web browser developed by Opera Software ASA in Olso, Norway. With over 1,000 employees, Opera serves 350 million users across desktop and mobile. More or less, Opera is the fourth or fifth preferred browser behind Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Specific to Brand New, only 1% of youse is currently reading this on an Opera browser. Represent! With the release of the latest desktop browser, Opera introduced a new identity led in-house in collaboration with local firm Anti for visual identity and with London-based DixonBaxi for global brand and creative strategy.
The cornerstone of Opera’s new brand identity is our redesigned logo. It still preserves the good ol’, familiar red “O”. But, just as our products are about more than technology, the new logo stands for more than the first letter of our company name.
We envision Opera’s new logo as a portal quickly connecting you with what you’re looking for on the web. The 3-dimensional “O” symbolizes a gateway that leads you to more: more content, more discoveries, more answers, more communication, more fun, more data savings, more of life - whatever you seek online, Opera helps you do more!
Operating with an “O” logo since the dawn of time, the new logo isn’t a big revelation in terms of concept or approach but, visually, this is the strongest version yet. Until now, the monogram has been a recognizable alphabet “O” — meaning that, even if the “O” were customized or drawn from scratch, it’s something you could find in a font. Type it in and, boom, you have a logo. This is the first time the “O” isn’t just a character from the alphabet but a visual device that happens to be an “O” that now serves a higher conceptual purpose. The idea is that the letter serves as a portal — so, yeah, it isn’t super-heady-conceptual — and gives Opera the opportunity to convey an idea and a mission for their software.
The execution of the new “O” is nice. It immediately gives a proper sensation of volume and it has a great sharpness to it. I like that it’s not all rounded-edged and soft and that it instead has an almost dangerous profile to it. It would make for a great physical ring to give to employees. The wordmark is as snoozy as we’ve come to expect in the form of a geometric sans. Nothing wrong or right about it. It just is. In the horizontal lock-up version the ring and initial “O” of the name get a little funky with too many circles at the same time.
To launch the identity, the logo is accompanied by some kind of digital fabric — perhaps because of the Opera name, it’s meant to be a theater’s red curtain? — that goes in as a wireframe and comes out all smooth and silky. That’s the way I like my portals, to be honest, as opposed to the ones where you get transported into another dimension where it’s dark and there are monsters. I doubt that this identity will help Opera win users away from the big three browsers (and I doubt that’s the main goal) but it certainly helps establish Opera as the more adventurous browsing option.
Thanks to Thomas Offinga for the tip.